Cyber Defense and the Unknown Enemy

Three IT security best practices to stay outside cyber criminals' reach.

September 30, 2016 • Published by

Cybersecurity Unknowns: It's not the "who" but the "what."

When you stop and think about your business's IT security, do you often wonder who the unnamed faces are behind the relentless barrage of cyber attacks out there? Everyone has an opinion: "Government target—must be a nation-state" or "Little guy—must be a disgruntled ex-employee." Our assumptions, however, don't always prove out.

The fact of the matter is, the benefit of finding out just who is poised to attack you pales in comparison to finding out what they have an opportunity to attack. This is especially true if you can do so prior to the attack actually taking place.

Do you know your organization's cybersecurity risk?

Organizations of all shapes and sizes must periodically assess their cybersecurity risk and adjust their cyber defense according to what they consider to be an acceptable risk level. Not doing so means you're operating your business like someone who is going on a cross-country road trip with a used car that's never had its hood opened.

Recently Chris Burgess, Lead Network Security Engineer for ControlScan, shared three steps that help businesses discover the unknowns in their IT environments and at the same time, effectively manage day-to-day security threats. The following is an excerpt from his cybersecurity article, published in Parking Today Magazine.

Best Practice #1: Assess your IT security gaps
You can't know what to fix until you know what's broken; therefore, an IT risk assessment is the logical first step in pinpointing the threats and vulnerabilities that can impact your organization's sensitive data. Once these shortcomings are known you can determine the likelihood of a compromise occurring and establish composite risk levels for each of your business's functional areas.

Best Practice #2: Engage a UTM firewall service
Unified Threat Management (UTM) technology functions as its name implies, providing an all-in-one solution for detecting and preventing network intrusions from a variety of possible sources. UTM firewall services also add security personnel who work with you or your internal IT teams to deploy and maintain the appliance, but also help secure and optimize your network infrastructure. 

Best Practice #3: Monitor and manage event logs
Event logs detect malware, unauthorized system access, and other significant network security events as they happen. Event logs are filled with the unknown, until you make that information known. By keeping an eye on your event logs, you can quickly identify and respond to intrusions before they become a data breach.

Build your cyber defense on what's known.

The best practices outlined above are important steps for building your cyber defense on what's known. These three practices apply security in layers to increase your visibility into the organization's secure environments as well as to decrease your awareness-to-response time frame when problems are detected.

Read the entire Parking Today Magazine article by Chris Burgess, which includes additional detail on his three cyber defense best practices, here: