Prioritize and Remediate Network Vulnerabilities Today

With the recent rise of cyber attacks making big headlines, organizations are becoming more aware of threats to their data and are taking steps to shore up their cyber security. Not only are attacks on the rise, the number of ways cyber criminals can launch an attack has expanded, making it a challenge to know where to start in shoring up vulnerabilities. One of the biggest risks organizations face is a network compromise that leads to a ransomware attack, which can cripple operations and be very expensive to remediate.

Innovation Is Amplifying Vulnerability

The upward trend in network attacks is largely fueled by the rush to enable remote work as a response to the global pandemic. In the early days of the pandemic, the priority was to maintain business continuity with less emphasis on securing remotely-accessed data.

In addition, the proliferation of IoT devices has expanded the attack surface (all the points on your network where an attacker can possibly infiltrate), giving bad actors more ways to gain access to enterprise networks.

Security Systems May Be Vulnerable

These IoT devices include physical security devices such as access control sensors. These physical security devices live on the enterprise network and must be protected just like any other network device. Many times, these devices are overlooked because of the blurred lines of ownership between physical security departments and IT departments. The same can be said for industrial controls systems, or any new technology that adds IoT devices to a network.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) summarizes the situation in a recent report, saying, “The adoption and integration of IoT and industrial IoT devices have led to an increasingly interconnected mesh of cyber-physical systems, which expands the attack surface and blurs the once clear functions of cybersecurity and physical security. Meanwhile, efforts to build cyber resilience and accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies can also introduce or exacerbate security risks in this evolving threat landscape.”

In short, more network devices result in more vulnerabilities. When not deployed properly, these devices can be a dangerous gateway into a company’s network, as hackers only need one access point to launch an attack.

Older technologies are also vulnerable. Many legacy network devices are misconfigured in a way that can provide an easy opening for hackers. Or, they’re so old they don’t have built-in modern security features.

Another popular line of attack is gaining access to data from a third party, such as a business partner. Organizations share data with partners and suppliers regularly, and even if your security posture is rock solid, your third-party partner may not be.

Tracking Down Vulnerabilities Isn’t Easy

Amidst all these vulnerabilities is the fact that physical security, cyber security and IT teams are stretched thin to maintain operations, let alone take on a big challenge to find and remediate vulnerabilities. In most cases, organizations don’t have the bandwidth to evaluate their networks, understand which vulnerabilities pose the biggest risks and take action on the biggest weaknesses.

The ability to prioritize vulnerabilities is key. For many organizations, the difference between all possible vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities most likely to be exploited can number into the thousands.

This is where expertise, the proper tools and experience can make a big difference in a vulnerability management program. Because patching every vulnerability isn’t efficient, necessary, or even possible.

How IST Can Help

Getting your hands around the growing complexities of network vulnerabilities often requires outside help from a security provider that has the tools and expertise to find and sort out the biggest threats to your data security.

IST’s trained, experienced security analysts can perform a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of your current network infrastructure and systems, including switches, routers, servers, desktop computers and applications. Our service hunts and collects threats across your network and can also identify third-party threats. We use the latest scanning tools to automate the process and we manually validate key vulnerabilities. We also ensure that your software, firmware and hardware are up to date as possible, along with monitoring your environment for malware and other attacks that may be lurking in the background.

The result is a prioritized list of vulnerabilities that reveal the biggest threats to your data, along with a plan for remediation.

The threat to data is real, and the problem is getting bigger. Hacking is now a big business with as-a-service hacking platforms available to automate attacks at scale and state-sponsored attack programs that target critical services and infrastructure. We encourage organizations to contact us sooner rather than later, because the next big attack may be on your network.