Cybersecurity has become a hot topic lately, due in no small part to the sheer number of leaked accounts that have been made public over the last few months. Back in September, one data breach leaked the names, encrypted password hashes and titles of countless converted documents.
Even more concerning was the fact that the same breach exposed over 70 million different email addresses. Few people want to experience this same kind of occurrence in their own place of business, which might help to explain the renewed interest in security issues. Those in a decision-making position need to be careful, however, because there are a few pointers they need to keep in mind before investing in any real solutions.
1. Choice of Platform
When it comes to choosing a cyber-risk management platform, there are several considerations that IT managers will want to keep in mind. More than likely, you’re going to have to select a firm that offers security services that are delivered over a network. On-premise deployment has simply gotten too expensive and complex for a majority of smaller businesses to handle. Even larger firms that have many more resources to draw from will probably want to consider cloud computing-based solutions.
Managers at these companies will also want to think about a few other cost-related considerations.
2. Budget Constraints
Few programmers and security experts are ever willing to discuss dollars and cents when it comes to locking down a network perimeter, but it’s an important conversation to have. While it might not be a popular statement to make, it’s certainly true that some companies have adopted unnecessary security protocols that cost money but achieve very little. Other firms have put together excellent deployments even though they’re bound by tight IT department budgets.
Take a few minutes to seriously consider how much your firm is really willing to spend on reducing its attack surface. Once you have at least something that resembles a concrete number you’ll be in a better position to make some purchasing decisions.
3. Message Communication
Some experts are of the opinion that a majority of security breaches happen because of either poor password hygiene or some other silly mistake that provides an attack vector for bad actors. Unfortunately, IT department staffers have taken such a heavy-handed approach to security that there are plenty of employees out there who no longer want to hear decent advice. Creating educational cybersecurity presentation materials that employees can pursue on their own time might be a better approach.
This technique doesn’t involve the age-old stereotype of a cybersecurity expert browbeating everyone in a company to change their passwords regularly. It instead encourages people to learn at their own pace and form good habits that they can use to secure every digital account they use in cyberspace.
4. Hardware Profiles
For the longest time, computer scientists were urging people to reconsider the way that they deployed software in their businesses. They hoped that individual implementations would become more secure by reducing vulnerabilities in the networking stack. Some engineering teams are now saying that this was the wrong approach and instead recommend using software to cut down on the attack surface of certain devices.
Intel’s dev teams have been making headlines lately by promoting a new ransomware detection scheme that’s baked entirely into silicon. Apparently, the organization has been working with specialists from Cyberseaon to develop the technology, which will prevent the execution of arbitrary code at the lowest level.
This kind of system may have helped to prevent the Spectre CPU vulnerability, which was in part due to certain failings in the way x86/x86_64-series microprocessors performed certain instructions. If these chips had some way of preventing the execution of these code segments, then any forthcoming kernel updates would have been superfluous.
5. Repository Contents
IT department managers who aren’t currently in the habit of checking what’s currently offered for download in various git repositories might want to start. It costs nothing and takes only a few minutes out of every day yet this simple tactic can help put a stop to security threats before they start.
A number of high-quality tools are consistently ending up as open-source projects. Some of these, like Facebook’s Pysa code analyzer, were developed by major institutions and are custom-tailored to work with specific platforms. Those who are running GNU/Linux or any of the *BSD operating systems will more than likely find precompiled binary packages in their distro’s own repos, which makes it even easier to find these tools.
A number of cracking programs have also found their way into various open-source storage containers, so you could potentially catch wind of any threats caused by them well before the tech media gets a chance to. At times, it might seem that staying up to date on all of these threats is like shoveling while it’s still snowing.
That being said, IT departments that take just a few extra minutes each day to address these considerations will find it much easier to stay safe online.