29 Mar, 2021

Cyber Security Risk Management - Exposing and Fixing Security Vulnerabilities

by nVisium

Can you believe we are already at the end of Q1 2021? Despite the pandemic and the crazy working requirements of the last 12+ months, it seems that time is still moving at a pace beyond imagination. This of course hasn’t stopped cyber criminals from finding new and creative ways to penetrate current security technologies and techniques. It should come as no surprise that your understanding of cyber security risk management and how to expose and fix security vulnerabilities will mean the difference between success and failure.

Cyber Security Risk Management Revisited

eSecurity Planet answers the question of “what is cyber security risk management?” with this:

“Rather than doors, locks and vaults, IT departments rely on a combination of strategies, technologies and user education to protect an enterprise against cybersecurity attacks that can compromise systems, steal data and other valuable company information, and damage an enterprise’s reputation. As the volume and severity of cyber attacks grow, the need for cybersecurity risk management grows with it.

Cybersecurity risk management takes the idea of real world risk management and applies it to the cyberworld. It involves identifying your risks and vulnerabilities and applying administrative actions and comprehensive solutions to make sure your organization is adequately protected.”

The article goes on to offer that:

“Deloitte recommends that the risk management process follow the Capability Maturity Model approach, with the following five levels:

    1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) – the starting point for use of a new or undocumented repeat process
    2. Repeatable – the process is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps may be attempted
    3. Defined – the process is defined and confirmed as a standard business process
    4. Managed – the process is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics
    5. Optimizing – process management includes deliberate process optimization/improvement.”

This brings us to the requirement for security assessments and their value in exposing and fixing security vulnerabilities before they can impact your business operations.

Exposing And Fixing Security Vulnerabilities

Unfortunately, too many organizations forgo security assessments, and this results in more breaches. Just read the annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report to see the depth and breadth of the problem.

Now that you are ready for security assessments, it begs the questions of “where do you start”, and “what steps should you deploy to ensure success.” According to SearchSecurity:

“There are two approaches to vulnerability scanning, authenticated and unauthenticated scans. In the unauthenticated method, the tester performs the scan as an intruder would, without trusted access to the network. Such a scan reveals vulnerabilities that can be accessed without logging into the network. In an authenticated scan, the tester logs in as a network user, revealing the vulnerabilities that are accessible to a trusted user, or an intruder that has gained access as a trusted user.”

Accommodating these types of scans leads us to the 5 ways to expose the vulnerabilities with security assessments. In order to address the “what steps should you deploy to ensure success”, the five steps include:

  1. Planning: While it is desirable to gain total coverage of all IT resources, the reality is that a plan will need to be developed to prioritize the most critical resources first.
  2. Scanning: Leveraging the authenticated and non-authenticated techniques described above, you will now do the active assessment of the targeted resources.
  3. Analysis: A detailed report of each potential design flaw and/or potential for coding practices that don’t meet industry standards or security best practices will be the result of the scans above. Just reading the reports is not enough. A deep analysis of the implications and risk/cost for remediation will lead to a solid remediation plan.
  4. Remediation: Provide specific remediation guidance in the form of refactored code examples and concrete implementation guidance. This produces recommendations that are immediately actionable and aimed at reducing the total engineering overhead associated with remediation efforts
  5. Repeat: Bottomline, is this should be treated like a process not a project, so expect to “rinse and repeat” this process on an ongoing basis to ensure best practices and further reduce to chance of missing new vulnerabilities manifesting.

For extra credit research; If you haven’t seen our previous blog on “What is an application risk assessment and how does it work?”, then you should check it out here.

DevSecOps For 2021

nVisium empowers organizations to eliminate application and cloud security vulnerabilities before cyber threats exploit them with proven in-depth security assessments, remediation and training programs. Our experienced team of security-savvy developers and engineers guide organizations to build best practices with high ROI into their engineering and secure development lifecycles across applications, operating systems, networks, mobile, cloud and IoT through services, software solutions and R&D unique to business operations and compliance initiatives. Additionally, nVisium improves your DevecOps to 2021 standards by providing a fully managed platform for tracking and measuring performance as well as instructor-led and online training.

By integrating security into the development process, nVisium strives to find and help fix security vulnerabilities in our client's software while teaching our clients the importance of incorporating security from the ground up. We offer a range of comprehensive services to ensure that you and your company are protected from cyber threats, including security assessments, software assurance, and training.

in addition to an application security assessment, you should extend your security assessment strategy to let nVisium include:

  • Applications: A standard assessment combines static and dynamic analysis, which allows our team to evaluate all aspects of an application and test risk mitigation solutions, this service also offers the most precise remediation advice.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT presents its own unique set of security challenges and requires a broad skillset for assessing. Our IoT assessments identify weaknesses in an entire IoT architecture including software, hardware, API, and web/mobile components.
  • Networks: Using a combination of automated and manual techniques, our team will identify risks to your systems and networks that attackers could find and exploit. We will provide detailed information of our findings along with recommendations to help remediation efforts.
  • Mobile: Identify weaknesses in how an application interacts with the mobile device, the remote APIs it communicates with, how the application is written, and the libraries it uses to function.
  • Cloud: Assessments of AWS, Azure, or GCP go beyond the simple security issues that are easily detected through automation. We get to know the business purpose behind your architecture, review the design, and begin an analysis of security controls, monitoring and alerting, hardening, and IAM policies and permissions…. And BTW, we are an AWS Partner

Bottomline is that a small investment is security assessments can eliminate the pain of lost data and privacy, so now is the time to act. Schedule a demo today or download our new eBook titled “Demystifying DevSecOps” to get started yourself.

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