Strengthening Your Defenses: What We Can Learn from Previous Cybersecurity Attacks

Cyberattacks and breaches can happen to anyone at any time for any reason. These threats have become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, making it more important than ever to become educated about how they happen and what can be done to mitigate them. Cyberattacks can have devastating effects on individuals and businesses, but while hackers and fraudsters look for new vulnerabilities, we can learn from previous attacks to develop better strategies to thwart their efforts.

Identifying and Mitigating Vulnerabilities

Tech companies and cyber security experts serve as the watchdogs of breaches, creating databases and reports that monitor cyberattacks. We can use their expert analyses to gain insight into common vulnerabilities and how hackers exploit them. While exploring these reports, it’s easy to see that these attacks are not just executed on large corporations, but the systems and applications we rely on on a daily basis can also have significant vulnerabilities. Here are some vulnerabilities that enabled these attacks to happen:

Unpatched Software and Outdated Systems: One of the most common vulnerabilities is failing to keep software and systems up to date with the latest security patches. Attackers often exploit known vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain unauthorized access.

Weak or Stolen Credentials: Weak passwords or credentials that have been compromised through data breaches provide cybercriminals with easy entry points. Reusing passwords across multiple accounts worsens its impact, allowing attackers to easily gain access to countless additional accounts.

Phishing Schemes: Cybercriminals frequently employ phishing emails to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Lack of awareness and human error make these tactics highly effective.

Insufficient Employee Training: Employees who are not adequately trained in recognizing and responding to cyber threats can inadvertently become the weakest link in an organization’s defense system. Awareness and training programs will enable companies to prevent the majority of cyberattacks.

Third-Party Risks: Organizations often share data and systems with third-party vendors, making them potential targets. Weak security practices on the part of these vendors can expose sensitive information and compromise the entire network. When contracting vendors, it’s important to vet their security practices extensively and keep abreast of any potential vulnerabilities, and remain vigilant and proactive in protecting your data.

Learning from the Mistakes of Others

Studying and analyzing the circumstances surrounding previous attacks will allow us to identify patterns in vulnerabilities and help us strategically implement appropriate cybersecurity measures. Since technology is constantly evolving, each time we rely on a system or application to store or manage our data, we become vulnerable to a potential attack. Ultimately each individual is going to be responsible for continuously monitoring how their data is being used and where it goes once it’s shared. 

Companies that manage data will have to develop response plans to avoid liability. The majority of consumers that entrust their private information have a tacit expectation of trust. This means that every time a company experiences a breach or cyberattack, its reputation is harmed and money is lost. If you experience a cyber security breach, it needs swift and appropriate action.First and foremost, all compromised systems must be isolated and secured to prevent further damage. All appropriate internal stakeholders should be notified to further contain the breach. The next step is to engage a well-equipped and experienced response team to guide you through the recovery process. Although cyberattacks can have devastating impacts, that doesn’t mean they cannot be overcome. Our global network of asset recovery teams can efficiently and effectively fight back against these attacks so that businesses can return to normal. If you need guidance on asset recovery or cybersecurity liabilities, reach out to one of our dedicated STARNet members today.

The following two tabs change content below.


STARNet, which is short for Stolen Asset Recovery Network, is a global alliance of independent law firms created to provide financial institutions and governments with multi-disciplinary services across countries and jurisdictions for locating, freezing, and ultimately recovering stolen assets related to cyber heists, fraud or corruption.

Latest posts by STARnet (see all)