Success of Our vCISO Program in a Credit Union Client

Our vCISO program recently celebrated a significant success with one of our credit union clients, demonstrating the profound impact of our tailored security strategies and expert guidance.

From the onset, we approached the partnership with a comprehensive risk assessment, focusing on the unique needs and regulatory requirements of the credit union sector. Leveraging our deep understanding of financial services and compliance, we crafted a robust security roadmap aligned with the NCUA ISE and CIS CSC guidelines. This foundational work set the stage for a series of strategic implementations and continuous improvements.

Key Components of Our Success

A key component of our success was the execution of tailored table-top exercises, as outlined in our proprietary workflow. These exercises simulated various incident scenarios, enabling the credit union’s team to refine their incident response protocols and improve their readiness for potential cyber threats. Our iterative approach ensured that the scenarios were realistic and relevant, leading to significant enhancements in their incident management capabilities.

Moreover, our ongoing advisory services included regular reviews and updates to their security policies and procedures, ensuring alignment with best practices and regulatory standards. This proactive stance not only fortified their security posture but also provided assurance to their stakeholders about the integrity of their financial processes.

We also prioritized the implementation of advanced threat detection and response mechanisms. Utilizing our HoneyPoint™ Security Server, the credit union achieved real-time threat intelligence and a deeper understanding of their network security landscape. This capability was crucial in detecting and mitigating threats before they could escalate into significant incidents.

One of the standout achievements was the credit union’s enhanced resilience against ransomware attacks, a prevalent threat in the financial sector. Our detailed ransomware preparedness checklist guided their implementation of critical controls, from regular data backups to comprehensive user education on phishing risks. This multi-layered defense strategy significantly reduced their vulnerability to such attacks.

Conclusion

The success of this engagement underscores the value of our vCISO program. By combining strategic oversight, hands-on exercises, and continuous improvement initiatives, we enabled our credit union client to not only meet but exceed their security and compliance objectives. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to empowering clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape effectively.

To learn more about how our vCISO program can transform your organization’s security posture, visit our blog at stateofsecurity.com or contact MicroSolved directly. Together, we can build a more secure future.

 

* AI tools were used as a research assistant for this content.

How To Implement a Basic ZTNA Architecture

 

Implementing a Basic Zero Trust Network Access Architecture

Implementing a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) architecture is increasingly essential for organizations aiming to secure their networks against evolving cyber threats. Zero Trust is a security concept centered on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters and instead must verify everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access.

1. Define the Protect Surface

Identify the critical data, applications, assets, and services (DAAS) that need protection. This step is crucial as it allows you to focus your resources and security measures on the most valuable and vulnerable parts of your network.

2. Map the Transaction Flows

Understand how traffic moves across your network. Mapping the traffic will help you identify legitimate access patterns and needs, which is essential for setting up appropriate security policies.

3. Architect a Zero Trust Network

Create a micro-segmented network architecture. Micro-segmentation involves dividing the network into small zones to maintain separate access for different parts of the network. Each segment or zone should have its own security settings, and access should be restricted based on the principle of least privilege.

4. Create a Zero Trust Policy

Develop a policy that specifies how resources in the network are accessed, who can access these resources, and under what conditions. This policy should enforce that only authenticated and authorized users and devices are allowed access to the specified network segments and resources.

5. Monitor and Maintain Network Security

Implement security monitoring tools to inspect and log network traffic constantly. This can help detect and respond to threats in real-time. Regular audits and updates of the zero trust policies and architecture should be performed to adapt to new threats and changes in the organization.

6. Leverage Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Enforce MFA to ensure that the chance of unauthorized access is minimized. MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource, adding an extra layer of security.

7. Implement Least Privilege Access

Ensure that users only have access to the resources that they need to perform their job functions. This should be strictly enforced through rigorous access controls and ongoing management of user permissions.

8. Utilize Endpoint Security Solutions

Secure all endpoints that access the network by ensuring they meet the security standards before they are allowed to connect. This often includes anti-malware and anti-virus software, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions.

9. Educate and Train Employees

Provide regular training to all employees about the cybersecurity policies, the importance of security in the workplace, and best practices for maintaining security hygiene. A well-informed workforce can be your first line of defense against cyber threats.

