If you’ve been following our latest multi-part webinar series on cyber warfare, you’ve learned about modern cybersecurity threats and the increasing risks you’re facing.
We’ve covered Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), organized cybercrime, state-sponsored threat actors, for-sale evasion tools, the cybercrime gig economy, new threats posed by artificial intelligence, and others. A prevailing theme involves the expanding cybersecurity threat landscape and the critical role your information security defenses play in protecting your institution.
Modern threats require modern cybersecurity defenses.
But what does that actually mean? What are some modern defenses you should have in place or at least be actively evaluating? As we wrap up our series on cyber warfare, let’s look at how you can, and should, be modernizing your cyber defenses.
First, let’s address a topic that may seem obvious: there are no silver bullets when it comes to protecting your organization from cybersecurity threats.
I’ve said this on many occasions, including in recent webinars and even other blog posts on this site … yet nearly every week, I have a conversation with an organization putting too much focus or confidence in a specific cybersecurity “solution.” MDR, XDR, zero-trust networks, multi-factor authentication, and even branded offerings from managed security service providers (MSSPs) – all potentially good defenses – but none are the panacea often touted by vendors and marketing literature.
If you’ve been dealing with cybersecurity for any amount of time, you know real industry experts always talk about the absolute necessity for a layered, defense-in-depth approach to cybersecurity. This has not changed.
In fact, the requirement for layered defenses has never been higher.
The takeaway here is addressing modern cybersecurity threats isn’t about implementing that one modern defense technology. Instead, you need to review your entire information security program for ways to modernize all your cybersecurity defenses. There are likely multiple areas where existing protections and controls have worked just fine in the past but need to be modernized to protect against today’s threats.
Let’s dive into some of the cybersecurity areas where you likely need to modernize your defenses.
Everyone reading this has some sort of firewall protecting your internet perimeter.
Moreover, you probably have some type of Unified Threat Management (UTM) device combining firewall, VPN, IPS, AV, and more into a single integrated unit. UTMs have been around for quite a while and have remained a critical cybersecurity component. However, when did you last review your internet perimeter protection to ensure you’re fully utilizing modern capabilities?
Modern UTMs or “next-generation firewalls” as some vendors call them, have expanded protection features you should be using.
For example, your FW/UTM should be performing deep packet inspection – inspecting all encrypted HTTPS traffic and other SSL-based traffic as it enters or leaves your network. You should also be leveraging your FW/UTM for sandboxing to analyze unknown inbound files before they ever get to internal devices. As for outbound files, you should enable data leak prevention capabilities to scan for sensitive data and potentially stop the file(s) from leaving your network.
These are just a few mechanisms you should implement to modernize your internet perimeter.
You no doubt have endpoint protection in place, but how modern is it really?
The industry is saturated with three-letter acronyms and big promises right now … but unpacking all of that will have to be in a different blog post.
With endpoint protection capabilities advancing tremendously in the past few years, have you evaluated if your current solution provides continuous behavioral analysis of the device activity? Is your solution monitored and managed 24/7? Are the logs integrated into a SIEM for context and analysis? How about features like application control and breach containment on the device?
If your endpoint protection can’t do these things – or you aren’t sure – it’s probably time to upgrade to a modern solution.
It’s critical you monitor the security information being generated by your systems and applications.
However, simply collecting security logs in a central location with basic alerting is not enough. Modern SIEMs leverage machine learning to perform deep analysis of disparate log data to find activity and threats no human team could discern. In addition, SIEMs can ingest data from more devices, cloud services, and applications than ever before – allowing you to cohesively monitor your entire environment.
With SIEM, your security data can be automatically cross-correlated with other organizations’ data as well as third-party threat intelligence to detect suspicious activity before any damage has occurred. With today’s advanced SIEM solutions, you can modernize your log monitoring into proactive threat detection across your entire IT environment.
These are just a few of the areas you should be evaluating to modernize your cybersecurity defenses.
While there are many more areas that should be modernized to meet today’s threats, including: vulnerability management, user identity and access management, risk assessments, policies and procedures, data classification, backup and recovery management, and incident response plans. Of course, tackling all of these is much too long for a blog post.
For more information on any of these topics, contact Jack Henry™ to modernize your cybersecurity defenses.
Learn more about reducing risk and fraud at jackhenry.com.
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