Using Continuous Hardening to become more resilient.

Continuous hardening increases Resilience
No one is immune to threats. The most well-known and common sorts of digital misuse should permanently be hardened. IT infrastructures include hundreds of applications and storage, server, and network components. Each component can be modified in various ways, depending on the user’s needs and the underlying hardware and software.

IT administrators must ensure that all of these components work together smoothly to meet the user’s expectations. That’s a skill in itself. But IT’s responsibilities go beyond that. Configuration errors can impact performance, and a lousy configuration can potentially lead to infrastructure misuse.

It takes a long time to confirm that the infrastructure is secure. The time that IT departments rarely have nowadays. It is considerably easier to open all firewall ports to ensure that all programmes work. However, for security reasons, it is best to close any unused ports. A security-conscious IT department would never allow that. That’s why such departments have hardening methods that apply CIS, SANS, ISO, and NIST recommendations to check for known or unknown vulnerabilities. Cyber thieves would always try to exploit the most obvious flaws first.

At Extreme Compute, Hardening isn’t a goal but a continuous process. 

Why is hardening critical? The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism says many organizations still lack basic security safeguards. Although many incidents might have been avoided, and damage could have been limited in the last year, hackers still enjoy common flaws that companies forget about. These aren’t random thieves who strike when they see an open port. So-called “state actors” and organized cybercriminals will always try to exploit the most obvious weaknesses first. It makes things easier for them if the organization is not properly hardened.

Security by Design
Secrecy starts at the root. We, as IT service providers, strive for a safe digital future. You may wonder if that is still possible at a time when even amateurish cybervandals can significantly harm organizations. But together with our teams, we can strive to create a secure digital future. 

We feel that hardening is a procedure that should be undertaken in every organization – and fortunately, more and more parties are doing so when installing new components. But we think that’s not all. We believe that hardening is a continuous process that requires ongoing monitoring. Every change has implications for the entire infrastructure, and every update and modification is re-examined to see how it affects the infrastructure components. This way, the organization’s resilience is always maintained, not only in terms of the above criteria but also in terms of our own experience and best practices.

Organizations planning for a digital future need a solid IT foundation. This means that the technology must work optimally for the business and that the users can rely on a reliable basis now and in the future. Continuous hardening improves organization resilience, and it does not guarantee against targeted, large-scale, and professional attacks, but it reduces the risk of incidents that could have been easily prevented.

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