You can’t mitigate a risk if you don’t know it’s there. That sums up the new challenges IT professionals are facing as they have been thrust to the forefront of compliance reporting. While not new to organizations, IT’s role in compliance reporting is. Cyber-threats and data security have become critical priorities for the C-Suite, and IT managers now must be able to produce up-to-date compliance and risk reports at a moment’s notice.
With global regulations on the rise and the board’s security expectations increasing, compliance has become a hot button issue at the highest level of the organization. The rapid rise in the use of cloud applications, proliferation of new software, and vulnerability of deployed technology is driving concerns at the board level. And IT is responsible not just for reporting on these factors, but managing the risk of the company’s organizational, financial, and technological footprints – every moment of the day.
A recent study found that 27% of companies failed an audit in the past 18 months. And 81% of the failures could have been prevented with a patch or configuration change. Another study found that 80% of companies who passed an audit were out of compliance less than a year later. Just by reading this it must be clear that patching and securing systems is not a one-time activity, but rather on ongoing and almost daily process.
As companies move an increasing amount of their infrastructure to the cloud, in an effort to be more efficient and cost effective in how they do business, they are facing new laws, regulations, policies, and security measures. Understanding their risk exposure in a cloud-based or hybrid environment is critical to maintaining compliance, yet this adds another level of complexity.
No longer are organizational security protocols enough. Firewalls help but it’s impractical to try and contain all company traffic within the firewall, and it’s just one of many controls that need to be in place. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) recently released the “treacherous 12” threats for cloud computing:
- Data breaches
- Weak identity, credential and access management
- Insecure interfaces and APIs
- System and application vulnerability
- Account hijacking
- Malicious insiders
- Advanced persistent threats
- Data loss
- Insufficient due diligence
- Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
- Denial of service
- Shared technology issues
One of the easiest things companies can do to reduce vulnerabilities to the treacherous 12 is simply to make sure every OS and software is patched. More than 80% of data breaches happened because patches were available but not applied, with some more than a year old.
But keeping up with all of these patches on a daily basis is almost impossible, and it’s why IT managers are turning to automation tools for a solution. Automated patching solutions eliminate the worry associated compliance reporting, and enable IT managers to ensure continued compliance year after year. With many solutions in the market, being able to control for systems both inside and outside of your firewall is critical. Cloud-based solutions like Automox allow you to automate patch remediation regardless of system location and dramatically reduce your risk profile.
The average time required to manually patch can be upwards of a year. Without automated patch remediation, there is no way to feasibly remain compliant. Automox’s cloud based patching solution enables companies to quickly and easily get a handle on their entire server and network device infrastructure. Within minutes of set up, every system is visible through a single dashboard, along with every outstanding vulnerability.
What’s different from legacy patching solutions is that Automox automatically applies patches and ensures adherence to configuration settings. No manual intervention, no VPN’s required, and no new server to manage. Once the infrastructure is brought up to date, compliance reporting is at the touch of a button, anytime it’s requested. And with continuous monitoring, new patches and configuration changes are made in real time.