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Don’t Let the Internet of Things Compromise Your Security

Don’t Let the Internet of Things Compromise Your Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become entrenched in every aspect of the modern pace of life. Learn how to incorporate cybersecurity into your IoT strategy from the beginning. 

The Internet of Things, a broadly distributed, intelligent, autonomous network of smart devices, is already being rolled out all over the world, and with it come security concerns for every business network. Eventually expected to hit more than 25 billion objects by 2020, these devices can be as bulky as a soda vending machine or as innocuous as a smartwatch.

Computer security has lagged behind innovation in the industry for years. First through primitive floppy drives and then increasingly via the internet, as more and more machines were brought online, viruses and malware have cut through operating systems and productivity software almost without effort. No comprehensive defenses have ever emerged, and slapdash protection like antivirus scanners lag the threats by design.

Related: How to Prevent Zero-Day Attacks

Nonetheless, the patched-together defenses have been sufficient to allow the modern internet to function and even prosper with only a steady drip of breaches… albeit breaches costing approximately $6 trillion each year. With an average cost of $2.4 million and a time to recover of 50 days according to industry consultancy Accenture, businesses have been taking hits but making enough money in the process to write them off as just another cost of doing business.

But the advent of the IoT is likely to change that equation dramatically, and for the worse. While businesses today spend around $93 billion in cybersecurity services, the rapid explosion in both the number of devices to be secured and the difficulty of securing their proprietary and possibly unsupported operating systems will skyrocket.

To control those costs, businesses must develop strong, proactive strategies for securing their networks for the Internet of Things.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security released a guide to strategic principles for companies to follow in this effort. The six steps are ones that every business and IT manager should know.

Incorporate Security in the Design Phase

Both the design of IoT devices and networks that will be supporting them will have to be carefully built from the ground up for security. Unlike today’s LANs and WANs, security cannot simply be an afterthought. Network-level security by default is the best practice, using explicit permissions for protocols and devices sending packets instead of the common default-permit procedures usually allowed on today’s networks.

Building networks tolerant of disruption and compromise is also important. Redundancy and segmentation capabilities can rapidly seal off compromised devices or network segments, allowing company businesses to proceed unmolested in other parts of the organization.

Advance Security Updates and Vulnerability Management

Some 80 percent of malicious attacks are conducted against security vulnerabilities that have already been found and fixed by the original vendors. Patch management is a chronic problem in today’s networks and it will only get worse with millions of more devices flooding corporate systems.

The brunt of this problem will fall on vendors themselves, but companies can assist them by selecting devices with strong patching support and moving aggressively to eliminate outdated or unsupported IoT peripherals.

Build on Proven Security Practices

Although the IoT will undoubtedly lead to a sea change in corporate information security practices, the rest of the internet and its attendant weaknesses will not simply disappear. Current best practices are still important and can mitigate many potential IoT vulnerabilities along with the more traditional holes they are designed to cover.

A solid, in-depth defense strategy that does not put all your security eggs in one basket is something every company should already have. Businesses that already use this technique are miles ahead when it comes to being prepared for their IoT roll-out.

Prioritize Security Measures According to Potential Impact

Risk models in the IoT may not conform to current ideas for structuring network security. IoT devices will cover the gamut from welding robots to coffee machines. Each of these is likely to have different intended uses and network environments and will come from the factory built with that use in mind.

But if there is anything that today’s internet has taught us, it is that users find their applications for devices. IT departments will have to prioritize their security strategy to deal with unintended uses and aggressively identify new devices on networks.

Promote Transparency Across IoT

Identifying and managing devices generally requires a new and powerful kind of transparency. Corporate networks that are managed piece-meal without network monitoring systems that cut across departmental boundaries will be especially vulnerable to insidious IoT breaches.

This transparency also has to include vendors, who will need to promote better customer awareness of device capabilities and vulnerabilities. Businesses buying IoT products will need to insist on a far greater amount of information about what they are plugging into their networks than is common today.

Connect Carefully and Deliberately

That leads to the final point, which is that IoT rollouts should be conducted carefully and deliberately. Only after engaging every other step in the strategic blueprint should IoT networks be brought online, and then only with close monitoring. Selective connectivity should be the rule of the day, even when this means preventing users from bringing in their systems.

As DHS points out in their guide, mitigation in this area is a constantly evolving, shared responsibility. Businesses will have to learn to work more closely than ever with vendors of IoT devices, and those vendors will have to provide better support for longer periods more effectively than ever before if they hope to remain players in the market.

Like today’s internet, though, the IoT has the potential to entirely remake commerce and the daily life of every human being on the planet, and the economic benefits of ensuring security will pay huge dividends on the investment.

Security Benefits of Identity and Access Management (IAM)

 

Tiered Cyber Risk Management Services

Three Things Banks Need to Know About Preventing Data Breaches

Three Things Banks Need to Know About Preventing Data Breaches

Preventing data breaches could be one of the most important things your bank or financial services firm could focus on. Here are the reasons that data breaches should be a major focus.

Banks are increasingly targeted by hackers hoping to steal valuable data. Despite high threat levels and widespread knowledge of risks, many financial institutions find themselves underprepared. There are many reasons to focus on preventing data breaches, continue reading to find out a simple way Cybriant can help.

Financial services firms fall victim to cybersecurity attacks 300 times more frequently than businesses in other industries.

To make matters worse, the costs for financial institutions to repair these incidents are often far greater, which is problematic as the average data breach cost rose 5 percent to $7 million per breach in 2017. The average cost to U.S. businesses per record, lost or stolen, during a breach, was $225 – compare that to the financial industry’s number of $336 per record and you can see the issue.

Moreover, according to our research studies, consumers at this point expect their financial service providers to offer services that reduce the chance for exposure and, as importantly, quickly rectify the situation if their data does become compromised. Of the consumers we surveyed, 50 percent said they want their bank to offer these services and 43 percent felt the same about credit unions.

Source

Since a data breach leads to a loss of customer faith and market reputation, it’s critical that financial institutions, including banks, protect their networks. Here are three things banks need to know about network security standards and preventing data breaches at financial institutions.

Related: The Financial Industry’s Biggest Threat

1. Many Banks Aren’t Budgeting Enough

IT staff need to be able to respond to threats, and banks that tighten the budget on IT spending cripple this mission. Unfortunately, some banks reduce IT budgets to free up more money for customer-facing web tools and apps. This move short-circuits IT’s ability to defend against a cyber attack. Banks must take threats seriously, and this means adopting stricter network security standards and adequately funding IT departments for cyber monitoring and defense. If your clients find out that you are preventing data breaches to secure their investment, they may find a new bank.

Related: Top Cyber Security Websites

2. Two-Factor Authentication is No Longer Optional

Two-factor identification offers superior protection, but many employees dislike having to verify their identity using another method. Single-factor identification for apps and password-protected portals leaves banks vulnerable to an attack when cybercriminals have stolen legitimate user credentials.

Hackers are using more sophisticated and creative methods to easily steal login credentials. Once they have credentials, they can penetrate the system without raising any alarms.

Banks must ask themselves which is worse: the pain of having to log in via two-factor authentication or the pain of a serious data breach.

Two-factor authentication can thwart attacks. Given the low cost of implementation, it’s a no-brainer. You may even consider multi-factor authentication to ensure prevention data breaches.

3. Third-party Apps Present a Security Risk

Third-party apps promise a shortcut for financial institutions that don’t have the time or money to develop their app, but there is a safety risk here. In the race to keep up with the competition, some banks are adopting apps that may not be up to security standards. The short-term attempt to stand out can backfire big when apps are penetrated.

No matter the perceived need to offer customers apps and online tools, there is no excuse for failing to do due diligence when it comes to security standards or compliance requirements. Approving the app to appease the staff opens up the bank to a data breach through a third-party app. To address the security gap, banks should take a two-pronged approach: First, adopt stricter policies that target weak apps, and second, ensure all apps are monitored for cyber threats.

When hackers see that a bank is not an easy target, they will look for a financial institution that has unguarded access points. By addressing these security vulnerabilities, banks can reduce their risk and continue preventing data breaches.

Preventing Data Breaches Made Simple

You need to start with a cybersecurity strategy and framework. We recommend the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and have written several articles on how to use a framework in all your decision-making.

People, Process, and Technology is the cornerstone of ITIL, but can they also be used to ensure a proper cybersecurity foundation? The answer may surprise you! Read more, “People, Process, Technology in Cybersecurity or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Process!”

Once you have the framework in place, focus on your compliance needs and risk reduction. We have created a tiered service that can not only make that efficient and affordable, but it can also actually make cybersecurity and preventing data breaches easy.

The Financial Industry’s Biggest Threat

 

Learn More About PREtect

5 Key Reasons You Need a Cyber Security Assessment

5 Key Reasons You Need a Cyber Security Assessment

As a CIO, you are responsible for the cyber security of your organization. But how can you be sure that your defenses are strong enough? One way is to periodically conduct a cyber security assessment.

