When discussing your organization’s cyber hygiene, establishing good habits like applying operating system and software patches in a timely manner, staying on top of the deployment of third-party software and understanding the management and configuration of devices that are under your control is crucial to improving your organization’s ability to maintain and secure its information technology infrastructure. Making these habits routine across the organization will help ensure not only that your computers and software are running at peak efficiency but that user identities and other details that could be stolen or corrupted remain protected.
A fully patched and correctly configured infrastructure is the cornerstone of strong corporate security. But when it specifically comes to cyber hygiene, the majority (74%) of organizations believe that they can’t patch fast enough because they don’t have enough staff. Consequently, many (64%) are planning to hire dedicated resources for patch management in the next year. But disturbingly, more than half (57%) of companies still use spreadsheets and emails to track and assign patching tasks, so it’s no wonder that it’s taking 102 days on average to patch critical vulnerabilities.
Enterprises need to include multiple elements in a regular, ongoing cyber hygiene program to eliminate exposed vulnerabilities that can lead to lost or misplaced data or other dangerous consequences stemming from a security breach. But when selecting a cyber hygiene platform, one of the most critical factors will be whether you choose to deploy it on-premise or in the cloud.
Traditional On-Premise Solutions
While cyber hygiene is foundational in that it will eliminate the majority of an organization’s risk and should require the least amount of effort compared to other controls, the reality is that traditional solutions can be incredibly difficult to implement, maintain and use. Worse yet, traditional on-premise solutions are not architected in a way that supports the transformation of the modern workspace, specifically remote endpoints and virtual instances. They are overly complex and/or only partially address a full complement of mixed operating system and security hygiene fundamentals.
Today, IT departments and security teams are generally overwhelmed with too many separate tools and too much on their plates. There are simply too many “one-off” tools with manually-driven workflows and too much legacy technology that is painful to deploy and maintain with costly on-premise infrastructure.
When it comes to these disparate on-premise solutions, there’s a significant amount of cost and complexity involved, too. Organizations not only need to purchase, build, install and maintain their own servers, they also have to act as their own content delivery network (CDN), pulling patches down from vendors and putting them in a repository. Every time a vendor updates their product, there’s something new for an organization to download and install. From there, organizations have to deploy agents, which can be big and clunky, and they have to do so multiple times if they have infrastructure in different geographic locations or contrasting types of endpoints. Adding to the complexity that is constantly maintaining and updating your infrastructure, organizations actually have to patch their on-premise patch management servers.
Additionally, traditional IT management platforms do not generally provide a cohesive cross-platform functionality. Consequently, organizations might be buying, building, installing and maintaining physical infrastructure across all three operating systems — Windows, Mac and Linux. And all of this has massive implications on the amount of labor you’re investing in, your capital expense and the maintenance friction of on-premise approaches.
Underscoring the complexity, the myriad of disparate one-off tools forces organizations to hire cybersecurity professionals that require a certain level of expertise just to babysit one of the tools, optimizing, updating and ensuring that it is running well. But why are organizations paying these high-dollar, potentially impactful employees to spend all of their time just maintaining the tool instead of actually maintaining the environment?
Traditional on-premise solutions have an unnecessarily high total cost of ownership, and attempting to throw more humans or money at the problem without solving for the underlying inefficiencies and complexity of toolsets only makes it worse. As a result, the most impactful precautions a company should be taking are often not very well implemented.
Modern Cloud-Native Approach: In the Cloud
With a cloud-based cyber hygiene solution like Automox, there is zero infrastructure maintenance. There’s no server to procure and deploy, no patch repository or distribution point that you have to build or duplicate if you have geographically separated locations. There’s nothing to download and install on a regular basis, no server provisioning, no ongoing maintenance. Simply install a micro-agent on your endpoints, and you’re good to go because everything is handled in the cloud.
Even better, Automox works seamlessly across Windows, MacOS and Linux operating systems — all managed from a single user interface. After adding your devices, you can create policies to automate cyber hygiene. Automox inventories all hardware, software, patches and configuration details to remediate patch vulnerabilities, deploy required software, and fix misconfigured systems without the need for multiple tools.
Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. However, becoming a smaller target is not a point in time exercise — it’s a continuous process because the attack surface is always expanding and your business is always transforming.
Traditional IT ops tools have not brought the necessary level of automation, extensibility and agility required to mitigate risk fast enough with the resources at hand. As a result, IT departments are finding themselves bogged down in manual process and infrastructure maintenance while falling short of security compliance goals.
In order for an organization to become a smaller target requires an automated cyber hygiene platform, such as Automox, that delivers that following:
- A cloud-native, cross-platform solution — with no complicated management infrastructure to maintain and broad cross-platform support for Windows, Mac and Linux from a single console. Being cloud native results in continuous connectivity with both local, cloud hosted and remote endpoint fleets without the need to deploy on-premise infrastructure, run virtual instances or tunnel back into the corporate network.
- Built-in cyber hygiene fundamentals — including OS, software and third-party patching, system inventory and software deployment, as well as secure configurations. Admins must be able to deploy these elements with ease and fully automate actions by adding work tasks to policy baselines that are continuously enforced. Not only does this cyber hygiene automation immediately reduce up to 80% of vulnerability exposure with little effort, it also keeps configuration drift from ever occurring in the future.
- Extensible automation worklets — allow IT ops to create any custom task they can imagine and avoid being confined by vendor roadmap “lock-in.” Worklets can be created for all supported operating systems (including Windows, Linux and Mac) and are powered by PowerShell and Bash scripting. Whatever you can imagine, Automox can apply to policy and automate.
- Straightforward compliance reporting — provides the ability to demonstrate risk and compliance to a variety of executive and technical audiences. Being a smaller target is great, but you need easy and compelling ways to show the business and external auditors that your best-in-class practice is achieving (and exceeding) expected outcomes.
Our cross-platform, lightweight agent combined with our cloud-based platform delivers full visibility and control over your entire infrastructure in minutes. With Automox, you know exactly where you stand, instantly seeing which endpoints are misconfigured, missing critical patches or out of compliance. From there, you can better protect your infrastructure by leveraging the scale of automation. No more spreadsheets or manual updates, Automox ensures your entire infrastructure is patched, has the right software and is configured correctly regardless of OS, software or geographic location.
If you have any additional questions about how much better our cloud-native, cross-platform approach to cyber hygiene is when comparing us versus them, please visit www.automox.com.
Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.
Cloud-based and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.
Experience modern, cloud-based patch management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.