Cyber security threats are an unfortunate and all-too-common aspect of operating a business in 2021.
With the threat of cyber attack looming over businesses in every industry, cyber security remediation should be a crucial consideration for any company in the current day and age—especially those dealing with highly sensitive client information, such as the healthcare industry.
Cyber risks can—and do—severely threaten the operations and income of the businesses they affect, and ultimately their very existence.
Cyber attacks devastate millions of American businesses and individuals each year. According to Forbes, 2020 “broke all records when it came to data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on companies”, and 2021 was even worse.
It’s no wonder that so many companies fail to protect themselves against potential threats; as the same Forbes piece notes, only “5% of companies’ folders are properly protected.”
If you have to ask whether you fall into the camp of the 95% of businesses that aren’t guarded against cyber attack, the chances are strong that you do—which is where cyber security remediation comes in.
What is Security Remediation?
Cyber security (or threat) remediation is one of the best lines of defense that a team can take against a range of cyber threat vectors, including malware/ransomware, phishing, etc. Security remediation is a key stage in the Vulnerability Management Life Cycle (discover, prioritize, assess, report, remediate, verify) and prevents businesses from realizing their worst case scenarios.
Threat remediation involves identifying and eliminating active threats before they can cause lasting damage. Failing to carry out security remediation could leave your business vulnerable to data theft and a subsequent loss of income and operations, which can have catastrophic consequences; according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of SMEs go out of business completely within six months of a cyber attack.
By detecting and mitigating threats early, you can minimize any potential fallout and drastically improve your ability to bounce back from an attack.
Remediation Processes: Best Practices
Remediation used to involve manual processes carried out by security teams who often failed to eliminate vulnerabilities swiftly enough to prevent cataclysmic damage.
The most effective remediation efforts will not only trigger an automatic eradication of any questionable activity, but will identify—and resolve—any security vulnerability at the source: a crucial aspect of any risk management process.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all security remediation plan or template that businesses can follow to carry out their own vulnerability remediation, there are certain steps that teams can take to ensure their remediation processes are effective and thorough.
Cyber Security Remediation in 5 Steps
1. Conduct a risk assessment
To protect your business against cyber breaches, you must first complete a risk assessment to identify and understand your security vulnerabilities, which are the areas where you’re most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Any security vulnerability scan should look at all devices connected to your network, your wireless configuration and your current security management infrastructure, including your:
- Firewall configuration and the threat detection software you have in place
- Cyber security policies and disaster recovery plans, and/or the policies of the vendor who oversees your cyber security management
2. Monitor your system
If you don’t already have a process in place for monitoring your system around the clock for threats, it’s crucial that you establish one, especially if you’re dealing with a large number of network endpoints. You should be monitoring every mobile device, laptop, website and application for security threats at all times.
Monitoring systems such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) collect and analyze information pertaining to your IT infrastructure (including all devices, servers, etc.) to detect threats. The sooner that you become aware of threats, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to remediate them.
3. Prioritize your vulnerabilities
The bigger the system that you’re dealing with and the more devices that are connected to it, the greater number of vulnerabilities you’ll face. Not all vulnerabilities are created equally, however, and it’s neither wise nor, in many cases, possible to devote the same attention to all security threats.
At this stage, you should identify all cyber security vulnerabilities, rank them according to risk level and determine how best to deal with each. By prioritizing your cyber risks, your security team can devote its attention where it’s most needed.
4. Implement your remediation processes
Now’s the time to put all of that preparation into action. Ideally, you should collaborate with your own in-house IT team and your chosen cyber security vendor to apply an optimal remediation approach that’s been designed to address your unique needs and vulnerabilities.
Working with a team of cyber security and vulnerability remediation experts will make the process smooth and painless while confirming that you’re being protected at every turn.
5. Ensure your team is on board
The final step in the cyber security remediation process is one that you should actually have in place at all times, and which should be integral to your very operations: training your employees to ensure that they’re working with, not against, your remediation efforts.
According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report, 85% of the incidents they analyzed had a human element, with rates of social engineering attacks having risen significantly since 2017.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep all employees informed of your own processes and the risks they may face through cyber security awareness training.
6. Update your processes as necessary
Cybercriminals are always becoming stealthier and more sophisticated, which means that the same must be true of your remediation processes. Work with your security team to constantly update and evolve your processes so that you stay protected.
Cyber Security Remediation – Conclusion
At a time when a cyber attack can completely shutter a business in mere months, having a strong cyber security remediation process in place is not just wise—it’s unnegotiable.
By working with a trusted vendor that specializes in cyber security services, you can make certain that your business doesn’t contribute to the $2.2 million that cyber-attacks cost small- and medium-sized businesses each year.
For support in developing your own remediation processes, speak with one of our agents today.