2021 was a landmark year for cybersecurity — and not in a good way. Squaring up against broadening IT ecosystems, emerging threat vectors and innovative bad actors, security practitioners have been dealt a heavy hand in the past 24+ months, and if Log4j taught us anything, it’s not looking like threats will be easing up anytime soon.
But as organizations look to bolster their cyber resiliency and maintain customer trust in the new year, it’s imperative that they consider cybersecurity today is not just about shoring up the endpoint; it’s just as vital to ensure your users are acting conscientiously. One false click, one false move on the user end, and your security can go out the window. To really be resilient, organizations need to understand that sustainable cybersecurity is really about protecting both sides of the entry point.
Let’s look at data, for example. It’s now an enterprise given that “data intelligence” is vital to helping enterprises transform themselves to be more innovative, competitive and customer-centric. In other words, data is the lifeblood of business today. Not only does understanding data and data systems empower everyone in the organization to make faster, smarter and more strategic decisions to drive business growth, but it also plays a vital role in propelling innovation. So, protecting the gateways to your data — your endpoints — is more critical than ever before. And if you can’t manage your endpoint security — you can’t manage the security of your data, or have data privacy.
For organizations looking to tighten up their cybersecurity this year, and ensure all entry points are protected and accounted for in 2022, here are a few key considerations to keep top of mind:
- Discovery. Ask yourself: What is hitting your network? If you do not know who or what is potentially accessing your data, you cannot secure it. You need to be able to use a variety of methods to not only discover and inventory devices that should be there, but also to detect devices that should not be.
- Vulnerability scanning. Not just for Windows, but also Mac and Linux systems. Most cyberattacks involve unpatched operating systems and applications that have had patches available for months — even years. Use your scan results to automatically isolate vulnerable devices and quickly remediate issues.
- Secure everything. Just as laptops pose their own unique access and security concerns, non-computer devices are also potential threat vectors. Ignoring the security of all your IoT devices (the fastest-growing device segment) is a disaster waiting to happen. Ensure that you’re constantly securing and assessing everything — on both sides of the endpoint — to achieve sustainable cybersecurity resiliency within your organization.
In short, we can expect that the security trends that came with 2021 — upticks in insider threats, a rise in ransomware attacks, and unprecedented data breaches — are here to stay in 2022. In order for organizations to bolster their cybersecurity resiliency and prepare for the onslaught of attacks and cybersecurity threats to come, it’s imperative that they consider that endpoint security today is a two-way street. Sustainable security starts with shoring up both sides of the entry point.