Vulnerabilities are the most critical cyber risk for organizations. And human error triggers them. It happened with the massive WannaCry ransomware
attack and the Equifax data leak.
In both situations, the inadequate administration of ITSCM was a determining factor of hackers’ success.
Once the malicious code enters systems, IT teams may take longer than desired to respond if they do not have the necessary resources. For this reason, it is essential to create synergies between vulnerability monitoring software and quali-quantitative models, such as cyber risk analysis.
Here are the best KPIs for identifying vulnerabilities. You can use this information to boost your ITSCM team and find vulnerabilities more easily.
Exploitation of vulnerabilities, the hackers’ favorite method
Exploiting vulnerabilities is the most common method of breaking into enterprise networks. This tactic is one of the most effective despite its longevity in the digital world. However, some IT departments still seem unable to keep malicious visitors out of their systems.
Cybercriminals are constantly updating their strategies, while the cybersecurity resources of many companies become obsolete over time. With this advantage, attackers can infiltrate in private networks through computer risks such as outdated operating systems, default settings, personal browsing activities, and poor hygiene of administrator permissions.
Although the enemy seems impossible to defeat, the solution is simple. You should attack critical vulnerabilities as soon as possible: reinforce N-Day weaknesses and automate your error monitoring 24-hour a day. With this battery of analysis, you can create successful cybersecurity strategies, without wasting budget.
Follow these indicators to take quick actions on your systems.
Main KPIs to measure vulnerabilities in systems
Detecting computer risks requires measurable data and a lot of deductive reasoning. For this purpose, it is recommended to focus efforts on answering the following questions: Who has legitimate access to systems?, what are the critical points of the digital architecture? And what kind of security tools are implemented?
You can rely on cybersecurity benchmarking to review all these aspects. There are several resources you can apply, such as public vulnerability reports, automated infrastructure audits, bug and usability logs, as well as read team simulations. Implementing cyber exposure
software is critical to optimizing IT risk analysis. They eliminate work overload and streamline results.
Regardless of which tool you use to detect vulnerabilities, always verify these elements:
# 1 Data transferred
Review data activity in the corporate network. Traffic reports are essential to detect early threats and hidden security breaches.
This is especially useful in companies that allow free surfing on the Internet; employees of organizations with this profile often download any number of files and browse various websites on a daily basis regardless of harmful events.
You should look for changes in browsing patterns, suspicious redirects, the inappropriate outflow of information and the health of the files. Transferred data indicators do not only shed light on the volume of traffic, but they also offer a holistic view of the actions of professionals that can cause harm.
With these key points, you can take action to close the vulnerabilities. It is advisable to restrict the use of the corporate network to certain risky websites previously visited. Also, you should update the security systems of each computer in the corporate network.
# 2 Third party activities
With IAM integrations, you can monitor the actions in the corporate network of external collaborators. In this case, you must identify the riskiest activities and detect misuse of credentials. Look for accesses with erroneous identification protocols, the volume of data transferred, track system modifications and the times of collaborators in your network.
You can receive attacks from partners with special permissions and in turn, have poor hygiene in their systems.
Another essential indicator of computer risk is the performance reports in equipment such as Points of Sales, industrial control devices, IoT, among others.
# 3 Number of communication ports
Check the reception of packages from your communication ports. Searches for NetBIOS traffic (i.e., UDP 137, UDP 138, TCP 135-139, and 445).
Outbound SSL is also a risk factor to consider, so if the session is kept open for long periods of time, it is likely to be a bi-directional traffic indicator through an SSL VPN tunnel.
Likewise, it observes the activity of any port that enables remote connections such as TCP 22 (SSH), TCP 23 (Telnet), TCP 3389 (RDP), TCP 20 and 21 (FTP).
# 4 Compliance with policies
Reviews the IT team’s security policy compliance. Many of the vulnerabilities in systems are known to be caused by human error. For this reason, identifying the level of compliance is a good way to know what the department’s operational weaknesses are. After all, people are responsible for the quality of systems.
If you are looking for a tool to optimize your computer risk analysis, at GB Advisors we recommend Tenable’s Cyber Exposure Platform. Our leading cybersecurity partner for large companies. Contact us for consultation.
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