10. Engage Expert Assistance

For organizations looking to develop or enhance their Zero Trust architectures, it is often beneficial to engage with cybersecurity experts who can provide tailored advice and solutions. MicroSolved, Inc. (MSI) has been at the forefront of information security, risk management, and compliance solutions since 1992. MSI offers expert guidance in strategic planning, configuration, policy development, and procedure optimization to ensure your Zero Trust implementation is robust, effective, and tailored to your specific organizational needs. Contact MSI to see how we can help your security team succeed in today’s threat landscape.

 

* AI tools were used as a research assistant for this content.

 

Understanding the Core Tenets of Zero-Trust Network Access

 

Zero-Trust Network Access: Strengthening Your Cybersecurity

In an era where cyber threats loom at every corner, “never trust, always verify” has become the mantra. The concept of Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) challenges conventional cybersecurity models that relied on too much optimism. Originating from the notion that internal networks can be just as vulnerable as external ones, ZTNA reshapes our approach to digital protection.

Initially a niche idea, ZTNA quickly became a core strategy against data breaches and compromised credentials. It’s a philosophy advocating continuous verification of all entities—both users and devices—regardless of their location relative to the network perimeter. The substantial reduction in security incidents demonstrates its value on the cyber frontlines.

What is Zero-Trust Network Access?

Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) serves as the foundation of a robust and comprehensive security strategy known as Zero Trust architecture. This modern security model operates on a principle of skepticism, withholding implicit trust from any individual or device seeking to interact with a network. Key principles include:

  • Explicit Verification: Every entity is authenticated before accessing network resources, regardless of location.
  • Microsegmentation: Access is granted based on one-to-one connections, reducing lateral movement risks.
  • Least Privilege Access: Permissions are limited to only what’s necessary.

By upholding these principles, ZTNA shifts the security paradigm from an assumed trust model to an explicit trust architecture.

Benefits of Zero-Trust Network Access

Transitioning to Zero-Trust Network Access offers several key benefits:

  • Reduced Unauthorized Access: Comprehensive verification significantly diminishes the likelihood of data breaches and unauthorized disclosures.
  • Mitigated Lateral Movement: One-to-one secure connections minimize the risk of attackers moving laterally within the network.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Streamlined compliance with regulations like PCI DSS and NIST 800-207, simplifying audits and adherence to mandates.
  • Enhanced Oversight and Control: Microsegmentation offers unparalleled governance, allowing tailored controls around high-value datasets.
  • Improved Security Posture: Overall, ZTNA leads to better data protection, reduced risk and detection time for breaches, and stronger command over both cloud and on-premises environments.

Conclusion

ZTNA transforms network security from a traditional trust-centric model to one that presumes risk, advocates continuous verification, and restricts access. This shift aligns with the need for proactive defense mechanisms amid an ever-expanding attack surface, where potential threats can arise from virtually any vector. Security teams are empowered with the tools and protocols to uphold a high-security posture, strengthening their overall strategy against unauthorized access.

Ready to enhance your cybersecurity with Zero-Trust Network Access?

Contact MicroSolved today and let our experts help you implement a comprehensive Zero Trust architecture to protect your organization’s most valuable assets.

Visit MicroSolved’s Contact Page or call us at (614) 351-1237 to get started on fortifying your security posture with cutting-edge ZTNA solutions.

* AI tools were used as a research assistant for this content.

 

Segmenting Administrative Activities: 4 Options to Meet CIS Control 12.8

As organizations work to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, the CIS Critical Security Controls provide an excellent framework to build upon. In the latest Version 8 of the Controls, Control 12 focuses on establishing, implementing, and actively managing network devices to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerable access points.

Within Control 12, Safeguard 12.8 specifically calls for enterprises to “segment administrative activities to dedicated machines, accounts, and networks.” This is critical for reducing the risk of credential compromise and lateral movement if an admin account is breached. But how exactly can organizations go about meeting this Control? Let’s look at four potential approaches.

 1. Dedicated Admin Workstations

One straightforward option is to provision separate physical workstations that are used exclusively for administrative tasks. These admin workstations should be hardened with strict security configurations and have limited network access. Ideally, they would have no direct internet connectivity and be logically separated from the primary corporate network.

Activities like managing network devices, administering user accounts, and accessing sensitive databases should only be performed from these dedicated and secured admin workstations. This greatly reduces the attack surface and opportunity for threats to compromise admin credentials.[1][2][3][8]

 2. Privileged Access Workstations (PAWs)

A similar but more formalized approach is to implement Privileged Access Workstations (PAWs). These are specially-configured systems that admins must log into to perform their privileged duties.

