Security experts sit at the forefront in advocating for the importance of regular and timely patching updates, and the recent Microsoft Exchange Server attacks reaffirmed this notion. When organizations are victims of various cyberattacks, a typical reaction is for the organization to partner with a vendor who provides protections from the specific kind of attack they were victims to. However, this kind of reactive approach still poses dangers since it overlooks the cracks in the foundation.
By losing sight of simple security best practices like patch management, organizations continue to keep their IT networks susceptible to future attacks. Delays in rolling out patch updates often lead to severe cybersecurity attacks, which can undermine an enterprise’s reputation in its ability to protect its customers. With the continuing changes in how and where employees work, CISOs are being elevated to provide guidance and policies around safeguarding IT infrastructures they are tasked to build.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative for CISOs to understand the importance for their companies to implement daily best practices such as cyber hygiene measures in their networks. Below are my top cyber hygiene routines all CISOs should embrace in their daily network care routines to stay ahead of security attacks.
Gain complete visibility over IT assets
Hardware and software installed on your endpoints are the major components of your IT infrastructure. Gaining complete visibility over these components will not only ease daily IT systems management, but also play a vital role in your endpoint security. With detailed information on your IT asset inventory, you can choose which applications to blacklist or whitelist within your network to minimize and prevent security mishaps.
Run continuous vulnerability scans
Bad actors are continuously discovering and exploiting new vulnerabilities within networks. Many organizations have grown accustomed to performing periodic vulnerability scans. However, without a set routine, these scans are no longer healthy preventative measures for your network. IT teams must perform continuous real-time vulnerability scanning to gain complete visibility over their vulnerability exposure.
Prioritize and assess risk-based vulnerability
Understanding the risk potential of each vulnerability is important while planning your vulnerability management strategy. Smartly spending your efforts on the most critical vulnerabilities will prove to be beneficial in remediating the severe ones first. Accurate vulnerability assessment and risk-based prioritizations are key factors in reducing the risk exposure.
Remediate vulnerabilities quickly with necessary patches
In the past, most cyberattacks were due to unapplied patches that were already available but not deployed. Along with detecting vulnerabilities, it is necessary to remediate them on-time with the respective patches. Adopting an integrated vulnerability and patch management model in your network is the best bet for this.
Monitor and maintain endpoint health
Numerous activities take place at an endpoint every day. Maintain eyes on your organization’s endpoints and monitor various security and system management controls throughout the day. This not only guarantees smooth business operations but also tightens your endpoint security.
Implement robust application and device control
Free, unmonitored use of any applications or devices in the network might lead to serious security breaches. Implement strong application and device control in your network to block the entry of malicious ones.
Abide with regulatory compliance
Regulatory compliances such as PCI, HIPAA, ISO, and NIST-CSF demand strong security controls. Ensure that your organization’s endpoints comply with regulatory agencies and follow strict security compliance as well. You can also elect to enhance and enforce increased security policies on your organization’s endpoints as a supplement to the minimal regulatory requirements.
Monitor for incidents continuously
Sometimes, various endpoints in your network might be under attack or may exhibit certain traits of an ongoing attack. These Indications of Attacks and Compromise (IoA & IoC) must be immediately detected and acted upon to minimize or prevent a security breaches.
Adopting these daily cyber hygiene routines are great ways to keep simple security measures top of mind, will amplify your enterprise’s endpoint security and will help you stay steps ahead of cyberattacks. Opting for automation techniques to execute these controls will make cyber hygiene a simple daily routine while providing additional security against potential threats.