Cyber New Year’s Resolutions: Cyber Security Tips for 2018

Cyber New Year’s Resolutions: Cyber Security Tips for 2018

Cyber Security Tips for 2018 and Beyond

Now that the year is coming to an end, all eyes are on what’s possibly around the corner. More attacks on cryptocurrencies? An escalation in attacks by state-sponsored cyber criminals? Chaos as the EU’s GDPR is implemented? In cyber security, only one thing is certain: It’s a continuous game of Spy vs. Spy. As soon as one hole is plugged, hackers find another way in, and with every new technology comes a brand-new set of risks. Here’s a list of cyber security tips for 2018 that will protect your enterprise not only in the New Year but in the years to come.

Cyber New Year’s Resolutions: Cyber Security Tips for 2018

Secure Your Cloud, Secure Your Cloud, Secure Your Cloud

The AWS breach epidemic made our list of the worst cyber attacks of 2017, so it’s not surprising that cloud security is at the top of our cyber security tips for 2018. The rule of thumb is that your cloud service provider is responsible for the security of your cloud, but your organization is responsible for the security in it. Understand that cloud security is quite different from on-premises cyber security, and make sure to seek professional help to ensure a successful and secure cloud migration.

Make Sure Your Business Associates Are Secure

The next item on our list of cyber security tips for 2018 addresses another epidemic we saw over this past year: incidents where hackers targeted the smaller, third-party vendors of larger organizations such as Verizon, the Republican National Committee, and Netflix. It is estimated that over 60% of all breaches now involve third-party business associates. Often, hackers target these firms because they tend to be smaller than their corporate customers and have less robust cyber security. Make sure to vet your vendors’ information security very carefully and ensure that they aren’t cutting corners. Ask us about Vendor Risk Assessments.

Keep Your Software & Systems Updated

Both the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks targeted older, unpatched versions of Microsoft Windows, and the Equifax breach was the fault of the organization not updating its installation of Adobe Struts. Because hackers often exploit known vulnerabilities that developers have patched in security updates, one of the easiest ways to fend off cyber attacks is to keep your operating systems and software up to date.

Don’t Forget About Your Employees

The biggest security vulnerability in any organization is its own people. All of the updates, firewalls, and technical controls in the world will do you no good if an employee clicks on a link in a phishing email, shares their password “just this one time,” or “goes rogue” and decides to strike back against the company. Your cyber security plan should include continuous employee training on cyber security best practices as well as precautions to guard against malicious insiders.

Remember that Compliance Does Not Equal Cyber Security

It is of the utmost importance to comply with regulatory and industry standards such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC, FedRAMP, and the upcoming GDPR. However, compliance is the starting point, not the do-all, end-all, of cyber security. Because today’s data environments are complex and unique, and the threat environment changes daily, it is impossible for any standard or framework to address every single possible risk and vulnerability that an individual organization may face.

The cyber security experts at Lazarus Alliance have deep knowledge of the cyber security field, are continually monitoring the latest information security threats, and are committed to protecting organizations of all sizes from security breaches. Our full-service risk assessment services and Continuum GRC RegTech software will help protect your organization from data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.

Compliance Automation Takes the Pain Out of the IT Audit Process

Compliance automation software is the answer to rising compliance costs

Compliance automation software is the answer to rising compliance costs

After last year’s U.S. presidential election, many businesses eagerly awaited a new “era of deregulation” that would allegedly result in relaxed compliance requirements – and lower costs. Although some regulations have been relaxed or even repealed, IT compliance is as time-consuming and expensive as ever. A recent survey by Wealth Management found that broker/dealers and registered investment advisors have increased their compliance budgets by an average of 9%. Further, investment advisors charged with compliance oversight report that compliance tasks take up 1/3 of their time. So much for the “era of deregulation.” Fortunately, the era of compliance automation is upon us.

In the Beginning, There Was Excel

For many years, organizations and third-party IT auditors have been using Microsoft Excel to “automate” their IT compliance processes. This worked well – in the 1990s, when the only other option was paper files. If your organization, or your IT auditor, is still using Excel for “compliance automation” in 2017, you aren’t actually “automating” anything. Excel is a great spreadsheet program, but it is not an IT audit and compliance solution, nor will it do anything to help you with IT governance and risk management, which are integral parts of compliance.

Modern RegTech software solutions, such as Continuum GRC’s IT Audit Machine (ITAM), are designed specifically to create, measure, monitor, and manage IT governance programs for compliance frameworks such as COBIT, FedRAMP, COSO, SSAE 18 SOC 1, AT 101 SOC 2, CJIS, DFARS, ISO 27001, ISO 27002, ISO 27005, NIST, and ITIL. With compliance automation software, your organization gets a truly automated, workflow-driven approach to managing, communicating, and implementing IT policies and procedures.

Let’s look at some of the ways in which compliance automation software saves time, money, and headaches.

