Virtually every modern organisation relies on the internet and connected devices to communicate with customers, operate internal processes, and deliver its services. However, the digital remnants left behind from these activities – known as your digital footprint – can give hackers and malicious users the information they need to compromise your operations.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? An expert team like Nettitude can assess these ‘electronic breadcrumbs’ to identify exposed business-critical information and safeguard it against cyber threats. Here, we explore how organisations must limit the information shared online while explaining how it can be used against them.
How your digital footprint affects cybersecurity
Considering how organisations and their employees spend so much time using the internet to conduct their day-to-day running, a rapidly expanding digital footprint could give away vital company data or private information that leaves you vulnerable.
While some information is shared intentionally, hackers who know precisely where to look can piece together these digital traces to gain access to your networks. We often divide a digital footprint into the following categories for cybersecurity.
Active digital footprint
Your active digital footprint is the information your organisation intentionally shares online. For example, your organisation’s LinkedIn profile might contain snippets of information that could inform hackers about your security protocols, such as revealing photos and staff credentials. Meanwhile, employees that share private details on their personal social media pages, such as an executive describing relationship troubles, could present opportunities for a spear phishing or blackmail attack.
There are also plenty of risks outside of social media. An employee who signs up for a website using the same login information as their business password could create problems if it becomes compromised. Insecure third-party applications also present issues if a cyberattack targets these services. Alongside many other concerns, keeping tabs on your active digital footprint is imperative to safeguarding your organisation’s data.
Passive digital footprint
An organisation’s passive digital footprint is private data unknowingly exposed to hackers. There are endless opportunities for this to happen online, but one of the most common is apps and websites that track your IP address and geolocate the user. Although this information is often harmless, in combination with other personal details, it might give a malicious user the information they need to break into your network.
Rapidly developing technology means that businesses now rely upon ever-increasing internet-connected devices. Therefore, the threat landscape around your organisation’s digital footprint is constantly growing. For instance, the rise of cloud-based services means companies are married to systems far removed from their physical premises, opening avenues of attack that are not under their direct purview.
Cybersecurity solutions that protect your digital footprint
A sprawling digital footprint presents numerous problems for organisations because hackers can use this information for phishing attacks or even produce false identities that allow them to steal valuable data. However, you can help prevent these attacks by using robust privacy settings, frequently updating your software, and remaining cautious about what information you share online. Plus, expert organisations like Nettitude provide rigorous protection through the latest cybersecurity techniques.
Discover how vulnerable your network is to attack with our penetration testing services. This analyses an organisation’s internal and external security posture as we imitate real cyberattacks on your sensitive information. For example, we can conduct social engineering tests on your employees or attempt to gain access to internal data via vulnerabilities in your website’s backend or email services.
Intelligence-led testing (STAR)
Intelligence-led testing, also known as Simulated Target Attack Response (STAR), is how we determine your digital footprint's security risk. Our specialised team will review information from your social media profiles, code repositories and supply chain to simulate known threat actors. Then, using a framework developed by CREST, this refined cybersecurity test helps organisations understand whether certain vulnerabilities allow hackers to achieve their specific goals.
For more information watch our webinar The Digital Footprint: Ammunition for Phishing Attacks or contact us to discuss your cybersecurity.