Hardly a week goes by without news of another company with another data breach. Systems have become very complex, skilled cybersecurity resources are hard to find, and technology develops faster than ever before. And, while the Internet of Things has brought many advances to our organizations, it has also expanded our attack surface.
Cybersecurity is difficult – and likely to get more difficult in the future.
So why is it so difficult?
The answer is actually quite simple, there are too many options and no quality standards.
- Too many professional services organizations with the ‘world-class’ team of security experts
- Too many competing products from VARs all claiming to solve X with ‘best-in-class’ products
- Too many solutions that claim to do comprehensive security testing but then do ten other things
- Too costly to perform in-house assessments due to resource skillset requirements and software expenses
- Too much swing in pricing between professional services firms and MSP’s
- Too much variance in quality between professional services, off the shelf products, and MSP’s
But it’s not all bad news….
While the cybersecurity story leans toward it’s only a matter of time until your organization is breached, reality is there are things you can do to make things right. And it’s time we celebrated our accomplishments in the tough fight against our adversaries. Most organizations get more things right than things that go wrong. There are a number of steps that can be taken to mitigate risk as much as possible.
Inventory Your Data and Assets
At any point in time, you have assets that go on and off your network. They can be corporate assets, but they may also be personal devices introduced to your network by employees. They could be third parties such as vendors, suppliers, partners, contractors, or service providers accessing data across your network. They could be new software and applications introduced to improve business operations. All of these increase risk across your organization – and you may not be aware there is a problem until it’s too late.
Understand the data and assets you have, where it comes from, how it is stored, how it is processed, and where it goes so you know what risk it poses to your business.
Conduct Assessments of Your Environment
Regularly assessing your security posture allows you to discover weaknesses within the environment and fix them before cyber criminals have a chance to exploit them. Choosing a continuous assessment solution will allow you to tests security controls at ongoing intervals, at scale, and to generate real-time insight regarding vulnerabilities.
Prioritize Remediation Efforts
While it is vital to apply patches and fixes when vulnerabilities are identified, applying patches, changing configurations, and re-testing can present a number of challenges for resource-constrained operations teams. It is important to focus your efforts on those that have the most risk based on exploitability and impact to the organization. Having context around any vulnerabilities that are found will help prioritize those which are critical and those that can be de-prioritized and handled at a later point in time.
Validate Your Efforts
Finally, you must verify that the vulnerabilities have actually been remediated or not. Your retesting efforts will validate if the vulnerabilities have been fixed, but it will also notify you of new issues or if the threat is persistent within your network.
You may find additional helpful information about remediation validation in a previous blog post, What is Remediation Validation?
Get Some Help!
Cybersecurity is hard, but it is doable. There are resources, like VULNERA, to help you establish and manage an effective vulnerability management program.
VULNERA’s solutions are designed to take care of some of the heavy-lifting required to manage your business. We wanted assessments to be easy and accessible so we offer continuous solutions that eliminate risk, support your business, help meet industry requirements, and empower you with the resources needed to communicate risk to your executive team. And because we fully manage the entire solution, there are no requirements for additional staffing or software.