Downtime, especially when it happens unexpectedly, is the enemy of productivity. Just ask Sony. When their online gaming platform was hacked in 2011, the service had to be taken offline for a month, resulting in unplanned costs of around $171 million, not including the reputational damage caused by 77 million user accounts being compromised. So, what can you do to prevent this kind of disaster?
Ensuring complete security for all your digital assets is actually pretty easy. All you need to do is block access to every device, port and application in your company. Unfortunately, this has a somewhat negative effect on employee productivity…
The need for an effective solution remains. Not being able to pro-actively prevent unplanned downtime exposes your organisation to operational disruptions that can result in lost revenue, reduced productivity and a compromised customer experience. In this light, you would need to ask yourself:
- If a phishing incident occurs, how can you quickly restore the desired customer experience?
- How can you proactively reduce the likelihood of unplanned downtime events?
- How much does each hour of unplanned downtime cost your organisation?
Making invisible vulnerabilities visible
Before you know what to protect, you need to know what you have in the first place. A solid Digital Risk Protection (DRP) platform gives organisations greater visibility over the vulnerabilities within their digital footprint. It helps to eliminate threats before they can be exploited. Such a DRP solution delivers organisation-wide benefits by enhancing the effectiveness of the entire security infrastructure.
Effective digital footprint management
In order to avoid unwanted downtime, the use of DRP solutions needs to be supported with thorough digital footprint management. That’s because knowing what online assets you have is the first step in knowing how to protect them. As with all things, that procedure takes time to do well. However, a good DRP solution will automate most of the processes and provide you with actionable insights. At Cybersprint, we recommend you take the following approach:
After an initial scan of your digital footprint has been performed, the assets and their detailed analyses need to be scrutinised. What are their risk ratings and proposed mitigation actions? Which assets need to be taken care of first? And who is in control of those? Plan what you want to do about the vulnerabilities. Goals and deadlines for each step should be defined. Digital assets can also be tagged to specific departments or projects, so everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Integration of the DRP platform with Service Management software supports this process.
This is where the teams involved actively mitigate the assigned vulnerabilities to secure the digital footprint. Depending on the goals set in the Plan phase, this may take the most time as (sub)domains have to be checked, security certificates renewed, software updated, etc. Having a central Configuration Management Database (CMDB) will also help in this process.
Your DRP platform will continuously scan for new assets, as well as re-analyse the ones already found. This makes it easy to validate the success of the mitigation actions per asset, and see which ones require further action.
Based on the insights and findings during the Do and Check phases, processes and regulations can be optimised to minimise and prevent similar vulnerabilities in the future.
This should automatically lead to a new Plan phase in which different assets can be prioritised and mitigated. Every completed cycle improves your organisation’s cyber resilience, putting you back in control of your digital footprint and making structural changes to your online footprint that will help protect it in the future.
Leveraging a DRP solution to build this kind of structured approach into your IT security strategy is an important way of reducing the risk of downtime caused by cyber attacks. It also helps you mitigate issues faster to avoid the kind of operational, financial and reputational damage suffered by Sony and many others.
Can you identify and prioritise the vulnerabilities within your organisation’s digital footprint? Our platform’s free Quickscan will help discover, assess and remediate online risks to your brand. The scan will provide you with valuable and actionable insights, illustrating where improvements can be made.
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the online footprint of your organisation?