Short on talent?
With a current shortage in cybersecurity talent, it may seem challenging to fulfill the needs of your company. However, there are ways to work toward simple cybersecurity without being an expert. Most breaches occur because computer systems are easy to breach and people make mistakes. Compare the number of breaches based on operating systems. Linux and UNIX variants are more difficult to breach than Windows, especially if you keep them patched. Which means we need to focus some time and effort on Windows, shoring up its weak defenses. The good news is, Windows and Linux can be hardened far more than their standard configurations. We simply have to take the time to learn what is misconfigured and correct it.
Take time to implement a simple cybersecurity plan
Learn how to implement the top five most important cyber defenses without breaking the bank.
What are the first five steps to a simple cybersecurity plan that is easy to implement?
- Make sure the backups are working and you can restore from them.
- Keep the backups encrypted, offsite (in the cloud), and disconnected from the network.
- Perform a thorough cyber security assessment (HIPAA SRA, NYDFS Reg 500, etc) and include a configuration and vulnerability scan of each type of operating system (computer).
- This is not a lightweight network scan. This is an intense operating system vulnerability and configuration checking scan. Most Windows systems pass less than 30% of these tests.
- Harden all of your operating systems’ and network devices’ configurations based on the scan results from step #2 and ensure automatic patching is turned on where possible.
- If you have software applications that don’t allow you to keep your operating systems patched, you need to implement a plan to move off those software applications.
- Implement current cyber security training of all employees that touch valuable data.
- Include identifying phishing campaigns.
- Inventory and map your valuable data at rest and in motion.
- Verify it is secure and encrypted at all times.
- Inventory all network devices so you know to check them for data
Obviously, there are other steps to be addressed and performed but these five steps will greatly improve your cyber security stature, confidence, and resilience. You may not have the staff or setup to do this on your own, so it is important to know what to look for when seeking a firm to complete these for you.
Get a good SRA
If you purchase a security risk assessment (SRA) from a firm, they should include a technical scan of your operating systems as it is the only way to know what needs to be reconfigured on the operating systems. If you purchase policies and procedures, they should include a risk management plan, a security plan, a contingency plan, and a breach notification plan. See our blog on what to look for in a valid SRA.
But most of all, realize, cyber risk management and cybersecurity are not just about security. You need to take a holistic approach, including leadership, employees, processes and technology.