7 Cybersecurity Gaps that Expose Businesses to Threats (And 1 Way to Fix Them)

Cybersecurity and Proactive Management

Cybersecurity Gaps 

Cybersecurity is consistently a top concern for business leaders. As more users and devices are connected to networks, the likelihood of a breach increases. Changing working environments, like working from home en masse, also contribute to potential issues. Major changes also cause end-users to need more support than usual, meaning IT teams have less time to implement security protocols.

As IT task lists grow, focus can get diverted away from critical projects like cybersecurity. SolarWinds, a Mechdyne IT Services partner, identified 7 pitfalls many IT groups inadvertently fall into that expose organizations to cyber threats. They are:

  1. Inconsistency in cybersecurity enforcement

  2. Insufficient user awareness training

  3. Trailing in the application of new cybersecurity technologies

  4. Lack of vulnerability reporting

  5. Inflexibility in adaptation after a breach

  6. Stagnation in the application of key prevention techniques

  7. Slower threat detection and response

Alone any one of these can be a large gap in cybersecurity but having multiple can create massive vulnerabilities in the environment. Without the ability to add time in the day, or prevent end-users from needing support, how can IT groups tackle these critical issues? The answer is Proactive Management.

Not familiar with Proactive Management? Check out our whitepaper.

Not only can Proactive Management (PM) alleviate many of these issues, but IT teams can work with a partner to implement PM as a service. This saves IT teams from having to drop other important tasks to focus on solving persistent problems. Organizations that implement a PM solution see increased security, a focused IT team, and reduced disaster recovery costs. See how below:

  1. Inconsistency in cybersecurity enforcement

IT environments are in a constant state of change – user onboarding and offboarding, software application updates and changes, new devices being added. All of these changes require some type of cybersecurity support. PM helps to alleviate that strain. Utilizing automatic network scanning can identify new devices and add them to an existing index. Off-boarded devices will drop out of the indexed list. The list can also act as another checkpoint to make sure that an off-boarded machine has been removed. The system also ensures that all devices and servers are up-to-date with any security updates and patches. When a machine fails to update, notifications can be automatically sent.

  1. Insufficient user awareness training

This layer of cybersecurity is critical; most breaches occur when a user unknowingly allows an attack into the system. While PM cannot directly address the training of users, it can help in other ways. When new machines are added to the system, PM will identify batches of users who need to go through initial/onboarding training. Anti-virus and anti-malware solutions secure endpoints that may be exposed to threats. PM contains reporting capabilities that show where threats entered systems and the remediation steps taken. This reporting can point towards users who may need more training or identify types of training needed for all users.

  1. Trailing in the application of new cybersecurity technologies

Cyber threats and protection have an arms race type of relationship. A new type of threat emerges, then a new type of defense is created, and then the threat actors work to create a new threat that bypasses protections. It can be very difficult to keep up. Having an IT partner keeps organizations up-to-date as the partner focuses on implementing best practices and new technologies, while IT teams focus on strategic tasks for the organization. Cybersecurity service offerings must be up-to-date to be effective. While the tools that are part of a system today add layers of protection to organizations, they will not be effective forever. The procedures and software used within the service offering must continue to adapt as well. This is where an IT partner comes in.

  1. Lack of vulnerability reporting

Data reporting and analysis are critical, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Improvement plans can be developed when an organization knows where its vulnerabilities and gaps exist. Without that knowledge, organizations are guessing at best, or doing nothing at all. Regular reports on device and server patching provide essential data points for IT groups. Organizations using PM are able to see when the patch occurred, what machines completed the update, and what machines had issues or still need to be updated. Once this information is in-hand, the IT team can then take the next steps to resolve the issues and identify potential gaps.

  1. Inflexibility in adaptation after a breach

Threats come from many directions and a layered cybersecurity approach is needed to protect organizations. Quickly adapting and increasing security measures is critical in the aftermath of a breach. Breaches are a constant threat, especially following a successful attack. PM enables the IT team to make widespread updates to all of the machines on the network. PM enables the IT team to rapidly implement changes to laptops, desktops, and servers. The reporting from PM is also critical to understanding the environment, when patches were rolled out, and what is happening across all the different endpoints.

  1. Stagnation in application of key prevention techniques

Common “house-keeping” tasks are often the first to get pushed down the priority list. While not able to directly assist with tasks like restricting local or domain administrative rights or application whitelisting, PM can remove items from IT team task lists. IT teams can focus on projects that increase the security of the entire organization when they don’t have to worry about patching schedules or patching individual machines.

Disk encryption, as a data security measure, increasingly impacts IT teams, and their priority lists, as more mobile and laptop devices are added to organizations’ environments. Encryption is a critical security procedure that protects trade secrets and other vital business data as more users switch to mobile computing (laptops) and travel with their work. PM not only patches and encrypts data, but can provide endpoint protection through anti-virus and anti-malware programs. Having all of these services taken care of gives IT teams more time to focus on some of the other necessary system changes that keep organizations secure.

  1. Slower threat detection and response

Early detection is perhaps the most important preventative technique. The longer it takes to detect and respond to a threat, the more damage occurs and remediation costs rise. It takes organizations 6 months on average to detect a breach. That gives attackers ample time to find an organization’s data to exploit.

If threats and breaches are caught early, both damage and costs can be contained. PM leverages next-gen behavioral analysis, heuristics, and machine learning to detect and stop threats before widespread infection. Next-gen endpoint detection and response (EDR) utilizes pre-execution programs to “test” files, downloads, and programs before they fully execute in the system. If the program determines there is a threat, it is quarantined. The combination of services contained within PM reduces detection and response times, which directly lower threat damage and costs.

7 issues. 1 solution.

Proactive Management can help alleviate business leader cybersecurity concerns and remove tasks from internal to-do lists. IT team can then focus on strategic projects for their organizations. These organizations then see increased security, a more productive IT team, and reduced disaster recovery costs.

Whether your organization is suffering from one or all seven issues, speak with one of our experts to find out how Proactive Management can help your organization.

You can also learn more from our whitepaper.