PAWs enforce strong authentication requirements, have limited internet access, and are tightly restricted in what applications and activities are allowed. They are typically used for the most sensitive admin functions like domain administration, server management, and access to confidential data. Microsoft provides extensive guidance on designing and deploying PAWs.[2][8]

 3. Jump Servers / Bastion Hosts

Another architectural option to segment administrative activities is to deploy hardened “jump servers” or “bastion hosts.” These are intermediary servers that admins must first connect to before accessing infrastructure systems and devices.

All administrative connections and activities are proxied through these closely monitored jump servers. Admins authenticate to the jump host first, then connect to target devices from there. This allows strict control and audit of administrative access without directly exposing infrastructure to potential threats.[3]

 4. Virtual Admin Environments

Virtualization and cloud technologies provide additional opportunities to segment admin activities. Organizations can provision logically isolated virtual networks, VPCs, virtual desktops, and other environments dedicated to administrative functions.

These virtual admin environments allow strict control over configurations, access, and permissions. They can be dynamically provisioned and decommissioned as needed. Admin activities like server management, network device configuration, and database administration can be performed within these controlled virtual environments, separated from general user access and systems.[8]

 Choosing the Right Approach

The optimal approach to meeting CIS Control 12.8 will depend on each organization’s unique network architecture, admin use cases, and risk considerations. Larger enterprises may utilize a combination of PAWs, jump servers, and virtual admin networks, while a smaller organization may find that a simple deployment of dedicated admin workstations meets their needs.

The key is to analyze administrative activities, determine appropriate segmentation, and enforce strict controls around privileged access. By doing so, organizations can significantly mitigate the risk and potential impact of compromised admin credentials.

Proper administrative segmentation is just one of many important security considerations covered in the CIS Critical Security Controls. But it’s an area where many organizations have room for improvement. Assessing current admin practices and determining how to further isolate and protect those privileged functions is well worth the effort to strengthen your overall security posture.

Citations:
[1] https://ppl-ai-file-upload.s3.amazonaws.com/web/direct-files/13705336/b11ecb11-ff34-4836-80b0-0b302497c10d/advice.pdf
[2] https://www.swarthmore.edu/writing/how-do-i-write-a-compelling-conclusion
[3] https://paper.bobylive.com/Security/CIS/CIS_Controls_v8_Guide.pdf
[4] https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-conclusion
[5] https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/v8
[6] https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/cis-controls-navigator
[7] https://www.armis.com/blog/see-whats-new-in-cis-critical-security-control-12-version-8/
[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaQTv8bItLk&t=78
[9] https://sprinto.com/blog/cis-controls/
[10] https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
[11] https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
[12] https://www.mytutor.co.uk/blog/students/craft-excellent-conclusion/
[13] https://www.semrush.com/goodcontent/content-marketing-blog/how-to-write-an-introduction/
[14] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/write-stronger-introductions
[15] https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/what-best-practices-writing-introduction-engages
[16] https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/09/08/how-to-write-an-introduction
[17] https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/1rjdyj/tips_on_writing_a_great_essay_conclusion/
[18] https://controls-assessment-specification.readthedocs.io/en/stable/control-12/index.html
[19] https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/conclusions
[20] https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html

 

* AI tools were used as a research assistant for this content.

MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessments Video

Here is a new video about the MachineTruth™ Global Configuration Assessment offering. 

Check it out for more information about using our proprietary analytics, machine learning, and best practices engine to improve your security posture holistically, no matter the size of your network! 

Thanks. Drop us a line at info@microsolved.com or give us a call at 614-351-1237 to learn more.

Choosing the Right vCISO Solution for Your Company

Companies today face increasingly complex cybersecurity challenges that call for expert guidance and comprehensive strategies. Navigating through the myriad of cyber threats without a dedicated security leader is a risk few businesses can afford. However, for startups and mid-sized businesses, where resources are often limited, appointing a full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) might be infeasible. This is where a vCISO, or virtual/fractional CISO, becomes a game-changer.

