New year, new problems?
In 2021, we saw massive shifts within the cybersecurity space. Remote work continued to skyrocket. We experienced the largest vulnerability exposure to date, with global impact still unfolding. Healthcare breaches, and their costs, rose exponentially – at an average of $9.23M per incident. Cybersecurity threats –and their costs–have risen dramatically. Attackers are a lot smarter, and a lot sneakier. We’re in uncharted waters.
Moving forward into 2022, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to combat incoming threats by preemptively protecting their networks and assets.
But it can’t stop there.
The massive increase in incidents over the past year is a valid cause for consideration. The numbers are rising: attacks are more frequent and sophisticated than ever. In 2022, cybersecurity teams will need to go beyond basic protection measures to protect their organization from expensive breaches and attacks.
Cybersecurity teams who want to effectively secure and protect their organizations cannot afford to settle. Processes, technologies, and teams, must all be rigorously evaluated.
With so much on the line, there’s little room for “maybe” or “good enough”.
Here’s how InfoSec teams can protect their organizations amongst modern cybersecurity challenges, and confidently lead the charge securely into 2022:
Know Your Network:
Most teams aren’t sure what is actually in their network.
They have an idea, but the picture changes from scan to scan, and event to event. Each tool has a different idea of what threats exist, their proximity, and their level of priority. Even more frustrating, there are gaps between systems that most teams have no holistic visibility of. With an average of 50+ toolsets being used in conjunction, the gaps between those systems contain critical information.
Most teams have too many tools and not enough clarity. They are swimming in cybersecurity alerts, each claiming to have the ultimate authority in an organization’s posture, but only actually providing individual segments of actual understanding. Every tool has its own piece of the puzzle.
This combination of tools tries to give a sense of what is actually there, but only adds noise and confusion.
With 20+ tools screaming at you with different information, and different versions of the “truth”, how do you know where to focus, and what is the highest priority?
You can’t solve your problems by constantly throwing shiny new tools into the mix.
Successful cybersecurity teams should move forward by aligning their multitude of existing tools together to get a clear understanding of the full picture. Getting a full understanding of what’s in your network should be a major priority for every cybersecurity team in 2022.
Consolidate your existing tools, remove redundant and overlapping tools, and consider adding an Attack Surface Analysis platform to bring all of your tools under one umbrella of visual understanding.
Understand Which End is Up:
Most teams have a limited understanding of where the flow of information they manage traverses. If everything is “critical”, there’s no clear vision for what needs the most attention and focus. This ultimately leads to scattered teams scrambling to do all things at once. Understanding the proximity and priority of each network, segment and device can help you make sense of the orientation and scalability of the enterprise.
The priority and proximity of devices require more visibility and better protection. But protections are only available when we understand the first point: what matters the most? Where do we focus our resources and time?
Priority and proximity are the new black. They define the attack surface, and help teams emphasize within their own tradecraft what is important, and separate out what isn’t a priority.
Teams should enter 2022 aligned with correct prioritization, and a unified understanding of what matters most.
Get Back to Basics:
The basics of asset discovery, host enumeration, and port validation (against firewall rules) enable teams better understanding of what matters most and why. Basic DevSecOps and advanced SecOps are reliant on the feeder teams being able to do these critical tasks properly.
Unfortunately, most aren’t.
Understanding the connections between the existing network and the outside networks (third parties) can change the dynamics that teams place on access to sensitive systems.
When teams lose sight of the basics in lieu of fancier, trendier protocols and tasks, everyone suffers.
Enable your teams to work together to protect your organization by placing a renewed focus on the essential basics.
Refine, Optimize, Extend:
Good security playbooks exist.
And, they can be improved with greater reflexes.
Reflexes live at the core of the CybernetIQ platform. We place emphasis on the alignment of the three T’s:
By optimizing the three T’s together, we create a greater operational tempo that can be effectively maintained. Extension of these basics, in line with continual advancements, reveals a much clearer picture of the situation on the ground.
Marching into this new year like it’s just any other year, without considering the modern challenges our society is facing would be a costly error. 2022 isn’t just another year, and we’re facing new challenges.
Strategic intent informed by today’s increased cybersecurity risks isn’t a “nice to have”, it’s non-negotiable.
Take the necessary steps to truly know your network. Enable your team to differentiate between what is critical and what doesn’t matter. Get back to the basics, and improve reflexes. In doing this, cybersecurity leaders can effectively craft a plan that will secure their organization against the sophisticated modern threats facing us.
2022 may hold uncertainty. Some of us are still licking our wounds from 2021. But we’re learning from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others.
By learning from what’s going on around us, keeping our ears to the ground, and strategically using this information to shape our way forward, we can proceed into the new year with renewed confidence and security.