ADVERTORIAL: A cyber-attack will paralyse a company’s operations, with infringement of customer data, exposure of business figures or the leaking of sensitive research and development plans. Hacking transcends issues of trust, privacy and responsibility and failure in all these areas will all hit the bottom line hard
Closing the door on hackers has become the story of our age. Hacking has quickly evolved from one man disrupters to broader attacks on the Windows OS, resulting in high profile data breaches. Today it is clearly understood and expected as part of the dark web of cybercrime; 1.4 million computers or internet-enabled devices were deliberately infected with malware in 2015.
The adage that computer or network security can only go so far as its weakest link rings true here. No matter how secure a company procedure is, a singular poorly protected piece of third party software will compromise the entire business infrastructure. Added to this, challengers to the enterprise software marketplace are closing in.
In short, we are faced with more devices and more varieties of software, all representing more opportunities for vulnerabilities to emerge and hackers to exploit them. That is why managing the different vulnerabilities universally and as quickly as possible on all devices is key.
Although firewalls are still branded to be safe, hackers have found new ways of by-passing solid firewalls and antivirus scanners. Malicious activities can be easily generated from within an endpoint device, by exploiting temporary software flaws and introducing malware in the form of a PDF attachment in an email, with a view of stealing valuable personal information or deleting data.
The reality is that it is just not possible for an IT administrator to maintain a consistent and reliable overview of security operations on all devices without some dedicated IT automation. Companies are now able to deploy vulnerability management software such as baramundi Management Suite to effectively mitigate the risks associated with securing a very complex and extensive IT infrastructure.
This is done by constantly monitoring an updated databases of recognised security organisations and checking over 14,000 rules on every endpoint, as well as the configuration of all devices.
By being able to manage and oversee an entire business IT landscape, administrators can now effectively plug gaps as they emerge leaving no gaps to chance. A structured approach based on automated tools can help ensure every software is fully patched up, from internet browsers, to PDF readers and Java applications.
In achieving this outcome, scale is critical. As seen earlier, businesses will have portfolios of thousands of apps, each presenting an opportunity for a hacker. In return, the automated approach has to be to secure the overall attack surface, not just identify the software that currently presents the most obvious risk.
Patterns will emerge and the risk of gaps needs to be tracked over time, not just on a case-by-case basis. In this instance, baramundi’s vulnerability management tool will continuously scan the entire landscape and give the option to quickly (and centrally) close gaps.
The suite provides a clear dashboard overview, but also enables administrators to drill down device by device, and also review those with the greatest likelihood of security gaps. With security and hacking so high on the corporate agenda, it is important to be able to track and report on the actions undertaken.
This planning also reaps a benefit in being able to see where updates are working. Administrators need to know where installation is in progress and where errors have prevented it from working. With proper automation, every action is followed by reporting and due diligence to confirm the gap really has been closed.
Turning back to closing the door to hackers. Sadly, the crux of the issue no longer as simple as an employee accidentally opening an email and bringing malware into an entire enterprise, and this being effectively resolved. There are numerous players involved, and it is important to ensure you are best equipped to counter threats.
Enterprises rely on innovative and ground breaking software to stay ahead, and whilst glitches will always present themselves, an investment in automated vulnerability management will ensure organisations are both prepared and protected.