While the best security defense is predicting where cybercriminals will strike next, those same cybercriminals are doing their best to strike where you’re not looking. Add to this the constantly changing security landscape, and it’s easy to miss the dark digital corners hackers are lurking in. So how are your IT security strategies supposed to keep up?
You can start with addressing lesser-emphasized but still critical risk factors. For instance: What happens when cybercriminals get past your first line of defense? How might admin privileges actually be harming your system security? And why is it so important to know exactly how your systems work?
As Ben Franklin said, “A little neglect may breed great mischief,” so today, BAI Security is peering into three of the most neglected corners of your security posture and sharing what you can do to make sure cybercriminals don’t make mischief out of a miss.
Miss/Opportunity 1: Decentralizing Your Passwords
Passwords have been a key part of multi-factor authentication (MFA) ever since the concept’s inception in the mid-1980s. Here in 2021, they’re also one of IT security’s most at-risk elements. When credential theft is one of threat actors’ favored tactics to gain network access—particularly via phishing scams—passwords are a hot commodity, since MFA techniques tend to revolve around them.
The typical MFA process will have you enter your password and send a code to another one of your devices registered on the network, ask you to click a link in your email, answer a couple security questions, and so on. The problem is that these techniques can be spoofed, and if a cybercriminal already has access to your password, additional steps in the process are easily bypassable.
So what’s an IT leader to do? In the long-term, experts look to zero sign-on (ZSO) as a Zero Trust alternative to the pitfalls of MFA and 2FA. In short, ZSO involves eliminating the password as an element. If the future of MFA seems to point to evolving beyond passwords altogether, then ZSO and other Zero Trust alternatives for your organization can set your team’s sights on the right horizon. Until then, it’s wise to mandate frequent password changes for your employees, which should involve laying out what makes a strong password and how to maintain password security.
Miss/Opportunity 2: Transforming Access Privileges
And while we’re talking about Zero Trust policies… it’s not a bad time to reconsider your admin accounts. Since most admin accounts have exclusive access to certain digital functionalities and especially sensitive data, stolen administrative credentials put the ball directly in a hacker’s court. In a Zero Trust framework, no one—be it administrator or independent actor—is trusted by default. Instead, network moderation is more evenly delegated, no one is allowed to “bypass” certain security measures with greater access privileges, and no one employee has access to more data than is necessary for their work—all functions to ensure that cybercriminals can’t simply snag admin credentials and wreak havoc on your network.
Zero Trust frameworks are a worthwhile investment for any organization’s security, but whether or not you can phase out admin access, it’s important to assign access privileges in accordance with your highest-priority data. Which of your organization’s assets are the most enticing to hackers? Where is your network the most vulnerable? Knowing where your priorities for data protection lie will inform how you distribute secure access within your network—as will knowing who accesses that data and why.
Miss/Opportunity 3: Catching Misconfigured Systems
From cloud computing to physical security, misconfigurations can pose a serious threat as a leading cause of data breaches. Whether the misconfigurations occur in production environments or setting up identity access management (IAM) and permissions, they can pave the way for hackers to take advantage and exploit loopholes in your system’s security measures.
To combat misconfigurations, knowledge is power. You may be motivated to supervise your system’s configuration or even read up on how it all works. And while working with IT security providers is an efficient and cost-effective means of delegating responsibility and compliance, it’s worth it to review any configurations completed on cloud servers, company-wide networks, and physical security systems.
Net Threat Actors
Cybercriminals may be targeting assets left undefended, particularly between annual audits, but with BAI Security’s Network Security Assessment and Vulnerability Management, you get year-round insights and quick remediation before threats turn into full-on breaches.
Incorporating on-demand scanning, best-in-breed tools, and customized solutions, our VMS provides cost-effective protection of your organization’s assets— and the security experts you need to help quickly re-secure your environment.
To learn about affordable options for deterring threat actors 24/7-365, contact us today.