Cybersecurity is becoming an increased focal point for many organizations as the number of unwanted threats and data breaches continues to grow. With 80% of data breaches compromising customers’ personal information, security gaps can make your organization more vulnerable to attacks and loss of revenue. When their information becomes compromised, customers lose faith in the company and switch to a competitor.
However, a single IT department can rarely address every security gap 24/7. It’s easier for internal staff to become blinded by the way the organization does things. Seeking the help of external security services vendors can mitigate biases and give staff a fresh perspective. Outside vendors can also bring to the table expertise and knowledge your IT staff doesn’t have.
Examples of Security Gaps
An article by Security Week identifies the top security gaps as threat detection and analysis, vulnerability management, user management, authentication and access control, and identity governance.
These top security gaps apply to environments where cloud-based services exist. With their rising popularity and convenience, it’s becoming more common for organizations to use cloud-based services alongside legacy or internally hosted applications.
Some of the disadvantages of cloud-based apps and services are related to control and access. It isn’t as easy for internal IT departments to control all aspects of apps hosted on an external server managed by an outside company.
Access control is also more difficult for internal teams to control as users do not always need permission to share and control documents. Think Google Docs, where the creator can open editing access to anyone who has an internet connection.
Identifying unwanted intrusions and attempts to gain access to your organization’s network can be difficult. That difficulty increases when your staff and customers use a combination of devices, cloud services, and legacy apps. Larger organizations with a good number of online resources and devices are often targets for this reason. Public school districts, corporate conglomerates, and enterprises with separate satellite and international offices are examples.
Fortunately, there are security tools that can scan and monitor hacking and phishing attempts in addition to actual intrusion events. These tools can show your IT staff what’s happening throughout all of your organization’s technology-related resources. Security tools also monitor what’s happening when your IT department is short-staffed or went home for the day.
Some of these tools generate reports, helping you analyze and determine the most common types of attacks. Plus, you’ll learn when these attacks are more likely to occur, their frequency, and their success rate. Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to change how your IT team and vendors implement security protocols.
Managing vulnerabilities refers to testing code that exists in legacy and cloud-based applications. Accessing and exploiting code in cloud services is easier for hackers. When your IT team runs tests to pinpoint vulnerabilities and applies security patches, you’ll want to ensure this includes all of your company’s resources. You might need to partner with your vendors to see what tests they are running, how often those tests are occurring, and what types of patches or mitigations they’re applying.
As previously mentioned, managing access to sensitive information stored in the cloud is challenging. First, managing users and what permissions they get might be restricted to a vendor’s parameters. It could even require coordination with a third party to make changes and get training on advanced user management tools that a vendor might let your internal team use.
Second, cloud-based apps and services can be more malleable. There’s a good chance that once someone can manipulate information within an app, they can also give others the same level of access. Users who aren’t aware of best security practices might unwittingly provide access to someone they think they can trust. Or they might comply with a phishing attempt, not realizing what’s happening and why.
These are the main reasons why it’s crucial not to forget about cloud resources when designing and implementing a control system for user access. You might want to disable or limit features that allow users to share access, depending on the types of documents and apps and the users’ scope of responsibilities.
Authentication goes hand in hand with user management. While tools such as Microsoft’s Active Directory are robust enough to grant, manage, and revoke access to legacy apps and internal systems, cloud-based resources present an additional challenge. The same user management and authentication tools that work great with on-site apps and systems often don’t sync with cloud services.
This means you’ll either need to design a set of manual protocols for granting and revoking access to these resources or determine if there is another tool that will sync. Cloud-based apps also might not allow different permission levels for users. From a security standpoint, you and your IT team will need to decide whether these apps are appropriate for the types of internal and external users you have.
Security gaps with identity governance are likely to open up when IT departments are not auditing who has access to cloud-based resources. While it’s more common for legacy apps and systems to be under scrutiny, it’s easier to overlook the cloud. If you’re leaving the certification of your security protocols and audits for cloud services up to a vendor, this could be a pivotal mistake.
It’s best to form a close partnership with your vendors and implement your own audit methods for extra protection. You don’t want to assume someone else is taking care of things and has the information they need to do the job correctly.
Security threats and gaps can come from a variety of internal and external sources. While Silbar Security can provide you the in-person security services that your community or event needs, it’s important to consider using a combination of automatic security services tools and internal protocols to help prevent any unwanted intrusions as well.
To learn more about how Silbar Security can maximize your security needs, contact us today.