In many ways, a good cybersecurity setup is a lot like a suit of armor. It doesn’t offer perfect protection from all threats, but it offers the highest degree of security that you can have. Unfortunately, armor has always had one problem: It always has gaps. This is true of both physical armor and cybersecurity measures, but there is one difference. It isn’t possible to close all of the gaps in a physical suit of armor (because the wearer would be unable to move), but it is possible to close most (if not all) of your cybersecurity holes. Of course, you will have to find them first! Let’s talk a little more about how you can do that.
If you aren’t very technically inclined, you might find it beneficial to hire a penetration tester. Their entire purpose is to help people find the vulnerabilities in their systems, so the employment of these people is an option worth considering. These are basically “good guy” hackers who have the knowledge to find vulnerabilities in the same way that a criminal might do.
Of course, you do need to be very careful when hiring someone like this. You could end up letting the fox in the henhouse (so to speak) if you don’t choose a reputable company. Good research on your penetration tester and the company for which they work will serve you well here. If you can find a trustworthy person, and if you can afford their fee, this is the easiest way to find your loopholes. The only potential problem with this approach is the fact that it requires you to trust someone (or another company) quite a bit.
A lot of people don’t understand how the internet works, and that is because many of its essential processes are out of sight and out of mind. One thing about criminals is that they always go for the less-trodden paths like these (less likely to be caught that way). You can remove a lot of those dark alleyways by enabling good network visibility. There are many ways in which you can do this.
For one thing, network monitoring is a must. Internet data is sent and received in the form of “packets,” which are just small bundles of raw data. Network monitoring allows you to monitor the flow of packets, allowing you to see when something suspicious is going on. However, you should not stop there.
Network packet broker software is another good thing to incorporate, as it will make it far easier for your experts to sort all that raw data. These programs collect and categorize data from your entire system, making the identification of threats a lot faster. The faster a given threat is identified, the faster it can be removed. Also, don’t forget that computer backup services are also part of a good network visibility plan. Those backups allow you to examine past events in greater detail so that more can be learned from them.
Consider The Access Problem
When we think of hackers, we tend to think of shady individuals with laptops and black masks. However, many data breaches are caused by insider action, so that stereotype isn’t entirely accurate. For that reason, you need to think about the ways in which an insider could wreck your system or its operations. Do low-level employees have access to high-level information? If so, that represents a huge security gap.
The two best ways to do this are the compartmentalization of all the information and the implementation of access levels. In this way, people can only access the data and resources that are needed for their duties. Obviously, only the top people will have access to the highest level. If you want to do a test, just log in with a normal or low-privilege account and pretend that you are a cyber-criminal. Look for information that might be helpful or profitable in some way. Any place where you can access valuable information with that low-level account represents a serious security gap. As such, you need to figure out what data is the most sensitive and least sensitive so that they can be categorized accordingly.
Check The Government Data
The U.S. Government keeps a list of all the most serious cybersecurity flaws, and that information can be found here. This is a big list, but it is updated regularly and very complete. The only problem is that its information will not be understood by all. As such, you want to have your cybersecurity experts go through this list and check your system for all listed vulnerabilities. That might take a while, but it is well worth the effort. By doing this, you will close most of the biggest gaps in your cybersecurity. The only thing to remember here is that the database only contains threats that are known to the authorities.
Send Your People For Cybersecurity Certifications
With all this talk about network vulnerabilities, we shouldn’t forget the human element. After all, there is no substitute for qualified and knowledgeable people. To this end, there are many cybersecurity certification programs in which your IT employees can be enrolled. A better-educated defender is always going to be more effective, even though those certifications aren’t free.
For example, the International Council of E-Commerce (a private cybersecurity organization) offers a variety of training programs for the aspiring professional. The most comprehensive of these seems to be the CND (Certified Network Defender) certification. Rather than focusing on certain aspects of the issue, a CND certification covers all the knowledge that your people need to close those dangerous network vulnerabilities.
There are many ways in which you can tighten up your security, so don’t take this article as a complete list. However, these are some of the best ways in which you can identify problems that need to be addressed. You’d be surprised at the number of data breaches that happen as a result of inattention. Any neglected corner of your system can harbor a threat, so leave as little of those as possible. If you want to know more about this and other cybersecurity matters, you can always call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500. We are one of the best IT consulting firms in NJ.