Train Your Team on System Vulnerabilities and How to Mitigate those Risks through Information Security Training




Information security within an organization has a sole purpose – to protect data and information assets from both internal and external threats, as well as potential mishandling cases. This simple strategy has been implemented and worked successfully for fortress-like, centralized closed networks and computers.

But relying on an old technique in today's world, where LANs, personal computers, and the World Wide Web has changed the way business run, can be a costly mistake. As Internet applications and e-businesses continue to evolve, the need for improving information security has increased too. Today, businesses need to create the right balance between open and closed networks.

This also gave rise to the firewall, which included authentication, intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment, and authorization systems. High-functioning businesses are constantly trying to strike a balance by keeping the enemies out and still letting friends in through complex entrances.

For most organizations, security means ensuring the following:

  • Users performing tasks they are authorized to do
  • Users can only access authorized information
  • Users are in no control of causing damage to the applications, data, or the operating system

Information security is a wide subject today. It means protection against malicious attacks from the external sources as well as the internal sources. Statistics show how the insiders can be a bigger threat to an organization's security as compared to the outsiders.

Security also involves identifying, controlling, and resolving the effects of equipment failures and errors. Any damage they cannot stop can still prevent the random misfortunes.

Information Security Training to Identify System Vulnerabilities

Training your team with information security awareness will help them conduct a detailed risk analysis to identify the threats to the network resources, applications, and data. The improved knowledge and skills in the security department will enable them to evaluate the importance of all the components to be able to implement the appropriate level of security. They become responsible for maintaining a workable balance between network access availability and security.

Training them will put them in a better position to make informed decisions about network security and to highlight areas that need to be secured. More assets and money would be assigned to ensure more security of high-priced assets.

Offering information security training to your team will enable them to:

Identify Assets

Identifying the network and the components it is made up of. Experts can establish an asset inventory, which includes all the servers and hosts.

Conduct Vulnerability Assessment

The next step is to assess the vulnerabilities of each of the network components you have identified. This could be related to the weaknesses in the configuration, system, applications, technology, or security policy.

Threat Identification

Threat is when a resource is trying to take advantage of the present vulnerability. Mitigating vulnerabilities is the best way to reduce the threat.

On-System Vulnerabilities and How to Mitigate Them

Before we jump to the most common vulnerabilities associated with the system, it is important to highlight how vulnerability is different from threats.

Vulnerability in simple terms is any weakness that is inherent in every device and network. This includes switches, routers, servers, desktops, and even some security devices.

As far as networks are concerned, they are typically plagued by one or all of the following weaknesses:

  • Configuration weaknesses
  • Technological weaknesses
  • Security policy vulnerabilities

Your network security is as crucial as securing your applications and website. The sensitive data available on your network can be a major threat if accessed by an unauthorized entity.

We have compiled the top information security vulnerabilities and how cybersecurity training can help mitigate that risk.

Default or Weak Passwords

Passwords need no introduction. They are the most vulnerable component of any network security discussion. Unfortunately, you cannot ignore them completely as many content management systems, web applications, and database servers still need password protection.

What you can avoid is setting a default or weak passwords that are easy to guess. Who needs SQL injection or file inclusion when the database or file system can be accessed directly?

Through information security training, your team can test various passwords to check the strength before finalizing it. They can use their own expertise or password management tools. Also, implementing intruder lockout after certain failed login attempts are made further strengthens systems that are password protected.

Missing patches

All a rogue insider or an external enemy requires is a missing patch on a server to get into the web environment through the backdoor path. Patch application should be a thorough procedure, which should be carried out carefully.

Individuals equipped with cybersecurity training uses the network security best practices to fill up the missing patch with latest security patches and by updating the operating system. Un-patched systems are easy to exploit by hackers.

Misconfigured Firewall

Simply assuming that the firewall is running perfectly can be a costly mistake. It's essential to keep a constant check on the firewall rulebase to analyze serious configuration weaknesses. This may not appear in the firewall operation.

Trained team members can improve the overall security policy by making it more relevant to the current business operations and foreseeable requirements. Ignoring firewall rulebase can be the most dangerous and biggest assumptions that could threaten the overall security of the organization.

Training your team will allow them to take the required steps for maintaining and validating the integrity of key systems and databases. They can incorporate a business risk assessment to measure the overall business impact.

As a team, each individual can collaborate to share intelligence and skills required to combat attacks on information integrity. These vulnerabilities mentioned above the most common yet often overlooked that needs attention. These simple activities can pose a great threat to the organization.

Even in hosted environments, the presence of vulnerabilities is inevitable. By providing the right training, your own in-house team can keep the attackers from taking advantage of the vulnerabilities at the expense of your business.

It's best to be in the strong position to identify these weaknesses beforehand to draft an action plan that helps mitigate the risk. After all, there's much more to the web-security than we think!

About The Author
Manager, Training Operations

Abdul Mujeeb

Abdul Mujeeb is a Training Operations manager at QuickStart Technologies. He has over 10+ years of managing varied domains of technical side of businesses from Implementation, Consultation, and Architecture Solutions for Startup. Apart from that he also has expertise around Security+, CEH, CCNA, Web Development, Software Development & integration, Information System, Project Manager Implementation, SQA & Architecture Development, and IT Consultation for Startups.

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