Some Weakest Links in Cyber Security You Should Know

Do you know? It takes over 280 days to detect, identify and contain data security breaches. MSP company offering CMMC cybersecurity services often emphasize the need to close the security gaps to prevent cyber-attacks. In this blog, find out about some common data security weaknesses. 

  1. Bad Email Clicks

When it comes to phishing attacks, all it takes is a single bad email click. One email click is enough for exposing your network to phishing schemes. Given how email and social engineering technologies have become complex and sophisticated, it’s fairly common for one to click on a malicious link. If you receive a dubious email, verify if the sender is a trusted source. Always crosscheck the URL of the email before opening it. 

  1. Weak Passwords

Weak passwords can put your network security in jeopardy. Therefore, one should be mindful about practicing good password etiquette. This includes changing the passwords frequently. Besides this, enabling multi-factor authentication will add an extra layer of protection to your network. 

  1. Obsolete Operating Systems

Operating systems that are outdated can cause a potential security threat to your network. This is because outdated operating systems miss out on critical updates that are offer protection against cybersecurity vulnerabilities. However, with tools like automated systems management, you can ensure that the devices connected to your network are secure and up-to-date. 

  1. Non-Secure (SSL) Website Visits

One should always be mindful of the SSL tag of a website before visiting it or submitting any information. The IT solutions and services company recommends business owners train their workers about SSL or secure socket layer protection. In addition, one can easily check if a set is SSL secured by looking for a lock symbol and https in the address bar. 

  1. Out-of-Warranty Firewalls

Using out-of-warranty firewalls can make your network susceptible to intrusion. Out-of-warranty firewalls can weaken your frontline defense and expose your vulnerabilities to cyber attackers as they don’t get access to the latest security updates. Having up-to-date firewalls is essential as it ensures the safety of the IT environment and IT assets. It’s advised to follow industry best practices when it comes to cybersecurity. 

6. Unsecured Devices

In recent times, the hybrid workforce has immense gain popularity amongst corporate organizations. In a hybrid workforce, employees frequently either bring their own devices to work or carry office devices to home. Increases in the mobility of corporate assets mean increased risk to its security. Therefore, if you have a BYOD policy in place, it’s essential to ensure that all the assets and devices with access to corporate data are secured and protected. 

7. Firmware and Software that is Unsupported

With technological advancements, cybercriminals also have advanced cyber-attack techniques. Every day, new threats and viruses appear that target vulnerabilities of software and firmware. The best way to prevent your firmware from becoming a target for cyber-attacks, keep its licenses updated. 

8. Unmonitored Networks

Networks and systems that are not monitored and checked regularly are at risk of becoming an easy target for cybercriminals. Cybercriminals can penetrate such networks can take advantage of their weakness. Whether you have a small business or large enterprise, make sure to have a Security Operations Center in place. …

Important Questions to Evaluate MSP Compliance and Security

For a long time, the US defense industry has faced immense security threats from unmonitored defense contractors and vendors. The majority of defense contractors don’t have well-monitored IT infrastructure. They are more vulnerable to becoming prey to cybercriminals. Given the increase in cyberattack incidents, the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the General Services Acquisition Regulation have added multiple data protection requirements, including Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. Since CMMC is new and not many organizations are aware of the compliance requirements, the demand for CMMC consulting firms has gone up. 

This blog will highlight a few methods to evaluate a managed service provider’s compliance status. 

Question 1: Does your Managed Service Provider use cloud-based IT infrastructure to ensure the security of your data. If they do, make sure they have configured that environment to DFARS compliance standards. 

 Most cloud services, if not all, are not hosted in FedRAMP High datacenters. And there are very few data centers that are built in accordance with the NIST 800 171 controls. Thus, it’s essential that you ask if your MSP uses a compliant environment to store their data. 

Before finalizing your MSP partner, ask whether they manage vulnerability and virus data. Most systems that process or store vulnerability information fall under CUI data, and they must be stored in a DFARS compliant ecosystem.

It’s essential to ask your MSP where they are storing your data backup. Find out whether your MSP uses a FedRAMP Moderate environment to store your data backups. 

Question 2: How to determine a plan for MSP to access your network?

