The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) introduced their “Free Cybersecurity Services and Tools” resource center earlier this week.
The resource center was developed to provide a trusted central repository of cybersecurity resources to help organizations reduce cyber risk and advance their security capabilities. Resources include tools and services from CISA, the open-source community and public and private sector organizations in the cyber community.
Reducing the likelihood of a damaging cyber incident
Detecting malicious activity quickly
Responding effectively to confirmed incidents
“Many organizations, both public and private, are target rich and resource poor,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “The resources on this list will help such organizations improve their security posture, which is particularly critical in the current heightened threat environment. This initial catalog will grow and mature as we include additional free tools from other partners.”
The catalog is expected to grow moving forward through more joint partnerships and CISA driven initiatives. Prior to exploring the free services and tools, CISA recommends taking the following actions to set a strong foundation for a cybersecurity program.
Fix the Known Security Flaws in Software
Check the CISA Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) Catalog for software used by your organization and, if listed, update the software to the latest version according to the vendor’s instructions. Note: CISA continually updates the KEV catalog with known exploited vulnerabilities.
Implement Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Use multifactor authentication where possible. MFA is a layered approach to securing your online accounts and the data they contain. When you enable MFA in your online services (like email), you must provide a combination of two or more authenticators to verify your identity before the service grants you access.
Take immediate steps to: (1) replace end-of-life software products that no longer receive software updates; (2) replace any system or products that rely on known/default/unchangeable passwords; and (3) adopt MFA (see above) for remote or administrative access to important systems, resources, or databases.
Sign Up for CISA’s Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning
Register for this service by emailing [email protected]. Once initiated, this service is mostly automated and requires little direct interaction. CISA performs the vulnerability scans and delivers a weekly report. After CISA receives the required paperwork, scanning will start within 72 hours and organizations will begin receiving reports within two weeks. Note: vulnerability scanning helps secure internet-facing systems from weak configurations and known vulnerabilities and encourages the adoption of best practices.
Get Your Stuff Off Search (S.O.S.)
While zero-day attacks draw the most attention, frequently, less complex exposures to both cyber and physical security are missed. Get your Stuff Off Search–S.O.S.–and reduce internet attack surfaces that are visible to anyone on web-based search platforms.
In addition to these five recommendations, the Schneider Downs cybersecurity team encourages routine preventative assessment exercises to identify risks and assess overall cybersecurity posture.
Through the foundational steps and resource center*, CISA hopes organizations will have another way to reduce the likelihood of cyber incidents, understand the steps to detect potential intrusion, be confidently prepared for an incident and strengthen their overall resilience to cyber threats.
* CISA applies neutral principles and criteria to add items and maintains sole and unreviewable discretion over the determination of items included. CISA does not attest to the suitability or effectiveness of these services and tools for any particular use case. CISA does not endorse any commercial product or service. Any reference to specific commercial products, processes, or services by service mark, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply their endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by CISA.
The Schneider Downs cybersecurity practice consists of experts offering a comprehensive set of information technology security services, including penetration testing, intrusion prevention/detection review, ransomware security, vulnerability assessments and a robust digital forensics and incident response team. For more information, visit www.schneiderdowns.com/cybersecurity or contact the team at [email protected].
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