Even though cybersecurity is a top priority for many companies, only five percent of the average company’s data is adequately protected. To correct this, you need to plug the security vulnerabilities in your company’s policies.
While there is no specific strategy that works across every single industry, company, and even department, certain actions can be taken to help with the gaps.
We've put together five tips that might help plug the vulnerabilities within your policies to decrease the chance of a security incident or database security threat existing.
How To Identify Security Vulnerabilities
Before we discuss our tips for fixing security vulnerabilities, we must lay out some baseline information. Speaking more broadly, security vulnerabilities include any flaw or misconfiguration in your software. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to your network.
You can take a few different tacks to identify security vulnerabilities in your network. The first step you should take is determining whether your systems and software are up to date. If you aren’t running on the latest versions of all your software solutions, you may be missing critical patches and updates to increase security.
Related Read: Preventing Cyber Attacks With CIS Basic Controls
You can also perform a vulnerability assessment to assess your cybersecurity posture. Take stock of your assets, examine security controls and permissions, and assess possible attack vectors to identify potential opportunities for breaches.
Penetration testing and compliance audits are additional options you can use to help identify weak points in your processes and systems. Additionally, you should engage in consistent file integrity monitoring to identify potential breaches or unauthorized access as it occurs, allowing you to track down the source of the breach and contain the situation faster and more effectively.
What are the Main Types of Security Vulnerability?
There are four main types of security vulnerabilities your organization may encounter. The first type you must prepare for is network vulnerabilities. A network security vulnerability is a flaw within your hardware or software that opens you up to external threats. For example, an insecure Wi-Fi access point or an ineffective firewall setup would be a network security vulnerability.
Next, you may encounter operating system vulnerabilities. This type of vulnerability is specific to your operating system. If you have a default superuser account embedded in your OS install or a hidden backdoor program, you have an operating system vulnerability.
Process vulnerabilities are the third type of security vulnerability. This type of vulnerability refers to challenges caused by your processes and practices. If your processes are insufficient or if you are lacking processes altogether, you may be opening your organization up to breaches.
Lastly, you must consider employee vulnerabilities. Humans are the weak point in any security system. Human error causes ninety-five percent of cybersecurity breaches. If you aren’t engaging in regular cybersecurity training for all employees, you are at greater risk of employee vulnerabilities to threats like social engineering attacks, weak passwords, and more.
How To Fix Security Vulnerabilities
Tip 1: Make Security a Company-Wide Culture
Security policy isn't just an "IT thing." It's a topic that spans departments and usually involves close collaboration with your IT department.
Sending one memo, or having one meeting about cybersecurity risks within an organization will not "fix" a lack of a cybersecurity culture, but it is a beginning. Knowing the risks within a business structure and what departments may be affected is also crucial. To implement a new culture aimed at helping minimize risks in cybersecurity, the security policies themselves may need to be reviewed.
Examples of security policies that involved the human side of your risks include:
- Acceptable use.
- Individual responsibilities.
- Employee and vendor screening.
Tip 2: Focus on Compliance
24/7/365 compliance can mitigate security risks and help you avoid costly fines. While different regulatory requirements can affect how often you need to evaluate your existing written policies and policy-based administration, you want to exceed the baseline.
Compliance represents a set of tools and best practices for protecting your customers' data. Regardless of the type of compliance, whether it is PCI DSS, HIPAA, or GDPR, by creating policies that support action and automation for constant compliance, you're avoiding costly fines and data breaches.
Tip 3: Automate
In an age where there are more risks than ever before, automation may be the only way to put security policy into action. Examples of important components of your policy that can (and should) be automated include:
- Policy-based administration.
- Integrity monitoring.
- Threat intelligence.
- Compliance assessment.
Related Read: Top 20 Problems File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) Helps Solve
Tip 4: Address Internal Threats
While a written policy can support an IT culture of better security, you should ensure that your standards also address employee training and awareness.
With very clear guidelines on acceptable use and security procedures, you can improve employee awareness about how to act. With the right policies and support from leadership, you can enter a culture of "see something, say something."
For more information on internal threats, see 5 Cybersecurity Tips to Improve Employee Habits.
Tip 5: Prioritize Threat Intelligence
Without accurate knowledge of your environment and threats, you can't address risks. Gaining access to comprehensive threat intelligence can allow you to understand and respond to negative changes before you've suffered a data breach.
CimTrak can enable total network intelligence and complete change remediation. An agent-based tool, CimTrak enables security pros to understand changes as soon as they occur on your endpoints, servers, point-of-sale systems, and more.
CimTrak is also the only file integrity monitoring solution to enable full change remediation from the admin portal.
How To Identify Security Vulnerabilities Before a Breach
An effective security policy will support the right action and technology at all levels of your organization. By understanding where your policy is weak, you can significantly address your compliance and security risks. The right policy, actions, and technology can make true oversight possible.
Are you curious how file integrity monitoring supports your efforts to reduce your risks? Download our File Integrity Monitoring Guide today.
March 9, 2023