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How to protect your business from a cyber kill chain.

Cyber criminals are always adapting their methods of exploiting users – rendering modern threats immune to traditional security measures.

Email, Phishing compromises are more personalised whilst malicious attachments and spoofed domains are more convincing. These cyber kill chains are nuanced, and potentially devastating for targets. That’s why nowadays it’s incredibly important to have the best top-tier, layered security protocols protecting you and your business.

What is a Cyber Kill Chain?

Simply the Cyber Kill Chain is the course of actions that a cyber criminal will perform to attack their victim. Most of these kill chains follow a core structure with variations based on the attack type and personal style of the cyber criminal.

The phases usually go in the order of;

Breaking in

The first step of any cyber criminal is to access the system undetected to avoid raising any alarms. This first step normally causes no immediate damage. While there are many ways of breaking into an employees system, phishing scams has been reported as one of the most common choices of accessing a system. Malicious attachments which can lead to malware being spread throughout the system without your knowledge.

Once Malware has been integrated within the system then it is an extremely difficult and expensive endeavour to then get rid of it. In 2018 a shipping conglomerate had malware spread through the entire system costing the company £300 million.

Investigating your system

The next step a cyber criminal would take is to investigate the system familiarising themselves with it. They will use specialised tools to identify areas that have vulnerabilities or areas with valuable assets like bank details or logins. More times than not this process is completely undetectable.

A report from IBM found that the average breach goes undetected for 212 days. However, depending on the type of attack these cyber kill chains can might only span the course of a few days or even hours.

Executing an Attack

Once your system has been breached and surveyed and the cyber criminal has determined that they have enough information on your device and its contents they will execute the attack. This is when the cyber criminal decides the fate of your system. 

They could hold it for ransomware locking all your files and data until you pay a sum of money for them to release them. Even if you pay they may not release the files demanding more money.

They could just want to steal your information which can then lead to identity theft causing you problems in the long run.

Some hackers just like to destroy your system for no apparent reason. Activating software changing system code to make it unusable or removing it entirely along with all your files.

It is important to note that this is a version of a cyber kill chain, kill chains are very customisable, sequential processes. The process is all dependant on what the cyber criminal wishes to gain out of their work.

Usually the gain is always financial. Hackers can and will attack anyone, conducting small raids on individuals or more sophisticated large attacks on companies. Hackers can cause a lot of damage and trouble in an extremely short amount of time.

How to protect yourself from cyber criminals

There are two common threats that your business will face. Business email compromise (BEC) and ransomware. With a BEC attack cyber criminals harvest accounts and credentials from an executive or management team, impersonate them and persuade employees and clients to release valuable information. This can span from employee payment information and wire transfers. 

Ransomware also often starts with email, and has become the most common from of extracting money from small to medium sized businesses. In order to counter threats like these you need to have a layered security approach that can counter unique attack types and kill chains.

Security Monitoring

A solutions such as a Security Operations Service combines cutting-edge Security Information and Event Management technology and established threat intelligence to track privilege elevation, data leaks and breaches, suspicious network activity, user identity and account lockouts and real time endpoint monitoring.

Endpoint protection provides a safety net after an employee engages with potential malicious content, this catches the malicious content before it can spread into the system.

This gives your IT team a chance to intervene so they can identify and eliminate threats as well as take precautions on other machines.


Firewall is a word thrown around but not many people actually know what it does. Simply it stops any non-requested data from entering a network. That’s because it identifies the requested code and will only let that exact code through.

Firewalls can also be configured by your IT team so strict parameters can be set around inbound and outbound mail. They can establish certain rules that need to be met for things such as attachments, links, forwarding and geofencing. Other tools can be utilised such as single-sign-on and two factor authentication for an additional layer of behavioural analysis.

Having a strong network security can go a long way into protecting your business.

Endpoint protection

Endpoint protection identifies suspicious user actions and behavioural patterns. There are many programs such as Microsoft InTune which provides a single dashboard which your IT team can monitor and respond to. 

With InTune for example an IT team can view enrolled endpoint devices and accessed resources, ensure that the compliance meets with organisational standards, access reports on (non)compliant users and devices, remote wipe data from lost, stolen or retired devices and push certificates for easy access to WiFI or network VPNs.

Here at ATS Connection we want to ensure that your business is protected from cyber criminals trying to access your private data. The cost of setting up a great cybersecurity is far less than the costs that you could receive if you lost data. Outsourcing your cyber security have great benefits too!

We offer great cyber security packages for both businesses and individuals along with 24/7 monitoring.