A vCISO offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness, presenting a practical choice for organizations that require expert guidance but have budgetary constraints. With a vCISO, you get the benefits of a chief information security officer’s expertise without the overhead costs associated with a full-time executive. By offering hourly rates or project-based fees, vCISO services provide budget-friendly options tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Startups and medium-sized enterprises can particularly benefit from the rich, diversified experience a vCISO brings—insights forged from working with multiple companies across various industries. For businesses aiming to strengthen their existing security teams or to define security policies and risk assessments, a vCISO can provide valuable support. They can guide the development of effective security strategies tailored to an organization’s risk profile and operational scale.

For organizations in dynamic threat environments or heavily regulated industries where security requirements are stringent, a vCISO’s expertise can be of paramount importance. Moreover, a vCISO can become a valuable asset to your executive team by ensuring that security practices comply with the latest regulations and industry standards.

Overall, if you’re looking to enhance your cybersecurity posture and efforts without committing to a full-time executive, a vCISO could be the key to achieving your long-term strategic security goals.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a vCISO Provider

Identifying the right vCISO provider necessitates a thorough evaluation of several crucial factors:

  • Industry Experience: It’s vital to choose a vCISO with experience relevant to your sector. Familiarity with industry-specific challenges and compliance mandates ensures the vCISO will devise security solutions apt for your unique landscape.
  • Expertise and Track Record: Scrutinize the vCISO’s range of skills and their history with past clients. A well-rounded security expert with a proven record in risk management and security operations adds significant value.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Consider the pricing model carefully. Whether it’s an hourly rate or project-based fee, the vCISO services should align with your financial constraints while delivering high-quality expertise.
  • Company Culture Fit: A vCISO should be able to integrate seamlessly with your organization, communicating across various departments effectively and influencing a robust security culture.
  • Peer Recommendations: Leverage your network to get insights into potential vCISOs. References from other business leaders and cybersecurity professionals can guide you to a provider that will offer the best balance of quality and cost.

Evaluating the Experience and Expertise of Potential vCISOs

The proficiency of a vCISO is underpinned by extensive experience and expertise in the cybersecurity domain. Potential vCISOs should have a wealth of knowledge in constructing and managing a cybersecurity program robust enough to shield against evolving threats. Here’s what to assess:

  • Program Development: Gauge whether the vCISO has experience in developing cybersecurity programs that are both strategic and practical in application.
  • Risk Management: It’s critical that a vCISO can identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks, ensuring your organization is prepared for potential security incidents.
  • Compliance Knowledge: A competent vCISO needs to be abreast of legal standards like GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, guaranteeing your business meets necessary regulatory demands.
  • Specialized Training and Resources: Look for certifications and training that verify their expertise, such as CISSP, CISM, or CCISO.
  • Being meticulous during the evaluation process will help you find a vCISO who not only possesses the right skills but can also translate complex security matters into strategic business decisions effectively.

Aligning Your Company’s Security Requirements with a vCISO’s Skill Set

The ultimate goal of hiring a vCISO is to address your company’s specific security needs through strategic, informed guidance. Here are the steps to ensure a vCISO’s skills align with your requirements:

  • Certifications and Business Acumen: Ensure the vCISO has relevant certifications coupled with a deep understanding of business strategies and objectives.
  • Availability and Communication: The vCISO should be accessible and possess the communication skills necessary to articulate complex security issues across all levels of the company.
  • Industry-specific Knowledge: Confirm the vCISO’s experiences dovetail with your sector’s demands, delivering cybersecurity advice that is both applicable and actionable.

Choosing the right vCISO involves careful consideration of these factors, ultimately finding someone who will be a formidable inner defense against potential security risks while also helping to grow and mature your company’s overall cybersecurity efforts.

To learn more about MicroSolved’s vCISO offerings, capabilities, and options, drop us a line (info@microsolved.com) or give us a call (614.351.1237). We look forward to speaking with you! 

 

 

* AI tools were used in the research and creation of this content.

Securing Patient Data: The Essential Role of Firewall and Router Reviews in HIPAA Compliance

Firewall and router configuration reviews are pivotal in maintaining HIPAA compliance, safeguarding sensitive healthcare information from unauthorized access and potential cyber threats. Regular assessments of network infrastructure help organizations identify vulnerabilities, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient data. In this realm, leveraging advanced solutions like MachineTruth™ Global Configuration Assessment can significantly streamline and enhance this process.

