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Prevention as protection against hacker attacks

SySS GmbH carries out simulated hacker attacks at companies. In this way, they can identify their weak points in the area of IT security and protect themselves from attacks with the help of the right advice. The keyword in IT security is therefore prevention. Once a company has become the victim of a cyberattack, it is often too late to defend itself, says Sebastian Schreiber. Then all that can be done is damage limitation. But it is still expensive and painful for the company. Only those who know their weak points and take action against them can protect themselves against major damage from cyber attacks. 

The number of attacks is rising steadily

The IT security market is booming. Last year, the German Federal Office for Information Security confirmed 14.8 million reports of security incidents or cyber attacks. In 2020, the figure was still around seven million. The topic of IT security has therefore moved to the forefront for many companies in recent years. Sebastian Schreiber can also confirm this: "In 2021, we were able to record 26 percent growth," says the founder and managing director about SySS GmbH. The number of perpetrators, on the other hand, is growing much faster. Therefore, it is all the more important to stand firm in this race and prevent attacks.


How companies can protect themselves

Those who want to protect themselves against cyber attacks should carry out regular penetration tests. These are simulated attacks on a company's systems, such as those carried out by Sebastian Schreiber and his team. According to the IT security expert, this requires a strategy: How often are the tests carried out, how deep do they go, which test objects are attacked? Companies should be able to answer these questions so that they can find out where their company's vulnerabilities lie. Many IT security companies conduct these penetration tests. They advise companies on how to prevent cyber attacks and stand by their side in the event of an attack.

There is a reason that the number of cyber attacks is increasing. The IT expert describes that a clear change can be seen in the field of cybercrime. Ten years ago, it was mainly hobbyists who carried out hacker attacks to demonstrate their skills. This is because earning money with hacking and selling gained data was dangerous for hackers. Payment with Bitcoins, on the other hand, has made the cyber market much more attractive for perpetrators. It makes the crimes much harder to locate and trace. 


The motives behind cyber hacking 

There are often two motives behind cyber attacks. Either the attackers demand a ransom for the illegally obtained data - as in blackmail. Experts refer to this approach as crypto-ransomware. Or state disputes are behind the attacks. Identifying the motive, target and perpetrators is often impossible. However, it is also usually irrelevant for mitigating the damage caused by an attack. Because whether an attack comes from Russia or China makes no difference to the company for the time being, emphasizes Sebastian Schreiber. The only problem arises when cyber insurance companies no longer pay out in the event of an attack on a company. As a rule, the contracts are designed in such a way that state attacks are not covered. In case of doubt, a court will then decide. 


One thing is certain: If you want to protect yourself from cyber attacks, you should know your weak points and upgrade them. Sebastian Schreiber describes this as comparable to patching a hole in a bicycle inner tube. Then you are safe and can prevent your own company from becoming the victim of a cyber attack, he says. 



Author: Nina Bundels