April 5, 2018

Cybersecurity: Let’s Get Back to the Basics – WST

Another day, another vulnerability.  After a while, it all seems to run together.  Who’s been compromised today?  Who’s got my personal data and social security number now? These now seemingly common, everyday occurrences combined with consistent pressure from all sides: including regulators, auditors, customers, and lawmakers can often put a damper on the future and what you should be doing right now.

Consequently, this raises the question, “How do I best protect my data?”  First and foremost, organization’s need to get back to the basics.  Not only do we need to apply these fundamentals, they need to be done consistently and effectively.  What should you be doing right now?  Here are the top three areas you should focus on and excel at:

  1. Patch Management: Sounds easy, right? Not so much.  Patch management is single handedly one of the most difficult areas of basic security management in organization’s today.  While many solutions exist to help in this area, it’s not quite as simple as point-and-click.  Many patches require secondary steps, often missed by most administrators.  Be sure you’re not only installing them, but looking for these additional steps, such as registry changes that may need to be implemented prior to the patch becoming effective.
  2. Detection and Response: Do you know what’s in or going on within your network? Now be honest… do you REALLY?  If you’re not aware of or do not have the ability to detect someone who logs into a Dropbox account or exfiltrates large amounts of data to an external site, then you don’t have the appropriate amount of visibility into your network.  Consequently, if you don’t have visibility into your network, how would you know if someone is attacking it, has already compromised it, or exfiltrated data?  The answer is: You won’t – until it’s much too late.
  3. Audit and Remediate: If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been doing auditing and remediation. But, how committed is your organization to maintaining a good security posture?  If you’ve ever thought “Once we finally get these audit findings implemented, we’ll be done,” you may be in for a surprise.  IT security does not have a finish line.  Technology is always changing; new vulnerabilities are always discovered, and improvements must always be made to meet these rising challenges.

Ensuring that these three (3) basic areas are a primary focus within your institution’s overall security strategy will go a long way in keeping hackers and data thieves at bay.  

Past Weekly Security Tips – WST