In this day and age, cybersecurity is a major concern for anyone with any kind of device connected to the internet. Given the distressing spate of hacks, iCloud leaks, phishing nightmares, and reports of disastrous malware installations, cybersecurity risk management has become a top priority.
In this regard, what are the steps that businesses can take to protect themselves? What do they need to consider or evaluate when it comes to risk management?
In our post this week, we take a look at some of the main vulnerabilities you may not know you’re at risk of. We also dive into a few common fixes and policies you can adopt to ensure that your network, data, and systems are better protected from malicious cybersecurity attacks.
THE USE OF LEGACY SYSTEMS
Legacy systems refer to the old software businesses maintain in the background of newer technology systems or while they are in the process of transferring to the latter. In essence, these systems refer to outdated computer systems, programming languages or application software that are used instead of their more up-to-date counterparts.
These systems generally lack adequate user and system authentication, data verification or data integrity checking features that provide hackers with access to your systems.
A RELIANCE ON DEFAULT SECURITY CONFIGURATIONS
As part of your cybersecurity risk management efforts, one thing you need to look into is whether you’ve resorted to default security configurations for your systems and networks.
Whenever you’re installing new system software, make sure that you change default settings at the earliest opportunity. Simple passcodes and baseline configurations are like beacons to hackers, making your business an easy target for malicious hacks and security breaches.
A LACK OF ENCRYPTION
Another vulnerability that may be rendering your operations susceptible to attack is the lack of encryption within your systems.
Legacy Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) controllers and other parts of your system may not be open to encryption, which is a dangerous pitfall in the cybersecurity environment. Using sniffing software, hackers may be able to discover your usernames and passwords, opening yourself up to nightmarish data breaches and inescapable legal consequences in certain scenarios.
POOR REMOTE ACCESS POLICIES
SCADA systems that are connected to unaudited dial-up lines or remote-access networks represent a huge risk to your business and must be part of your cybersecurity risk management efforts.
These poorly-protected systems can provide attackers access to your operational technology, including the computers used to monitor or alter the physical state of your systems. In addition to this, the corporate LAN might be at risk as a result of problem-riddled remote access policies.
AN INCONSISTENT APPROACH TO ORGANISATION-WIDE SECURITY POLICIES
Another area that may prove to be problematic is the lack of a consistent and coherent approach to your security policy. If you find that your IT departments and OT personnel differ from standard cybersecurity protocols and practices, you will have to work with them to determine a standard approach.
Overall, your new policy should protect both IT and OT technology and their related processes.
A buffer overflow refers to the type of software coding mistakes that an attacker could exploit or use to gain access to your system. This error occurs when there’s an unmanageable quantity of data in a buffer, causing data to overflow into adjacent storage.
This type of vulnerability can lead to a system crash or even create an entry point for a cyber attack. To prevent this, you will need to conduct regular testing to detect and fix buffer overflows.
IDENTIFY AND ELIMINATE VULNERABILITIES AS A PART OF YOUR CYBERSECURITY RISK MANAGEMENT
Protection and resilience against malicious cybersecurity attackers are of crucial importance, especially if your operations rely heavily on IT and OT technology.
In this process, cybersecurity risk management needs to be high on the list of your priorities. Without it, you may remain blissfully unaware of the risks your face, compromising data, systems, and networks in the process.
If you’re not sure where to start or how to start, leave your security audits in the hands of capable and trusted cybersecurity solution providers like our team at Triskele Labs.