Stress Testing Your Cybersecurity Chops

How strong do you think your cybersecurity protocols are, really? Could your network withstand an onslaught of malicious traffic? Could you employees spot an online con artist before getting scammed? A lot of companies don't know the answers to these questions until they've been victimized.

Nobody likes to learn lessons the hard way. So, take a moment to test your own security gaps to see what's working and what needs improvement. If stress testing isn't already a part of your cybersecurity plan, consider changing that ASAP. Below, CyberPolicy shares a few examples of common stress tests.

Traffic Overload?
Have you ever heard of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack? At its most basic level, it's a form of malicious web traffic used to flood your network until it crashes. It's often used by fledging hackers and script kiddies to test their skills. But it's bad news for your business because it could negatively affect revenue and public perception of your service.

Ironically, DDoS hacks started out as a stress testing software. When websites see too much traffic, they sometimes collapse under the weight. DDoS tested this weight capacity. But since it's now being used as an attack, it's wise to test your DDoS mitigation software. See if your solution can block an onslaught of bad web traffic.

Can You Spot the Scam?
Phishing emails and social engineering scams are nothing new. In fact, they might just be some of the oldest cons in the book. But that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. In fact, the prevalence of phishing attacks jumped over 60 percent in 2016. And the trend is expected to continue to grow.

To combat this threat, you'll want to test your employees for healthy suspicion. There are several ways to do this. Phishing tests, for instance, are a great tool to teach staff members what to look for. It also delivers managers (or the IT team) the results so you can see which employees are succeeding, and which need a little more assistance. Then again, there are also white hat hackers who can perform social engineering scams via social media or phone calls. While the tactics may be different, the goals are the same. To raise your employees' cyber smarts.

Is Your Password Passable?
Bad passwords are a big problem for any office. That's because passphrases are the first (and sometimes only) gatekeeping method to protect sensitive data or accounts. While you might think your maiden name and birthday are enough to stymie an attacker, you'd be wrong. Automated brute force attacks can crack passwords in minutes. And credential stuffing can open multiple accounts with the same email/password combo.  

See how strong your password is really by using the aptly named How Secure Is My Password. This helpful tool allows you to see how long it would take a brute force attack to crack your password. Can't think of a good passphrase? Try using a password manager.

Hopefully, these tests put you on the right track. Still, it doesn't hurt to spend pennies a day on a cybersecurity insurance policy that protects you from costly damages. Visit CyberPolicy to find a cyber insurance provider right for your business!

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