Imagine that you’re the person in charge of guarding all the gold at Fort Knox. Your job is to keep the vault locked up tight, so you’ve invested in the strongest locks, the thickest bars, and the toughest concrete walls money can buy. However, what you failed to invest in is any sort of visibility. No security cameras, no guards, no motion-detecting sensors; not even a few attack dogs patrolling the perimeter for good measure! How secure would you feel?
While guarding gold and data require different techniques, when it comes to cybersecurity the lesson is the same: visibility is as important to your security as any method of prevention.
However, too many organizations are discovering that they don’t know what they don’t know. Without proper cyber risk visibility, they spend too much time securing and patching low-priority items while high-risk vulnerabilities go unaddressed.
As companies move from on-premise legacy systems to the hybrid cloud, they are massively increasing their attack surface. With a glut of inadequately secured endpoints ranging from internet-enabled printers and sensors to employee laptops and mobile devices, the number of potential attack vectors an enterprise may be responsible for securing could literally be in the millions. More places to attack means that it’s more likely that a vulnerability will be missed.
That’s why the first step to effective cyber risk management and the key to security is to prioritize visibility. Here’s how.
Quantify your risk posture: You can’t improve your visibility until you first know where you stand. The Verizon Risk Report can help you assess your security posture with an easy-to-understand score while identifying security gaps and areas where you need to focus. As you improve your security efforts, you’ll be able to measure and track your performance, which can help senior leaders better understand the ROI of cybersecurity.
Look everywhere: A data breach can come from anywhere. Because you’re just as at risk from a state-sponsored cyber-attack as you are from an accidental internal data breach by an employee, you need to make sure your visibility encompasses your entire enterprise. An outside-in view will evaluate your cybersecurity from the point of view of the hacker, looking for any weakness in your defenses, while an inside-out view will scour your systems for any malware, unpatched devices, or other potential vulnerabilities that are already in your system. In addition, you should also evaluate your people to make sure they are practicing good security practices such as avoiding email phishing scams and regularly changing their passwords.
Always be looking: It only takes a moment for a breach to occur. However, many enterprises can go weeks or even months between vulnerability scans. A continuous approach to scanning can help you identify and fix issues in a fraction of the time, helping you mitigate damage or prevent it from occurring in the first place. This approach is key to security.
Prioritize your patches: The reality is that there is no such thing as a 100% secure organization. There will always be more issues to deal with than there will be time or resources to deal with them. With Verizon’s Threat Intelligence Platform Service, you get the actionable insights you need to understand your most pressing threats on a daily basis. By maintaining complete, constant visibility, you’ll have the data you need to prioritize patches and other initiatives in a way that can most effectively improve your overall security.
Cybersecurity has never been more difficult, or more critical. With attacks coming from every direction, you’ll need more than just cyber risk visibility. You’ll need help. Verizon can help you create a stronger, more effective defense thanks to our unified set of cybersecurity advisory services, including customized risk assessments, breach simulations, and compliance reviews. Learn more about Verizon Security Advisory Services.