Collecting good threat intelligence is important to stay ahead in today’s highly connected world, but companies and organizations aren’t the only targets out there. Individuals and households can better defend their networks and devices by taking stock of the threats that may come their way.
To proactively block threats and improve detection, individuals should limit their attack surface, improve their network visibility, and understand what malicious activity might target them. Here’s how you can do just that:
1. Evaluate your attack surface -- where can threats originate?
Think about the devices you have in your household — phones, desktop computers, tablets, watches, voice assistants, even lights and refrigerators. Once you take note of these devices, you’ll have a better understanding of your home network and how it may be connected to the wider internet. In the settings of each device, ensure the firewall is active (if built-in), and that the device is connected only to a trusted gateway.
2. Double check your applications.
Double check the permissions for each app to ensure they are limited and do not represent a risk of retrieving and storing personal and/or device information beyond what is reasonable. Some variables to consider include the reputation of the company, its user base, and its privacy and data policies. What data, for instance, does the application send back to the developer or third parties?
3. Limit the distribution of your personal and business information.
Cyber criminals collect intelligence on their victims in advance, and they will often use publicly available information freely provided by the victims on social media accounts. An employee’s business accounts can be targeted through personal accounts and vice-versa. Ensure credentials are stored safely through trusted password managers.
By limiting the distribution of important information and understanding our attack surface, we can prevent threat actors from accessing intelligence on us and our devices. Moreover, by being aware of the connections between our devices and the broader internet, we can better protect ourselves.
Remember: good cybersecurity starts with you! Take note of how to be vigilant every day -- from anywhere you work.