SHIELDS UP in bite-size pieces

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SHIELDS UP in bite-size pieces ,Unless you live totally off the grid, you are aware that the horrific war in Ukraine and related geopolitical tensions have significantly escalated cyberattacks, with the threat of even more to come.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advises US federal agencies on how to combat cybercrime, and the agency’s recommendations have been widely adopted by commercial businesses as well.

CISA issued an extraordinary “SHIELDS UP!” warning and advise in February in response to the current circumstances. “Every institution, large and small,” according to CISA, “must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber occurrences.”

The CISA release included a number of recommendations to assist companies and individuals in reducing the likelihood of a successful attack and limiting harm in the event that one occurs. It also includes general advice for C-level executives as well as a tip sheet on how to deal with ransomware.

The SHIELDS UP guidelines are broken down.
There’s a lot of information there, with over 20 directions and suggestions total. How much can you actually accomplish? When you dig further, you’ll find that many of the CISA’s recommendations are essentially just basic security practices that everyone should be following regardless. The first two recommendations on the list are about limiting user rights and deploying security fixes, especially those from CISA’s list of known exploited vulnerabilities. Isn’t that something that everyone should be doing?

Following that, CISA suggests a set of actions for any organization that is attacked. Again, these suggestions are simple: promptly detecting unusual network activity, using antimalware and antivirus software, and keeping detailed logs. The suggestion is sound, but hardly revolutionary.

And here’s the thing: your company should already be doing these things. There should be no need to “mandate” good behavior, and the fact that this “official guidance” is required speaks volumes about the status of security in businesses and organizations around the world.

Practical application of the guidelines
Lack of technological know-how, resources, and strategy cause security posture to deteriorate. To some extent, this is reasonable because, while technology is essential to the functioning of organizations, most businesses do not focus on providing technological services. Except if you work in the tech industry.

Using an external partner to help implement items that are beyond your expertise or available resources is one option to fix the current gaps in your processes… Indeed, without a partner, some requirements are impossible to meet. If you need to upgrade end-of-life systems, for example, you’ll discover that the vendor no longer offers updates. To get those patches, you’ll need to work with a security partner.

Patching is undoubtedly the most low-hanging fruit in the security pipeline, yet even though it is very effective and simple to deploy, it is rarely done consistently. Patching has a number of drawbacks, including downtime, maintenance windows, and resource constraints.

Job-specific tools
Even if patching is difficult, establishing a regular patching cadence would be the most straightforward way to implement the “SHIELDS UP!” advice. The appropriate tools can make all the difference for some software components. Because updates are applied without disturbing live, running workloads, live, automatic patching systems eliminate the need to arrange downtime or maintenance windows.

Automated patching, such as that provided by KernelCare Enterprise, reduces the time between patch availability and patch deployment to practically zero, minimizing the risk window.

It’s just one example of why having the correct cybersecurity toolkit is so important in dealing with today’s heightened threat environment. CISA offered sound advice, but safeguarding your company requires the right tools and security partners.

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