DF Basic CyberSecurity Level

If you're running a small company/organization (up to 20 untis/hosts in network), then these controls of our Basic CyberSecurity Level are offered by DigiFence to quickly establish protection for your organization from the most common attacks that can be easily eliminated. Feel free to go throught the suggested controls and their importance for this level of CyberSecurity that DigiFence is offering;

▼ CONTROL 01
Inventory and Control of Hardware Assets

OBJECTIVE
Actively manage (inventory, track, and correct) all hardware devices on the network so that only authorized devices are given access, and unauthorized and unmanaged devices are found and prevented from gaining access.

IMPORTANCE
Attackers, who can be located anywhere in the world, are continuously scanning the address space of target organizations, waiting for new and possibly unprotected systems to be attached to the network. They are particularly interested in devices which come and go off of the enterprise’s network such as laptops or Bring-Your-Own-Devices (BYOD) which might be out of synch with security updates or might already be compromised. Attacks can take advantage of new hardware that is installed on the network one evening but not configured and patched with appropriate security updates until the following day. Even devices that are not visible from the Internet can be used by attackers who have already gained internal access and are hunting for internal pivot points or victims. Additional systems that connect to the enterprise’s network (e.g., demonstration systems, temporary test systems, guest networks) should also be managed carefully and/or isolated in order to prevent adversarial access from affecting the security of enterprise operations.

Large, complex enterprises understandably struggle with the challenge of managing intricate, fast-changing environments. But attackers have shown the ability, patience, and willingness to “inventory and control” our assets at very large scale in order to support their opportunities.

Managed control of all devices also plays a critical role in planning and executing system backup, incident response, and recovery.

▼ CONTROL 02
Inventory and Control of Software Assets

OBJECTIVE
Actively manage (inventory, track, and correct) all software on the network so that only authorized software is installed and can execute, and that unauthorized and unmanaged software is found and prevented from installation or execution.

IMPORTANCE
Attackers continuously scan target organizations looking for vulnerable versions of software that can be remotely exploited. Some attackers also distribute hostile web pages, document files, media files, and other content via their own web pages or otherwise trustworthy third-party sites. When unsuspecting victims access this content with a vulnerable browser or other client-side program, attackers compromise their machines, often installing backdoor programs and bots that give the attacker long-term control of the system. Some sophisticated attackers may use zero-day exploits, which take advantage of previously unknown vulnerabilities for which no patch has yet been released by the software vendor. Without proper knowledge or control of the software deployed in an organization, defenders cannot properly secure their assets.

Poorly controlled machines are more likely to be either running software that is unneeded for business purposes (introducing potential security flaws), or running malware introduced by an attacker after a system is compromised. Once a single machine has been exploited, attackers often use it as a staging point for collecting sensitive information from the compromised system and from other systems connected to it. In addition, compromised machines are used as a launching point for movement throughout the network and partnering networks. In this way, attackers may quickly turn one compromised machine into many. Organizations that do not have complete software inventories are unable to find systems running vulnerable or malicious software to mitigate problems or root out attackers.

Managed control of all software also plays a critical role in planning and executing system backup, incident response, and recovery.

▼ CONTROL 03
Continuous Vulnerability Management

OBJECTIVE
Continuously acquire, assess, and take action on new information in order to identify vulnerabilities, remediate, and minimize the window of opportunity for attackers.

IMPORTANCE
Cyber defenders must operate in a constant stream of new information: software updates, patches, security advisories, threat bulletins, etc. Understanding and managing vulnerabilities has become a continuous activity, requiring significant time, attention, and resources. Attackers have access to the same information and can take advantage of gaps between the appearance of new knowledge and remediation. For example, when researchers report new vulnerabilities, a race starts among all parties, including: attackers (to “weaponize”, deploy an attack, exploit); vendors (to develop, deploy patches or signatures and updates), and defenders (to assess risk, regression-test patches, install).

Organizations that do not scan for vulnerabilities and proactively address discovered flaws face a significant likelihood of having their computer systems compromised. Defenders face particular challenges in scaling remediation across an entire enterprise, and prioritizing actions with conflicting priorities, and sometimes-uncertain side effects.

▼ CONTROL 04
Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges

OBJECTIVE
Manage the processes and tools used to track/control/prevent/correct the use, assignment, and configuration of administrative privileges on computers, networks, and applications.

IMPORTANCE
The misuse of administrative privileges is a primary method for attackers to spread inside a target enterprise. Two very common attacker techniques take advantage of uncontrolled administrative privileges. In the first, a workstation user running as a privileged user, is fooled into opening a malicious email attachment, downloading and opening a file from a malicious website, or simply surfing to a website hosting attacker content that can automatically exploit browsers. The file or exploit contains executable code that runs on the victim’s machine either automatically or by tricking the user into executing the attacker’s content. If the victim user’s account has administrative privileges, the attacker can take over the victim’s machine completely and install keystroke loggers, sniffers, and remote control software to find administrative passwords and other sensitive data. Similar attacks occur with email. An administrator inadvertently opens an email that contains an infected attachment and this is used to obtain a pivot point within the network that is used to attack other systems.

The second common technique used by attackers is elevation of privileges by guessing or cracking a password for an administrative user to gain access to a target machine. If administrative privileges are loosely and widely distributed, or identical to passwords used on less critical systems, the attacker has a much easier time gaining full control of systems, because there are many more accounts that can act as avenues for the attacker to compromise administrative privileges.

▼ CONTROL 05
Secure Configuration for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations and Servers

OBJECTIVE
Establish, implement, and actively manage (track, report on, correct) the security configuration of mobile devices, laptops, servers, and workstations using a rigorous configuration management and change control process in order to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerable services and settings.

IMPORTANCE
As delivered by manufacturers and resellers, the default configurations for operating systems and applications are normally geared towards ease-of-deployment and ease-of-use – not security. Basic controls, open services and ports, default accounts or passwords, older (vulnerable) protocols, preinstallation of unneeded software; all can be exploitable in their default state. Developing configuration settings with good security properties is a complex task beyond the ability of individual users, requiring analysis of potentially hundreds or thousands of options in order to make good choices. Even if a strong initial configuration is developed and installed, it must be continually managed to avoid security “decay” as software is updated or patched, new security vulnerabilities are reported, and configurations are “tweaked” to allow the installation of new software or support new operational requirements. If not, attackers will find opportunities to exploit both network accessible services and client software.

▼ CONTROL 06
Maintenance, Monitoring and Analysis of Audit Logs

OBJECTIVE
Collect, manage, and analyze audit logs of events that could help detect, understand, or recover from an attack.

IMPORTANCE
Deficiencies in security logging and analysis allow attackers to hide their location, malicious software, and activities on victim machines. Even if the victims know that their systems have been compromised, without protected and complete logging records they are blind to the details of the attack and to subsequent actions taken by the attackers. Without solid audit logs, an attack may go unnoticed indefinitely and the particular damages done may be irreversible.

Sometimes logging records are the only evidence of a successful attack. Many organizations keep audit records for compliance purposes, but attackers rely on the fact that such organizations rarely look at the audit logs, and they do not know that their systems have been compromised. Because of poor or nonexistent log analysis processes, attackers sometimes control victim machines for months or years without anyone in the target organization knowing, even though the evidence of the attack has been recorded in unexamined log files.