The White House Says “Get Secure From Cyber Attacks Now.” Here’s Where to Start.

According to the recent warning from the White House, no company is safe from cyber criminals and the serious, growing threat of cyber attacks. More alarmingly, the latest spate of cyber attacks has shifted from stealing data to disrupting operations. Attacks are becoming even more of an existential threat to any company and impacting people’s daily lives.

So the National Security Council's top cyber official took things to the next level. Anne Neuberger issued a rare – and extraordinary – alert that all companies need to take "immediate steps" to increase their security.

On the heels of last month’s “Executive Order on Improving The Nation’s Cyber Security,” Neuberger’s open letter to American businesses marks the second time in less than 30 days that the White House has emphasized the glaring need for more, better cybersecurity.

No more messing around. It’s go time.

Step 1 – Protect yourself where hackers attack first

We know one of the first things attackers look for is weaknesses or vulnerabilities they can exploit. Usually, those vulnerabilities are the result of unpatched or misconfigured operating systems and applications on an endpoint. Once they discover that security flaw, they’re in.

This is ground zero for the war against cyber attackers. Nearly 60% of data breaches in the past two years can be traced back to a missing operating system or application patch. When your systems are free from those vulnerabilities, your infrastructure becomes a much more difficult target to attack.

Sure, being certain that your endpoints are always patched and up-to-date may seem daunting, but it’s the starting point for averting cyber attacks. And thanks to modern, cloud-native platforms like Automox, maintaining your cyber hygiene is more effortless than you imagine.

Speed is the other component to effectively protecting your endpoints. Consider that once every month, Microsoft and others release a new batch of known vulnerabilities on Patch Tuesday. Those announcements not only tell you what to patch, they tell attackers what to exploit. It will only take 7-14 days after those CVE disclosures for an exploit to become available, but it will take the average organization up to 100 days to patch that vulnerability. That needs to change.

Step 2 – Automate patch management to move faster than attackers

Modern endpoint hardening and IT operations are the key to moving up to 30X faster than industry norms. Because when adversaries need just seven days to weaponize a vulnerability, you can’t rely on siloed, outdated tools and manual processes to secure your systems.

How do you increase the velocity and agility of your operations to manage these risks? By streamlining your IT operations with simple, automated cyber hygiene tasks and defined policies that enforce system updates across Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. Rather than patching systems in 3-4 months, you can do it in 1-2 days. Now you can have visibility into the status of your organization’s endpoints and instantly customize automated updates for OS and third-party applications to eliminate the threat of unremediated endpoints.

The question remains, however. Now that employees have shifted to remote work – with indications that this shift may be permanent – how can you ensure your highly distributed systems remain remediated? Traditional solutions like corporate firewalls and VPNs cannot maintain your cyber hygiene. You need a cloud-native solution to secure beyond the firewall.

Step 3 – Eliminate the perimeter to update any system, anywhere

Yesterday’s tools and technologies were designed to create a secure boundary between on-premises corporate endpoints and cyber attacks. That boundary has blurred. Firewalls, VPNs, intrusion-detection systems, malware protection, and simple whitelists and blacklists are no longer practical solutions for today’s highly distributed IT environments and remote workforces.

Today’s increasingly diverse environments demand cloud-native solutions that enable a truly perimeter-free approach to visibility and management. Legacy on-premises tools can only see and manage endpoints connected to a VPN. With cloud-native solutions like Automox, you can perform an inventory of all endpoints and ensure they are continuously up-to-date no matter where they’re located. A cloud-native approach to endpoint management eliminates the need for on-prem patching hardware, VPNs, and the inefficient patchwork of single-purpose software that has plagued IT operations for far too long.

Cloud-native solutions also remove much of the cost burden of on-premises tools instantly. No more hardware or ongoing maintenance. Just faster, easier vulnerability remediation – any time, anywhere – that keeps you ahead of adversaries.

See where you stand - Vulnerability mitigation

Modern cyber security threats require modern solutions. Evaluate where you stand with the Automox “Definitive Guide for Proactive Endpoint Hardening.” This asset is your comprehensive resource guide for mitigating cybersecurity risk through impactful cyber hygiene, with an emphasis on endpoint hardening.

You’ll no longer need to manage, monitor, and maintain on-site infrastructure like you do with a legacy on-premises solution.

Want to see more about Automox? Schedule a demo today to see how Automox can help you avert attacks.

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