Breach Detection and Incident Management

Two professional IT programmers discussing a data breach

In today’s world, businesses should have an incident management plan so they can protect their data, assets, IT infrastructure, and employees. Cybersecurity incident management involves accounting for possible attacks, compromises, and even data breaches. Having preexisting protocols for detection, investigation, containment, eradication, and post-incident analysis will ensure that your company is prepared to limit the severity of an attack and secure your data should an attack occur. More importantly, a comprehensive security management strategy may prevent breaches from happening in the first place.

This article will discuss some common types of security breaches such as social engineering attacks, system exploits, and malware.

Types of Security Breaches

Below, we explore the most common security breaches and methods to exploit vulnerabilities.

Social Engineering Attacks

A social engineering attack is an incident where a cybercriminal uses human interaction to take advantage of employees rather than exploit software vulnerabilities. Phishing is one of the most common types of social engineering attacks. This form of deception happens when a cybercriminal sends an email appearing to be from an individual at a legitimate company or even a coworker. Because these emails seem like they are from a person or entity an employee has heard of before, cybercriminals can trick recipients into:

  • Clicking a link, which may download malware or entice the recipient to enter their username and password into a malicious portal.
  • Opening an attachment containing malware, giving the attackers a foothold into the network.
  • Performing an action, such as wiring funds to what the recipient believes is a vendor’s bank account, but is actually a cybercriminal’s..

System Exploits

A system exploit occurs when a cybercriminal leverages a software vulnerability to gain access to or take control of a computer system. System exploits allow attackers to run malicious code through vulnerable software, providing them access to workstations or servers.

Exploitation is a key stage of organizational compromise. With access gained from an exploit, cybercriminals are able to execute malware to further accomplish their goals.


Malicious software, or malware, is a generic term that describes any type of software used to perform actions on behalf of a cybercriminal. Malware comes in many different forms including ransomware, viruses, worms, and Trojan horse programs, as follows:

  • Ransomware is the most common type of malware, encrypting files so that victims cannot access data until they pay a fee.
  • A virus is a malicious piece of code embedded inside another application file. It can hide inside an email attachment or in a website link.
  • Worms are self-replicating malware that use system exploits to identify vulnerable systems in order to spread to other computers.
  • Trojan horse programs are malicious applications that masquerade as legitimate software but actually contain a hidden piece of malware. It does not replicate itself but opens a backdoor for cybercriminals to exploit.

Malware can cause serious damage to an organization’s computer system, and often results in a data breach.

Physical Entry

A physical security incident is when a person gains unauthorized access to an organization’s facility. The most common type of physical entry incident is called tailgating. Tailgating happens when a malicious actor follows an employee into a secure area such as a server room. These attacks are common in large cities and organizations with many employees. Once inside a secure room, cybercriminals will attempt to install malware on unprotected systems or perform snatch-and-grab-style attacks on unsecured laptops, phones, tablets, or other high-priced devices. Both events can easily lead to a data breach.

Weak Passwords

Weak passwords are the most common security incident. Passwords that are easy to guess or have been disclosed in another company’s data breach can compromise an organization’s computer system. A strong password should include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one special character. Whenever possible, two-factor authentication (2FA) should be added to accounts, requiring employees to not only enter their password but also enter a code generated through a phone application or sent via text message. It is also important to emphasize that employees should avoid using the same password for more than one account.

Importance of Security Management to Resolve These Issues

Having an incident management plan with an identified team will help you respond quickly and effectively to security breaches. But an incident management plan is only as good as your employees’ familiarity with it. Training new employees and practicing incident response exercises is an important part of any IT security team policy. It helps ensure your team members act quickly and know what to do in case of a breach.

You should also develop relationships with security experts and consultants that you can call on for assistance. You never know when your organization will be the victim of a security breach, so it is important to have someone ready to help.

Benefits of Having a Security Consultant Secure Your IT Network

Security consultants can help you and your team:

  • Review your current security posture and make recommendations for improvement
  • Assess the risk to your organization from potential security breaches and develop incident response plans to mitigate these risks
  • Train IT employees on detecting and responding to security incidents
  • Develop incident response plans for your organization’s computer system and network

What Services You Might Need to Secure Your IT Network

When searching for a security management consultant, look for the following services:

Incident Response

A security consultant should be equipped to develop an incident management plan for your organization’s computer system and network. This will include formalized procedures for detection, analysis, containment, and recovery.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing involves placing a software on targeted systems in an attempt to bypass security measures and gain unauthorized access. The benefit of penetration testing is that you can identify security vulnerabilities before they are exploited by cybercriminals. Penetration testing requires specialized knowledge. Hiring an incident management team or security consultant can determine if your organization’s computer system has any security flaws for attackers to exploit.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a technique cyber criminals use to gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Cybercriminals attempt to gain access to accounts through social networking sites, email, telephone calls, text messages, and even in person.

Social engineering attacks are difficult to detect and can be very costly to fix without the proper defense structure. Employees should receive security awareness training to recognize these attacks and know what to do if they receive a suspicious email or phone call.

Physical Security

It’s important to have physical security to protect employee safety as well as assets like hardware, software, and networks. Physical security requires an experienced consultant to look at your organization’s buildings and facilities in the same way an attacker would to evaluate it for risks. Strong incident response plans will account for what to do when a physical security threat is identified, considering both employee safety and data security.

Security Management by a Top Consultant

When choosing a consultant for incident management, ensure that you find a company with certified, experienced cybersecurity professionals. Snowfensive’s consultants have the right background and experience to address security vulnerabilities and prevent future cybercriminal attacks.

At Snowfensive, we offer customized cybersecurity services. Our clients include companies from every industry, from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies.

Let Snowfensive perform penetration testing or build cybersecurity defenses to protect your corporate and client data. Through incident management, security management, and malware analysis, Snowfensive gives you the tools and notifications needed to stop cybercriminals in their tracks.

With Snowfensive, you can rest assured that your computer systems are safe and secure. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your organization from cybercrimes.

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