How IT Compliance Automation Software Helps You Work Smarter, Not Harder

It helps you bridge the cyber security skills gap. The cyber security skills gap is quite real, and it’s getting worse by the day. Qualified cyber security personnel are difficult to find, and even if your company manages to snag one, it will pay top dollar for them. Compliance automation software fills this void by getting you the expert compliance help you need right now, at a price that’s far lower than what you’d pay to hire internal staff or even outsource the work to an IT audit firm. On average, ITAM users see a 46% reduction in labor costs.

It frees up your internal IT resources. Information technology personnel don’t grow on trees, either. By automating your IT compliance processes, your internal IT staff have time to work on initiatives that will grow your business instead of being bogged down with compliance audits.

It enables rapid report generation. Compliance automation software lets you say good-bye and good riddance to fumbling around and trying to reconcile a dozen different spreadsheets. Easy-to-use self-help modules and a centralized repository of all IT compliance requirements, with their associated controls and automated information flows, let you generate complex reports with just a few clicks of your mouse. On average, ITAM users speed up report generation by 180%!

It ensures that your controls are up-to-date. Compliance standards are continually evolving. Excel can’t tell you if your controls are compliant with the latest changes to IT security frameworks, but compliance automation software like ITAM can. If the regulations change, you find out right away, and you can respond right away.

It eliminates silos and improves cyber security. Respondents to the Wealth Management survey named cyber security as the top priority of their compliance efforts. Compliance automation software like ITAM doesn’t just make compliance easier; it integrates IT governance, policy management, risk management, compliance management, audit management, and incident management. With one user portal, you get the big picture of your organization’s cyber security controls, risks, and vulnerabilities.

The cyber security experts at Lazarus Alliance have deep knowledge of the cyber security field, are continually monitoring the latest information security threats, and are committed to protecting organizations of all sizes from security breaches. Our full-service risk assessment services and Continuum GRC RegTech software will help protect your organization from data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.

Proactive Cyber Security Tips for a Secure Cloud Migration

Understand That Cloud Security Differs from On-Site Cyber Security

Ensure a secure cloud migration with these simple, proactive cyber security tips

Enterprises have much to gain by migrating to the cloud, which is why the U.S. government has adopted a “cloud-first” initiative. Cost savings and the ability to scale up and down quickly as organizational needs change are among the benefits of cloud computing. However, the cloud also presents its own set of security issues that can differ, sometimes fundamentally, from what organizations are used to dealing with in-house, and numerous high-profile breaches involving Amazon Web Services customers have left many companies spooked about migrating to the cloud. Fortunately, a secure cloud migration is entirely possible by following a few proactive cyber security practices.

Understand That Cloud Security Differs from On-Site Cyber Security

Understand That Cloud Security Differs from On-Site Cyber Security

The first step to a secure cloud migration is to understand that cloud security must be addressed differently from your on-site cyber security. Among other things, you must understand where your cloud provider’s cyber security responsibilities end and yours begin. In general, your cloud provider is responsible for securing the actual cloud infrastructure, such as their physical data centers; your organization is responsible for securing your data and ensuring that you comply with all applicable standards, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS. For example, if your data is breached because one of your users changed the privacy settings of a cloud folder from “private” to “public,” your cloud provider cannot be held responsible.

Put Sound GRC at the Heart of Your Cloud Security

All of the Amazon Web Services breaches that have been in the news have one thing in common: They could have been prevented if the victimized companies had followed fundamental information governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) practices. Cloud security starts with a secure cloud migration plan, which must be rooted in sound GRC. Your organization must identify and clearly define which data is to be stored in the cloud (especially sensitive data probably shouldn’t be), how to set up the cloud hierarchy, and the level of access to grant each user and user group. For example, only certain high-level users should have the ability to change the access levels of cloud folders.

On a related note, migrating to the cloud means altering your entire data environment, which means that all of your cyber security and compliance processes must be reevaluated. A secure cloud migration will do you little good if one of your internal systems is breached.

Look for FedRAMP Certification

U.S. government agencies are required to choose cloud service providers that are FedRAMP-certified. However, it’s a good idea for private-sector companies to give preference to FedRAMP-certified providers as well, because FedRAMP is arguably the “gold standard” in cloud security, indicating that the provider has undergone a rigorous, comprehensive data security audit.

Seek Professional Help

From determining which data is to be stored in the cloud to properly configuring a cloud server, cloud migration can be tricky.  Most organizations do not have the in-house resources to perform a successful, secure cloud migration or ensure cloud security and compliance moving forward, especially in light of the cyber security skills shortage. The security of your systems and data is too important to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Enlist the help of a professional cyber security firm with expertise in GRC, cloud security, and in-house security from the very beginning.

The cyber security experts at Lazarus Alliance have deep knowledge of the cyber security field, are continually monitoring the latest information security threats, and are committed to protecting organizations of all sizes from security breaches. Our full-service risk assessment services and Continuum GRC RegTech software will help protect your organization from data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.