How to Root Out the Cybersecurity Skeletons in Your Closet

How to Root out the Cybersecurity Skeletons in Your Closet

Cybersecurity risks are so persistent that every organization has a few skeletons in the closet. The causes of security breaches are numerous, which include system glitches, software bugs, malicious attacks, vulnerabilities, ransomware, etc. However, some issues might be overlooked during the clean up or fixing of these cyber issues. These hidden vulnerabilities, outdated practices, or overlooked threats that become cybersecurity “skeletons” can expose your business to significant risks.

According to Statista, 58% of Canadian companies stated they had been victims of cyber-attacks by malware, while 20% had been as a result of network scanning. Also, the average data breach cost in Canada in 2022 was $5.64 million, an increase from $5.4 million dollars in 2021. 

These statistics show that cyber-attacks lurk in every corner of a business, and organizations must stay a step ahead to root out these skeletons, as one cannot afford to ignore the risks they pose to your cyber security. It is essential to collaborate with IT services to bolster security measures to focus on the root cause of these cyber threats.

Continue reading to understand what cybersecurity skeletons are and how to effectively root them out.

Do You Have Any of These Overlooked Security Issues?

Cybersecurity skeletons are persistent IT risks and weaknesses that an organization has failed to identify and address. These risks are familiar with the organization’s entries or could have become permanent inhabitants inside the IT system. Some of these skeletons could be known as gaps in development or systems, yet overlooked, leading to inconsistent implementation of security controls. 

Some cybersecurity threats often ignored when swiping through your system include:

Unmanaged Devices

Unmanaged devices connect to the enterprise network but are not being monitored or checked for proper security. Many are employee-owned mobile devices at companies with no mobile management plan. Unmanaged devices with access to organization data can be infected with malware, have apps that “leak” data, and other dangers.

Misconfiguration Errors

Misconfiguration errors are also an often overlooked source of cybersecurity risk. SSL security misconfiguration is a network stack’s most commonly exploited aspect. Security misconfigurations occur because of the lack of security best practices when setting up security measures for application servers. Misconfigurations are responsible for 99% of firewall breaches.

Unpatched Software Vulnerabilities in Your Systems

Vulnerable systems are also a cybersecurity skeleton in the closet. These are unpatched software that needs to be thoroughly secured by implementing updates or patches. There could include systems that are no longer updated or are challenging to update, but organizations are usually rather sluggish in patching these vulnerabilities.

Poor Passwords Practices

Research and reports state that weak and default passwords are the leading causes of cybersecurity breaches. Poor password practices, such as using too-short or default passwords that are never changed, can increase risk without need. 

Steps to Root out Cybersecurity Skeletons

Some ways to root out cyber security skeletons in your closet efficiently

Limit and Control Account Access

Begin your program with a zero-trust structure. This strategy only grants users access to various accounts only when needed. Have protocols for automating credential management or safely resetting credentials using a privileged access management platform. Update your off-boarding and onboarding processes as well to reflect a zero-trust philosophy.

Actively Manage Systems and Configurations

Regularly scan and take inventory of your network devices and software. Remove hardware and software that are not expected or necessary from the network. Such practice contributes to the mitigation of cybersecurity skeletons as it reduces the attack surface and establishes control of the operational environment.

Hunt for Network Intrusions

Operate as though there has been a compromise, and take defensive steps to find, contain, and eliminate any hostile elements. Use the hunt operations, penetration testing, and automated technologies to fish out network skeletons. 

By taking these actions, your cybersecurity defense strategies can advance past simple detection techniques and toward instantaneously detecting and removing threats.

Update and Upgrade Software

Install updates immediately after they are available. Ideally, software upgrades should be made automated. Cybercriminals tend to exploit nearly instantly after a patch is made public. Numerous organizations provide update services that can aid with automation, ensure to use updates sent through protected links, and test them before releasing them in production.

Consider Employing Managed IT Services

Cyber risks emerge speedily and frequently, often more quickly than most organizations are prepared to tackle them. A managed IT provider gathers data and resources worldwide to identify, connect, and address dangers. This will broaden your coverage of threats, vulnerabilities, and trends, which will help you better manage your cyber risk.

Network Monitoring and Division

Several malware and cyber threats focus more on a weak network division to gain full access to systems in a network. It has become common, especially with large enterprises with many network divisions. 

As a result, organizations should focus on carefully controlling network access among systems within subnets and building much better detection software and alerting strategies for malicious movement between systems that have no business communicating with one another. 

Taking Advantage of a Multi-factor Authentication

Employ the use of MFA to mitigate cyber threats. Using this protection standard for accounts with remote access, elevated privileges, and/or containing high-value assets is one of the best ways to root out cybersecurity skeletons.

The Use of Endpoint Security 

Most organizations use the endpoint security measure as an antivirus tool. However, zero-day vulnerabilities are becoming more widespread, and many endpoint security protections have proven ineffective in combating modern cybersecurity attacks, such as ransomware bypassing endpoints. These tools provide a more comprehensive understanding of malicious behavior and more flexible prevention and detection options.

Secure Your Network Today

Rooting out hidden cybersecurity risks may be a tedious process, but it yields satisfying results. By implementing these best practices, you can uncover and get rid of the hidden skeletons and work to keep your network safe from harm.Contact us today to learn more! Call (705) 222 8324 or reach us online.

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