MTFirewallDC

 

 

 

 

 

MachineTruth, developed by MSI, employs proprietary analytics and machine learning to review device and application configurations on a global scale. It compares device configurations against industry-standard best practices, known vulnerabilities, and common misconfigurations, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of an organization’s network security posture. This methodology ensures not just the identification of potential security gaps but also promotes control homogeneity across the enterprise, a critical factor in adhering to HIPAA’s stringent requirements.

The process begins with the collection of textual configurations from relevant devices, which can be facilitated by MSI’s secure file transfer methods. Utilizing tools and the assistance of partners can make this step a breeze, eliminating the complexities often associated with gathering and preparing data for analysis. The configurations then undergo rigorous analysis via the MachineTruth platform, alongside manual reviews by security engineers. This dual-layered approach ensures a thorough assessment, highlighting significant issues or evidence of compromise. The outcome is a detailed report comprising executive summaries, technical findings, and actionable mitigation strategies for identified vulnerabilities and configuration findings.

For healthcare organizations, incorporating MachineTruth into their security assessment protocols not only aids in HIPAA compliance but also significantly enhances their overall security posture. By identifying and mitigating risks proactively, these entities can safeguard patient privacy more effectively while avoiding the severe penalties associated with non-compliance.

In conclusion, firewall and router configuration reviews are indispensable for HIPAA compliance. Incorporating MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessment into these reviews can offer organizations a comprehensive, scalable solution to enhance their security measures. For those interested in leveraging this cutting-edge technology to fortify their network security and ensure compliance, reaching out to MSI at info@microsolved.com is the next step. Engage with MSI today and ensure your organization’s network infrastructure is not only compliant with HIPAA regulations but is also secure against evolving cyber threats.

 

* AI tools were used in the research and creation of this content.

ISO/IEC 27001 Firewall Review Compliance With MachineTruth

Enhancing Information Security with MachineTruth™ Global Configuration Assessment

In the landscape of information security, ISO/IEC 27001 compliance is a cornerstone for safeguarding an organization’s digital assets. A critical aspect of adhering to these standards is the meticulous review of firewall configurations. The introduction of MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessment revolutionizes this vital process through a technologically advanced solution.

MTSOC

 

Understanding the Importance of Firewall Configuration Reviews

To align with ISO/IEC 27001, it’s essential for organizations to implement a robust process for reviewing and approving firewall configurations. MachineTruth enhances this process by employing proprietary analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze device and application configurations globally, ensuring they meet industry standards while identifying potential vulnerabilities.

Features of MachineTruth Methodology

MachineTruth offers a systematic approach that includes:
– Gathering and analyzing configurations across devices and applications.
– Validating configurations against best practices and known vulnerabilities.
– Maintaining a comprehensive audit trail for accountability and compliance.
– Ensuring regular reviews and updates to stay in line with security policies.

This approach not only streamlines the review process but also significantly enhances an organization’s security posture through data-driven insights and recommendations.

Benefits of Integrating MachineTruth

MachineTruth provides detailed reports and suggested changes by security experts, enabling organizations to:
– Effectively address and remediate identified vulnerabilities.
– Stay updated with the latest firewall technology developments and threats.
– Enhance their information security framework with evidence-based strategies.

Getting Started with MachineTruth

To leverage the full potential of MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessment in your firewall configuration review process, consider the following steps:
1. Contact MSI at info@microsolved.com for an initial consultation.
2. Discuss your organization’s specific needs and requirements to tailor the assessment.
3. Integrate MachineTruth into your security processes with support from our experts.

Embracing MachineTruth not only optimizes the configuration review process but also empowers your organization with cutting-edge security enhancements. Start your journey towards robust information security by reaching out to us today.

 

* AI tools were used in the research and creation of this content.

Meeting PCI-DSS 1.1.7 with MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessments

Explanation of PCI-DSS requirement 1.1.7

The process for reviewing firewall, router, and network device configurations and rule sets every six months involves several steps to ensure compliance with PCI DSS Requirement 1.1.7 and maintain network security controls and router configuration standards.

Organizations can effectively conduct these reviews by utilizing services such as MachineTruth™ Global Configuration Assessments to analyze the configuration settings of firewalls, switches, routers, applications, and other network devices. By conducting regular audits and involving key personnel from the IT and security teams in the review of the results, organizations can ensure that their network device configurations and rule sets comply with PCI DSS Requirement 1.1.7 and maintain strong network security controls.