Here are five reasons why you should do a Cyber Security Assessment

1. Cybercrime is on the rise and costing businesses billions of dollars each year

According to a recent report, cybercrime is on the rise and costs businesses billions of dollars each year. While the costs of cybercrime are significant, there are steps that businesses can take to protect themselves.

One important step is to invest in managed services. Managed services can help businesses to stay compliant with cybersecurity best practices and mitigate the risks associated with cybercrime. In addition, managed services can help businesses to respond quickly and effectively to incidents of cybercrime.

By investing in managed services, businesses can protect themselves from the growing threat of cybercrime.

2. A cyber security assessment can help you identify your company’s vulnerabilities and protect your data

A cyber security assessment is an important tool for any business that wants to protect its data. By identifying vulnerabilities and potential threats, a company can take steps to mitigate the risks. In addition, a well-designed assessment can help to improve the overall security of the company’s systems.

There are many different types of vulnerability management services available, and choosing the right one can be a challenge.

However, working with a reputable provider that offers managed services can help to ensure that your company’s data is safe and secure. By taking the time to assess your company’s cyber security needs, you can help to protect your data and reduce the risk of a devastating breach.

Related: Why CISOs Need to Care about Compliance Regulation in Cybersecurity

3. Most cyber attacks are not sophisticated and can be easily prevented with the right precautions

Despite headlines warning of sophisticated cyber attacks, the vast majority of attacks are actually fairly unsophisticated and can be easily prevented with the right precautions. network security is the first line of defense against cyber attacks, and it is important to make sure that all networked devices are properly secured.

Endpoint security is also critical, as this is where most attacks originate. By taking simple steps to secure network and endpoint devices, businesses can dramatically reduce their risk of being attacked.

4. Cybersecurity is not just for large companies – even small businesses can be targets

While small businesses may not be the first target for cybercriminals, that doesn’t mean they are immune to attack. In fact, small businesses are often appealing targets because they usually have fewer resources dedicated to cybersecurity. As a result, small businesses need to be extra vigilant in protecting their data and systems from attack.

There are a number of steps small businesses can take to improve their cybersecurity, including investing in robust security software and training employees in best practices. By taking these steps, small businesses can help to protect themselves from the growing threat of cybercrime.

Read our IT Security Best Practices Checklist

5. Investing in cybersecurity is an important part of protecting your business and should not be taken lightly

Investing in cybersecurity is an important part of protecting your business. Cybersecurity is not something that should be taken lightly, and businesses need to make sure that they are taking the necessary steps to protect their data and systems.

There are a number of different ways to improve your company’s cybersecurity, but it is important to remember that there is no silver bullet. The best approach is to take a holistic view of your company’s security and implement a range of different measures.

By taking a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, you can help to protect your business from the growing threat of cybercrime.

Protect Your Business with Cybriant’s IT Security Best Practices Checklist

Importance of Cyber Security

As the world increasingly moves online, the importance of cyber security cannot be understated. Businesses of all sizes must ensure that their systems are properly protected against cyber threats. One way to do this is by conducting regular cybersecurity evaluations. These evaluations help to identify weaknesses in security controls and assess the effectiveness of current security measures. By addressing these issues early on, businesses can minimize the risk of a cyber-attack and protect their data from being compromised. In today’s digital age, cyber security is essential to doing business. By taking steps to ensure their systems are secure, businesses can protect themselves from costly cyber attacks.

Information Security Assessments

information security assessments are important for all businesses, regardless of size. By regularly evaluating their security controls, businesses can identify weaknesses and take steps to mitigate them. In addition, these evaluations help businesses to ensure that their current security measures are effective. By taking these precautions, businesses can minimize the risk of a cyber attack and safeguard their data.

Network Security Assessments

Network security assessments are important for all businesses, regardless of size. By regularly evaluating their security controls, businesses can identify weaknesses and take steps to mitigate them. In addition, these evaluations help businesses to ensure that their current security measures are effective. By taking these precautions, businesses can minimize the risk of a cyber attack and safeguard their data.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

A cybersecurity risk assessment is an important tool for businesses of all sizes. By identifying the risks their business faces, businesses can put in place the appropriate security measures to mitigate them. In addition, by having a formalized risk assessment process, businesses can ensure that they are regularly evaluating their security posture and addressing any potential weaknesses.

Risk Assessment Process

The risk assessment process begins with identifying the assets that need to be protected. Once these assets have been identified, the next step is to identify the risks that could potentially compromise them. Once the risks have been identified, businesses can put in place the appropriate security measures to mitigate them. Finally, businesses should regularly review their security posture and update their risk assessment as needed.

Consider Cybriant for a comprehensive cybersecurity assessment. Risk management, security controls, and more will be assessment.

Click here for more about risk assessments.