The White House unveiled October 2022 as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, citing the impact of cyberattacks on the day-to-day lives of citizens, the economy, and national security. In the proclamation, President Biden noted the challenges faced by both government and private entities in securing and protecting themselves against cyber threats. The proclamation asked for additional vigilance and cooperation between state and private sector entities to counter attackers.
In the proclamation, cyber resilience is noted as a key goal. Cyber resiliency can take many forms, from prevention, to detection, to remediation. Here’s a few tried-and-true ways to build or improve upon your existing IT and security practices.
How to strengthen your cyber resilience
To improve cyber resiliency, organizations should first look at ways to reduce the likelihood of an attack. This means adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA), ensuring software is patched and up-to-date, and eliminating configuration drift by automating the enforcement of configuration policies.
In addition, organizations should look at strengthening their incident response plan. Take time in October to review and update your processes with your crisis response teams – or develop one if your organization had not considered one previously. This can include identifying key points of contact (and updating if those contacts have changed or moved within your organization), identifying and training individual roles within the crisis response process, and preparing for a potential incident by running incident response drills in October in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Finally, look for ways to stay on high alert for cyber attacks. Ensure that your IT operations and security operations teams are laser-focused on identifying unusual behavior (“know normal, find evil” as they say), monitor and test critical security infrastructure, and make sure that critical functionality and data (especially your organization’s crown jewels) are protected in the event of a breach.
To get started with improving your cyber resiliency in October, Automox recommends that you:
Familiarize yourself with the CISA Shields-Up program and recommendations.
Implement an automated vulnerability identification and patching process to reduce risk exposure from unpatched systems.
Run purple-team exercises to test, review, and improve existing cyber resilience processes.
Do your part to help make October the time to reflect and improve on cyber resiliency. Improved resiliency will lead to fewer business interruptions and faster recovery in the event of an attack. Achieving resiliency is a long-term strategic plan that takes time and effort, and should be a continued conversation for every organization’s IT and security leaders.
Automox is dedicated to helping organizations improve their resiliency. For more cybersecurity resources, visit our Cybersecurity Awareness Month hub or reach out to us today. We would be glad to help make this the month you get extra resilient.