Good enterprise security begins with effectively handling vulnerabilities

by Giridhara Raam, Marketing Analyst at ManageEngine

Every enterprise faces a number of challenges in keeping their networks secure against data breaches, ransomware, malware, and other unforeseen cyberattacks.  Personal data is a valuable asset for ant enterprise so with cyberattacks on the rise and with the approach of the GDPR, securing the asset has never been more essential.

Your enterprise should strive for excellent overall security, but to achieve this, you need to start with the little things. From an IT security standpoint, "the little things" are desktops, laptops, servers, smartphones, tablets, and iPads—otherwise collectively known as endpoints.

This year, CIOs and CISOs need to incorporate the correct strategies to secure their networks against potential cyber threats, and endpoints are a great place to start.

Endpoint security is in high demand—especially after WannaCry and the Meltdown/Spectre saga—which requires that users consistently patch their applications and OSs. Often, the best defence against cyberthreats is to patch, patch some more, and keep patching.

Securing the little things

The string of major cyberattacks that happened in 2017 was a major wakeup call to enterprises using outdated OSs and third-party applications. Managing updates for your desktops and servers in a timely manner keeps systems and networks safe while centralising a heterogenous environment can reduce the time and effort it takes for technicians to manage that environment. The first step to securing your data, is securing your servers, desktops, and laptops against known vulnerabilities (which is usually done by patching). Once this first level of security is up, the next step includes scrutinizing and auditing events, files, and logs.

Enterprise security begins with patching

Attackers use various means to breach networks and devices, including phishing, DDOS attacks, brute-force attacks, and more. When it comes to patching, however, the 80-20 rule is typically in effect: 80 percent of issues can be avoided just with proper patching. Employing an automated patch management procedure will keep your network safe from most known vulnerabilities.

Windows is considered the most vulnerable operating system when compared to Mac and Linux, but remote code executions and the recent processor vulnerabilities have no bias. Third-party applications have also become a major concern as the IT industry moves towards utilizing more cloud-based applications. If third-party applications like Chrome or Firefox aren't patched in time, then other web applications that are hosted on the cloud can be easily exploited by spyware or adware.

Patching can be simple

Compared to other security procedures like restructuring your network architecture or employing honeypot technology to track and take down anonymous IP addresses, patching is both simple and beneficial. Patching tends to be the first level of security keeping your Windows, Mac, Linux, and third-party applications safe from known exploits. The everyday attention of your technicians and security personnel can be shifted elsewhere just by automating patches, thereby improving productivity in addition to endpoint security.

Gartner's Top 10 Security Predictions 2016 Report states that through 2020, 99 per cent of vulnerabilities exploted will continue to be ones known by security and IT professionals for at least one year.  Indeed, we've already witnessed known vulnerabilities causing chaos across the world, prompting security personnel to stay on top of updates for firmware/BIOS, OSs, and antivirus programs in order to preserve their sensitive data.

In-depth patch management

Effective patch management is a fundamental strategy for defending enterprises from cyberattacks. Organisations that were affected by ransomware in 2017 faced combined damages of $5 billion, up from $325 million in 2015.

Experts have found that ransomware damages are 15 times higher from two years ago, and predict this number will quadruple by 2020. Incorporating an automated patch management procedure in your enterprise will help you save on costs as well as deliver seamless endpoint security.

 

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