What to do when cyber hygiene isn't enough

Here are five things to consider to mitigate threats when good cyber hygiene just isn't enough.

You didn’t have to peruse the latest Verizon Data Breach Report to know that cyber-attacks remain one of the clear and present threats of our time, with an intensity that shows little signs of abating.

 Cyber breaches affect everyone, small and large businesses, as well as networks residing in the public sector. Public sector networks with their treasure trove of sensitive information face vigorous targeting by nation states and cyber criminals looking to steal anything that isn’t bolted down.

Helping government agencies lock the door to keep external threat actors out, combined with education and training, can only go so far. There will always be a vulnerability. How can those selling security solutions help the government mitigate security threats when good cyber hygiene isn’t enough? Here are five things to consider.

  1. Preemptive Hunting: Protecting agency networks from cyber criminals requires thinking like the adversary: Putting yourself in that mindset to consider where they would go next, identifying what trails they would leave, what you would do at each stage of a cyber-attack, etc. This approach can be more effective at preemptively isolating vulnerabilities than simply reviewing alerts after the fact.
  2. Figuring Out What You Can Interrupt: A follow-on from thinking like an adversary is figuring out what can be interrupted. What are the steps an adversary will take to get to administrative privileges within a government network, for example, and how can those steps can best be interrupted? How would they get to the point where they are masked and how can those attempts be stopped? Here speed matters, as detection and investigation need to occur in minutes before the adversary can cause lasting damage.
  3. Embracing the Cloud: While security concerns related to cloud adoption persist, they are evaporating. In fact, government agencies should be educated on how cloud can augment security. The ability to aggregate threat data, while leveraging cloud-scale AI, will advance vulnerability analysis. The end result will be fewer “unknowns,” as it’s likely that the malware or vulnerability identified by one agency has already been seen by another. (One thing to note, this will require a far greater level of information sharing among government agencies to really see the benefits of crowdsourcing as a method for early detection and proactive patching.)
  4. Knowing your Network: One of the biggest challenges government agencies face, and where industry can help, is helping them know what’s on their network. You can’t defend what you don’t know, so understanding the network topology is table stakes when it comes to defending a network. This is a task made more complex with the growing prevalence of cloud, mobility, IoT and Shadow IT.
  5. Planning for Compromise: Help your government customers maintain a plan for when they are breached. It’s a matter of when, not if, for many of them. I use the word maintain because what it means to be resilient will evolve as the threat evolves. As mentioned above, an important step is an evaluation of what they have in their network but also, they need to think through scenarios like what happens to the survivability of a network if a phishing link is clicked, what is our backup plan, etc.

Those overseeing the $15 billion a year in federal security spend know that their IT environments will never achieve zero vulnerability or zero threat. In your conversations with C-level executives and program managers, show how you can help their office, branch or agency be better postured to handle the inevitable. Demonstrate you can utilize your visibility, analytics or cloud-based solutions to better understand threats and bad actors and be more proactive in defending your network and determining next steps after a breach.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.