As a result of Agio Cybersecurity’s SEC Governance Program, Agio performed a white hat penetration test. After the test was completed, Agio discussed different strategies, which lead to multiple attacks.
While performing the test, Agio noticed that the operating system was severely out of date. Agio noticed that the printer was simultaneously connected to the guest and production networks. Agio was able to get the cached admin credentials. After hacking the private equity firm and completing the test, Agio learned multiple lessons.
Regularly Update Everything
Because the printer’s software was so outdated, hackers could easily gain access. The printer also acted mistakenly as a bridge device.
Document Your Passwords
While running the test, Agio found that the local printer, servers, and workstations had the exact same password for their separate accounts. Agio notes that bad password practice is a common occurrence at different hedge funds.
Memorize Your Network
Agio recommends that firms develop a process that allows them to review every new network device. That would allow them to catch different mistakes.
Focus on Port and Protocol
Firms can protect their devices by restricting access to only the necessary ports and protocols that help the device function properly.
While most private equity firms are aware of the importance of cyber security, they may not be aware of how cybersecurity can personally affect them. Agio notes that private equity firms need to focus on creating new ways to protect their assets. With that being said, here is a look at some of the most serious risks that private equity firms have to deal with. As Agio points out, when thinking about how to start a private equity firm, one needs to consider how to incorporate digital security into all levels of operations.
Malware spreads through different schemes, phishing attacks, or a breached network. Malware attacks private equity firms by locking them out of their computers or even deleting important data. Once malware gains access to the network, it attempts to encrypt the data. In some cases, the data may be held for ransom. In order to avoid being damaged by ransomware, private equity firms must have reliable backups.
Pay attention to insider threats. Some of the signs that there could be a threat lurking around the firm include asset management gaps and large data transfers. Insiders may also corrupt different application programs.
Phishing is a form of social engineering that involves a person trying to obtain information through fraudulent methods. Private equity firms are at risk because they rely on emails and phone calls to expand their portfolios. Phishing allows hackers to steal wire transfers. Criminals often target the key decision makers, so that they can analyze each conversion. That way, they will have a clear idea on when wire transfers are going to happen. Hackers can steal a firm’s documents by accessing their account credentials. To stop this from happening, private equity firms should install a mobile device management program that will keep every device safe and secure. Private equity firms should also conduct phishing attack defense training seminars every few months.