Ask The Experts: Daily Tasks

This time around, we get a great question from a reader:

Q: “I’m a one man infosec team at a small financial company, and as such, I stay overtasked. Can you give me a few examples of some key tasks I should make sure I am doing daily/weekly/monthly to make sure I am hitting them all and to help me better structure my schedule?”

Bill Hagestad answered with:

Daily Tasks: 

– Keep self and staff educated about latest cyber threats to your business – read the MSI Blog @ State of Security;
– Review what Federal Law Enforcement considers top cyber threats are base on current cases:
– Compromise of account holder credentials leading to legitimate account compromise;
-Via  phasing attack vectors; unauthorized ACH transfers; 
– Compromise of Third Party Payment Processors;
Source: FBI Threat To Financial Sector
-Insider attacks – perhaps the largest threat to any commercial enterprise – especially given the recent NSA dilemma via a US contractor
– Have staff follow all account verification standing operating procedures – covering all types of customer interaction, including but not limited to; phone, Internet, and in-person account interactions;
– Information Security/Assurance infrastructure configuration changes should be reviewed daily and approved/counter-approved internally to eliminate potential administrative abuses;
– Hold weekly Information Security/Assurance infrastructure team meetings – invite MicroSolved to participate as a credible resource for staff to ask questions of and make sound recommendations.
Weekly Tasks:
– Stay ahead of international financial sector threat intelligence – read the MSI Blog @ State of Security;
– Ensure account access lists are secure and validated both for external customers (most importantly) and also internal employee need to access/right to access customer account information;
Monthly Tasks:
– Participate in professional cyber/information assurance mailing lists – if not sure who or what these are contact MSI Cyber Threat Intelligence;
– Be certain to review the US Government Hearing Notes: Cybersecurity: Threats to the Financial Sector downloadable @
– Review or create a cyber threat identification strategy involving key staff and MicroSolved – install HoneyPoint Security Server to capture knowledge about who truly is probing your network, eliminate the proverbial network noise and focus on specific threat actors – e.g.; Russian Cyber Crimianls, Chinese entities using government cyber espionage tools for crime purposes
Adam Hostetler added:
It’s hard to answer exactly what you should be doing on a timely basis
without reviewing your current requirements, tools, processes, and
infrastructure. However, If you go to and look at
our 80/20 white paper, you can use that as a guideline to give you some
ideas to help build out your security program.

Examples of some things you could/should be doing.

Log reviews. Not necessary for all logs, but if you have
IDS/IPS/Honeypots etc, they should be reviewed and investigated if needed
Spend a bit of time following up on the latest security news/threats.
That includes things like new vulnerabilities or exploits, and then
following up if it would affect you.

Check and verify backups and processes

Update software/OS patches.

Finally, Jim Klun weighed in with: 
1. Make sure your subscribed to security news-feeds/alerting services that apply to your environment. Review those daily.

2. Make sure you are reviewing your logs daily.  You should know every day about successful and unsuccessful logins. You should also be paying attention to your firewall logs for inbound activity and outbound activity.

3 If you have a local help desk, talk to them at least monthly. They are often in a position to see things that are in fact security problems.

4. Automate your patching program if that is not true already, then review patch reports monthly.

5. If you have Internet exposures, check them monthly. Make absolutely sure at the end of each month you are absolutely sure of what services your organization offers to the Internet – and why.

As always, thanks for reading and if you have a question for the experts, either leave it in the comments, email us or drop us a line on Twitter at (@lbhuston). 

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