Patching Vulnerabilities is a key part of Preventing Breaches
Hackers often worm their way into our networks and computers through social engineering attacks that exploit phishing emails or poor password hygiene. However, there is also a more fundamental exposure within the devices and networking equipment we use to run our computing lives: missing patches.
Patches are released by vendors to fix bugs, vulnerabilities, and add new features to their products. Staying current with patching is a best practice that is often lacking in companies, and can have devastating consequences. CyberHoot constantly monitors for critical vulnerabilities that are announced by vendors and reports them as Advisories to our blog and advisory pages, and our vCISO clients.
All companies need to develop their Vulnerability Alert Management Process and then test it on the next few critical advisories to ensure its working for you. Subscribe to Threat Intelligence feeds to assist you in learning of new critical patches and vulnerabilities as they are identified. In addition follow the best practices listed below.
CyberHoot Best practices:
- Train your employees on the common attacks that are out there. From weak passwords and password managers, to the importance of multi-factor authentication and how to spot phishing attacks. Awareness is the key to defending your business.
- Govern you employees with cybersecurity policies including Acceptable Use, Password, Information Handling and a Written Information Security Policy.
- Establish cybersecurity best practice processes such as a Vulnerability Alert Management Process (VAMP) and a Cybersecurity Incident Management Process (CIMP) to guide and require action in the face of an emergency. Then move on onboarding and offboarding processes, SaaS management processes, and 3rd party risk management.
- Establish strong technical protections including: a Firewall, antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spam, multi-factor authentication on all critical accounts, Enable full disk encryption, manage the keys carefully, and most importantly, adopt, train on and require all employees to use a Password Manager.
- Test employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. CyberHoot has released a disruptive method of Phish Testing the fills in gaps in your employees knowledge without punishing them for failure. Instead we reward them for success. More info is available here.
- Backup your data by following our 3-2-1 Backup methodology to ensure you can recover your business from a cybersecurity event.
- In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
- If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
- Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.
CyberHoot believes that for many small to medium sized businesses and MSPs, you can greatly improve your defenses and chances of not becoming another victim of cyberattack if you follow the advice above.