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Security knows no season—10 tips for year-round cybersecurity

October 27, 2020

Listed below is a summary of our top 10 security tips for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Each October, the industry hosts National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this year SteelCloud compiled a list compliance tips to help our readers. But the truth is, there is never a month, week, day, hour or minute that we don’t need to be aware of cybersecurity.

Tip #1: Awareness.

In fact, that is our #1 tip—Awareness is ongoing. And it starts with understanding. Our free STIGs for Dummies ebook will give you the down-low on the proactive moves government takes to ensure security. Here are nine more tips, along with resources you can use to improve your security efforts, starting today.

Tip #2: Check your security compliance daily.

Building and sustaining a resilient security foundation is the first step in reducing endpoint exploits. As a leading endpoint security solutions provider, SteelCloud has good insights on how to keep your endpoints locked down tight.

Tip #3: Straighten your cybersecurity posture.

Implement the same security policies and configurations on all systems by automating the operating system controls in the operational environment. ConfigOS delivers consistency and power that will leave you sitting pretty.

Tip #4: STIG or go home.

Establish your cybersecurity baseline on a proven standard: Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs), produced by DISA. STIGs enhance overall security by providing a cybersecurity methodology for standardizing security protocols and controls within networks, servers, computers, and logical designs.

Tip #5 – Build security into your DevOps process now.

If you build an application, then implement into a DoD government system, you will have to STIG that system. STIG it manually and it could take days. STIG it with ConfigOS and it will take an hour. STIG it throughout development, however, and you’ll achieve legendary cost savings and time to ATO.

Tip #6: Learn how to STIG Faster to achieve your ATO.

Why conduct repeated risk assessments and infrastructure maintenance to achieve the authority to operate (ATO) when ConfigOS can do it in an hour, saving you time and money?

Tip #7: Understand the difference between cybersecurity risk and compliance.

Compliance does not equal risk management. Compliance is the minimum standard to prevent electronic anarchy and forms a baseline that can be measured and provide some sort of consistency across your information systems. Learn the difference between risk and compliance, then automate the compliance part and use your valuable labor to address risk!

Tip #8 – Know when bots are better.

Automation provides the most value when it addresses rules-based, repetitive, labor-intensive (and, often, soul crushing) processes. Automation like our ConfigOS can both scan and remediate rote processes, achieving faster ATOs. But only a human can think critically. So, let the machines do what they can do so the humans can concentrate on what only they can do.

TIP #9 – Try tools for tackling STIGs.

Whether you manually harden your system or leverage ConfigOS to automate that process consider using the “Cyber Security Evaluation Tool” (CSET) tool or DISA’s “STIG Applicability Guide and Collection Tool” to determine which STIGs apply to your system. You’ll find the links here.

TIP #10 – Be ready for the next chapter of CDM.

In “CDM, The Next Chapter”, more than 100 federal and industry stakeholders were surveyed. 60% said automation was key to making continuous diagnostics and mitigation work. SteelCloud’s ConfigOS allows you to quickly establish a DISA STIG or CIS Benchmark compliant environment.  It is the ideal tool for CDM—continually scanning, remediating, and reporting on system vulnerabilities.


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