Satellites, the internet, and your business

Satellites, the internet, and your business

Cybersecurity statistics from the past years paint a gloomy picture for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

In 2018, authentic and new breaches in small businesses jumped 424%. The following year, reports revealed that 43% of cyberattacks were directed toward them.

As if that’s not enough, the new decade will see cyberterrorists exploiting every possible attack surface — even those that are not on Earth.

Here’s what you need to know.

Novel attack approaches

Satellites were once inaccessible objects only used by the government for space exploration or military purposes. But now, satellite communication (SATCOM) is widely used for data exchange, surveillance, and navigation.

If you can control even just one satellite, you’ll be privy to exclusive vantage points and information. Knowledge translates to money and power, making SATCOMs very lucrative targets for cybercriminals.

But while directly attacking satellites poses hardware and software challenges, taking over their ground-based command and control (C2) system is relatively easier. Experts believe that this decade will witness the rise of opportunists taking over C2s to commence large-scale and widespread attacks.

Satellites' susceptibility to cyberattacks

One of the easiest ways to attack control centers is to leverage human error. For instance, opportunists can use social engineering tactics to bypass security and gain network access. In the case of TV5Monde attack, unsecured virtual private credentials were used to take over the satellite television network.

Without involving the satellite itself, hackers can take over any satellite-reliant communications technology. This can allow them to control vessels that use such technology, like boats and airplanes.

They can also manipulate the direction and action of the satellite or jam radio transmissions, causing high-impact disasters. What’s more, they can get ahold of military technology and intercept top-secret information.

Even if your business doesn’t involve a satellite or you don’t work with companies that have one, it’s apparent that even new, advanced technologies are susceptible to the oldest tricks in the cyberattack book.

If these specialized technologies could be hacked, then your systems are also vulnerable.

It is paramount to strengthen your security on all fronts.

Mitigating satellite-related threats

Recognizing the imminent threat of hackers taking over satellite controls, all organizations — especially those involved in C2 facilities — should adopt the following security practices:

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  • Implement “air gapping,” or the practice of securing a computer by isolating it from the internet and from any system that is connected to the internet. This is usually done by physically isolating the computer from the rest of the machines that can access the internet. This way, even if the network systems get compromised, the air-gapped computer will not be affected, since it's not connected to the internet.
  • Prioritize vulnerability management. A vulnerability management system (VMS) should help you identify, classify, remediate, and mitigate software vulnerabilities. It also indexes software patches and upgrades necessary for protecting programs and software environments.
  • Cultivate a culture of security in your workplace. With 90% of data breaches caused by human error, continuous security awareness training is a must. On top of training, make sure that you’re following compliance standards in your respective fields. These may seem like little acts, but together, they help reduce the attack surface and minimize human error that leads to cyber incidents.
  • Partner with a cybersecurity expert like Kosh Solutions. Through our round-the-clock monitoring management systems and disaster recovery service, you can rest assured that your sensitive data is secure 24/7/365. Cyberthreats may be ever-present, but you don’t have to face them alone. Kosh Solutions offers comprehensive, real-time cybersecurity protection plans at a fixed monthly cost.

Do you want to learn more about protecting your company from imminent attacks? Learn about the three types of cybersecurity solutions your business can’t risk to do without. Download the eBook now or contact us today.

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