FirewallDC

Conequences for failing to meet PCI-DSS 1.1.7

Compliance with PCI-DSS is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of sensitive payment card information. Failing to meet the requirements of PCI-DSS can have significant implications for a company, including legal and financial consequences.

One specific requirement of PCI-DSS is 1.1.7, which addresses the need to test security systems and processes regularly. Failing to comply with this specific requirement can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines and potential legal action. Companies may also face damage to their reputation and loss of customer trust. In some cases, non-compliance with PCI-DSS requirements may lead to the inability to process payment card transactions, causing significant operational disruptions. Ultimately, the consequences of failing to meet PCI-DSS 1.1.7 can have far-reaching impacts on a company’s bottom line and long-term viability. Therefore, businesses must prioritize and invest in maintaining compliance with PCI-DSS to avoid these detrimental consequences.

Importance of securing inbound traffic

Securing inbound traffic is critical for maintaining the cardholder data environment’s security and integrity, as PCI DSS Requirement 1.2.1 mandates. Organizations can effectively prevent unauthorized access and potential security breaches by limiting inbound and outbound traffic to only what is necessary for the cardholder data environment. Traffic restrictions are crucial in controlling and monitoring data flow into the network, ensuring that only authorized and necessary sources and protocols are allowed entry. This helps to minimize the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches, as any unnecessary or unauthorized traffic is blocked from entering the network. By implementing and enforcing these traffic restrictions, organizations can significantly reduce the likelihood of data breaches and maintain compliance with PCI DSS standards. Therefore, organizations must prioritize and effectively secure their inbound traffic to safeguard their cardholder data environment.

Importance of securing outbound traffic

Securing outbound traffic is paramount for protecting an organization’s sensitive information and preventing potential risks such as data breaches, exposure to malware, and unauthorized access to critical data. Unsecured outbound traffic can lead to data leaks, theft of intellectual property, and compromise of confidential information, causing significant financial and reputational damage to the organization.

Implementing egress filtering, encryption, data loss prevention, and threat detection measures can help mitigate and/or minimize these risks. Egress filtering is the single most powerful tool in preventing data exfiltration. By implementing best practices around all network traffic leaving the network or segments, most data exfiltration can be disrupted. Encryption ensures that data transmitted outside the organization’s network is securely ciphered, preventing unauthorized access and data breaches. Data loss prevention tools enable organizations to monitor and control the transfer of sensitive data, thereby reducing the risk of data leaks and unauthorized access. In addition, threat detection methods allow real-time visibility into outbound traffic, enabling prompt detection and response to unauthorized or malicious activities.

By securing outbound traffic through these measures, organizations can significantly reduce the likelihood of data breaches, exposure to malware, and unauthorized access to sensitive information, thus safeguarding their critical assets and maintaining the trust of the card brands and customers.

Description of MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessment capabilities

This assessment leverages MicroSolved’s proprietary analytics and machine learning platform, MachineTruth, to review device and application configurations in mass at a global scale. The assessment compares device configurations against industry standard best practices, known vulnerabilities, and common misconfigurations. It also allows organizations to ensure control homogeny across the enterprise, regardless of using different vendors, products, and versions.

Adopted security standards and security policies can be used as a baseline, and configurations can be compared holistically and globally against these universal security settings. Compensating controls can be identified and cataloged as a part of the assessment if desired.

Various analytics can also be performed as a part of the review, including trusted host hierarchies, reputational analysis of various sources for configured rules and access control lists, flagging of insecure services, identification of deprecated firmware, log management settings, protocols, encryption mechanisms, etc. MachineTruth can hunt down, flag, and provide specific mitigation and configuration advice to ensure these issues are fixed across the enterprise, architectures, and various vendor products.

If needed, the MachineTruth platform can verify network segmentation and serve as proof of these implementations to reduce the compliance scope to a subset of the network and data flows.

How MachineTruth helps organizations meet PCI requirements

MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessments help organizations simplify the process of meeting PCI-DSS 1.1.7 and other relevant regulatory requirements. By working across vendor platforms, and reviewing up to several thousand device configurations simultaneously, even the most complex networks can be reviewed holistically and quickly. Work that would have taken several man-years to perform with traditional methods can be accomplished quickly and with a minimum of resources.