Before finalizing your MSP, understand how they will access your system. Will they use a share account or have their own account to access and monitor your IT environment. When it comes to auditing the system, every personnel should have their own accounts to log into the system and perform their activities. If every administrator logs in via a shared account, it will be challenging to keep track of who logged into the system. 

Determine if everyone in your organization can access the system at the same level. Ensure that the MSP you have partnered with doesn’t give access to all your systems to just one personnel. Besides this, your MSP must be able to identify changeable roles within your organization.  

 How does your managed service provider access your servers and systems remotely? Make sure your MSP’s monitoring system offers an audit trail of access to the network. Are you aware of who has access to each of your systems? When evaluating your MSP partner, one of the essential components to check is whether they are able to support your IT system remotely. The NIST 800-171 compliance norms require that your MSP access log can be properly audited. 

Question 3: What is the process of training the MSP support staff?

If you deal with ITAR data in your IT environment, your MSP should only recruit US persons on your support staff. 

While IT monitoring is a highly specialized job, most MSPs don’t require their team certification. However, CMMC compliance requires that every support staff with access to your system has acquired a minimum level of competence in data security.…

What is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification in Detail?

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) latest authentication mechanism, the CMMC solution, is crafted to guarantee that cybersecurity regulations and procedures effectively protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that is stored on DIB systems and networks.

The DoD introduced standards for securing Covered Defense Information (CDI) and reporting cyber incidents in October 2016 with the publication of DFARS 252.204-7012. The DFARS required DoD Contractors to self-certify that suitable security measures were in place inside contractor systems to protect CDI confidentiality.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, Safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Data in Nonfederal Systems and Businesses, defines the security measures needed by the DFARS. The OUSD (A&S) initiated the CMMC development process in March 2019, issued the first draft of CMMC v1.0 in January 2020, and announced CMMC 2.0 in November 2021. They also intend to publish a handbook for the CMMC Certification Assessment Process (CAP) in June 2022, as well as the most current “interim norm” in May 2023.

CMMC in the Clear Words 

After the final regulation is in place, CMMC 2.0 will be phased in for select DoD-identified contractors. When fully functional, CMMC 2.0 is mandatory for all organizations doing business with the Department of Defense at any level. Prime vendors and their suppliers will be expected to fulfill one of the 3 CMMC trust categories and show adequate cybersecurity implementation through independent validation efforts. The award or continuation of a DoD contract will be contingent on CMMC compliance.

Without having fulfilled the CMMC procedure, no vendor companies will be allowed to obtain or exchange DoD information relating to programs and projects. When a contractor’s contract comes up for extension, they must be CMMC competent.

The CMMC was included in Requests for Information (RFIs) in mid-2020 and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in late 2020. To build a DoD standard for CUI cybersecurity, CMMC compliance requirements are mostly based on NIST SP 800-171.

The CMMC will have three cumulative Certification levels

• Level 1

Foundational: Provides fundamental cybersecurity for small businesses by implementing a subset of globally acknowledged standard practices. At this stage, the procedures would incorporate certain conducted procedures, at least on an ad hoc basis. This level incorporates the same 17 controls stated in the initial CMMC structure, but needs simply an annual self-assessment and validation by business leadership.

• Level 2

Advanced: Covers all NIST SP 800-171 Rev. 2 controls. Processes are established and executed at this level, and there is a thorough understanding of cyber assets. The Department of Defense has reduced the initial 130 controls in the CMMC Level 3 standard to the 110 controls described in NIST 800-171. The Department of Defense is exploring a split procedure that would select “prioritized purchases” that would be subjected to an independent review against the new Level 2 Advance standards on a triannual basis rather than a year self-assessment with certification.

• Level 3

Expert: Contains sophisticated cybersecurity procedures. At this level, procedures include enterprise-wide continuous innovation and defensive reactions executed at machine velocity. This level will take the place of what were formerly known as CMMC Levels 4 and 5. The specifics of this level are currently being worked out. This level is planned to include a subset of measures from NIST SP 800-172 in which an enterprise already has a Level 2 CMMC Accreditation, and the Level 3 measures will be examined by DoD rather than a C3PAO.…