Multi-level reporting also provides for an easy, prioritized path to mitigation of the assessments, and if you need assistance, MicroSolved’s extensive partner network stands ready to help you make the changes across the planet. The output of the assessment includes technical details with mitigations for each finding, a technical manager report with root causes, and suggestions for improvement across the enterprise, as well as an executive summary report that is designed to help upper-level management, boards of directors, auditors, and even business partners performing due diligence, understand the assessment outcome and the state of security throughout the organization’s networks. The reporting is excellent for establishing the true state of network compliance, even on a global scale.

This not only allows organizations to easily and rapidly meet PCI-DSS 1.1.7, but also allows them to quickly harden their networks and increase their security posture at a rate that was nearly impossible in the past. Leveraging the power of AI, machine learning, and analytics, even the most complex organizations can make solving this compliance problem easy.

How to Engage with MicroSolved, Inc.

To learn more about a MachineTruth Global Configuration Assessment or the 30+ years of security expertise of MicroSolved, Inc., just drop us a line at info@microsolved.com. You can also reach us at +1.614.351.1237. Our team of experts will be more than happy to walk through how the platform works and discuss the workflow and costs involved with this unique option for meeting PCI requirements and other relevant regulatory guidance. While MicroSolved is a small firm with more than 30 years in business, some clients prefer to work through our larger partners who are likely already on established vendor lists. This is also possible, and the protocols and contractual arrangements are already in place with a number of globally recognized professional services firms. Whether you choose to work with MicroSolved directly, or through our partner network, you will receive the same excellent service, leading-edge insights and benefit from our proprietary MachineTruth platform.

Ransomware-Proof Your Credit Union: A Checklist of NCUA Guidance

In today’s digital landscape, credit unions face numerous cybersecurity threats, including the rising risk of ransomware attacks and vulnerabilities in their information and communications technology supply chain. To help credit unions protect themselves against these risks, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has compiled an FAQ. This checklist covers the essential steps to safeguard against ransomware attacks, additional resources for cybersecurity, understanding supply chain risk management, developing effective practices, mitigating risks associated with using a Managed Service Provider (MSP), and other insights based on their FAQ. By following this checklist, credit unions can enhance their overall security posture and minimize the potential impact of cyber threats.

1. Protect against ransomware attacks:
– Update software and operating systems regularly with the latest patches.
– Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.
– Follow safe browsing practices.
– Replace equipment running older unsupported operating systems.
– Verify the security practices of vendors and third-party service providers.
– Maintain complete and tested backups of critical systems and data.

2. Additional resources for cybersecurity:
– Use the Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool (R-SAT) from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
– Read the Center for Internet Security white paper on ransomware.
– Visit the cybersecurity pages of the National Security Agency Central Security Service and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. (CISA)
– Refer to the Treasury Department’s advisory on potential sanctions risks for facilitating ransomware payments.

3. Understand Technology Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM):
– Recognize that technology supply chain vulnerabilities can pose risks to the entire institution.
– Consider the risks associated with third-party vendors and the entire technology supply chain.
– Identify vulnerabilities in all phases of the product life cycle.

4. Develop an effective Technology Supply Chain Risk Management Practice:
– Build a team with representatives from various roles and functions.
– Document policies and procedures based on industry standards and best practices.
– Create a list of technology components and understand their criticality and remote access capability.
– Identify suppliers and verify their security practices.
– Assess and evaluate the SCRM program regularly.

5. Risks associated with using a Managed Service Provider (MSP):
– APT actors actively attempt to infiltrate IT service provider networks.
– Conduct proper due diligence and ongoing monitoring of MSPs.
– Understand the risks of centralizing information with an MSP.
– Recognize that compromises in an MSP’s network can have cascading effects.

6. Mitigate the risk of using an MSP:
– Manage supply chain risk by working with the MSP to address security concerns.
– Implement architecture measures to restrict access and protect networks.
– Use dedicated VPNs for MSP connections and restrict VPN traffic.
– Ensure proper authentication, authorization, and accounting practices.
– Implement operational controls, such as continuous monitoring and software updates.

7. Additional references for Information and Communications Technology Supply Chain Risk Management:
– Refer to guidance from the NCUA, NIST, and CISA.
– Evaluate third-party relationships and outsourcing technology services.
– Learn about supply chain threats and cyber supply chain risk management.

Note: This checklist is a summary of the information provided. For more detailed guidance, refer to the full content on the NCUA website.

 

* We used some AI tools to gather the information for this article.