How legacy technology leaves your cybersecurity vulnerable and affects Cyber Essentials?
1 December 2021
Over the past 18 months we've witnessed companies thrive and make it through based on their ability to respond rapidly to constant modifications, with innovation being the hero at the heart of this agility.
Yet despite a boost in awareness that IT infrastructure is more important than ever, we are still seeing companies keep outdated or ineffective technology all of us purposefully describe as 'legacy technology'. Legacy technology can suppress innovation, drain resources and cause cybersecurity dangers.
To comprehend the scale of legacy technology in businesses a recent survey was commissioned called the IT Technical Debt report. It surveyed 1,000 IT decision makers in the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia. The findings looked at a number of aspects, including the challenges old technology brings to investment in innovation strategies and modern methods.
Legacy technology in the UK
Our report found that the UK is behind in a variety of areas compared to other nations.
How does legacy technology leave your IT security vulnerable?
Out-of-date innovation ultimately reaches an unpatched state as suppliers "End of Life" support and advancement. In this condition, the unpatched innovation might regularly be assaulted and eventually exploited by cybercriminals.
Hence, the existence of old technology throughout an businesses environment represents a major risk.
So why aren't businesses acting quicker? There are frequently one or more basic challenges to conquer:
Limitations on resources/capabilities to remain existing on security patterns, findings, and vulnerabilities Manual, time-consuming procedures for locating, getting, and using updates Limitations on resources to handle, plan, and implement new technology High expenditure costs for newer technology Developing compliance, security, and data personal privacy policies
As legacy technology ends up being more established with the passage of time, and the gap of abilities, procedures, and resources widens, companies deal with the looming spectre of "technical financial obligation." Like with monetary debts, this buildup of security updates not applied, old equipment not replaced, innovation spending plans not assigned, and missing out on skills/expertise will eventually come due.
When it comes to security we find it's typically the component that's given the minimal financial investment, yet the one that can be the most destructive.
However we are seeing a shift in attitudes towards security and our clients, now more than ever, see it moving up the priority list.
How should businesses deal with legacy technology?
All businesses face the exact same problems with tradition technology, it's the old stuff that does not work without extended man hours to fix it. Even big players with limitless budgets will face this issue, does the cost to maintain it surpass the expense of buying brand-new equipment?
Generally, IT improvements aren't seen straight as a revenue enabler however rather as a requirement of operations and compliance. However, it's brief spotted to focus on the immediate monetary impact. Financial investment in more recent technologies will not just improve security but also enhance agility, performances, and procedures.
To take on the problem businesses are required to make the technical financial obligation a board issue and design a strategy that speaks to your business' specific needs.
Examples of how you can you manage old technology much better includes:
Regularly audit all your businesses IT infrastructure a minimum of as soon as a year to guarantee all software depends on date and hardware is running effectively and safely.
Put a tough stop on the length of time you keep hardware. When a laptop computer reaches 5 years old, make it a policy to change it.
Don’t allow operating systems or software to become EOL. End of Life solutions are no longer maintained or updated by the manufacturer. This can leave solutions vulnerable with cyber attacks and most likely to be exploited. End of Life solutions will also fail compliance checks which may be vital for government contracts.
Audit software every year at a minimum to ensure it's fulfilling the company needs. With the purvey of IT and security teams extending throughout the entire company, some departments might no longer be utilizing a piece of software but is still connected to the company and may contain delicate data.
Proper documents of IT infrastructure, upgrade policies, and unique treatments need to be updated on a continuous. Today's IT compliance solutions like RMM makes it simple to automate numerous elements of documentation and reporting considerably, which minimises the time required.
Managing tech financial obligation shouldn't just be viewed as ensuring 'the computer systems work'. The dangers involved in not keeping technology up to date can be ravaging and it requires to be front of mind for senior management in the modern-day business world. It can also benefit the business as brand-new innovations help aid better working.
Why should businesses apply Cyber Essentials controls?
Cyber Essentials is a scheme backed by the government which is aimed at protecting businesses of all sizes against cyber-attacks. There are 2 levels of Cyber Essentials accreditation: the basic ‘Cyber Essentials’ and the ‘Cyber Essentials Plus’ which requires an internal and external assessment on the scoped IT infrastructure.
A company must maintain an up-to-date asset list of all devices that the company allows to access business data. This must include all workstations, servers, and mobile devices. You should include all equipment that contains or an access business data or services, including devices owned by employees.
All operating systems / software installed on the devices within your asset list must be up to date. There is a policy that all critical and high-risk security patches must be applied within 14 days of release. All outdated solutions will become EOL which will mean you are no longer compliant and would fail the assessment
Boundary firewalls and internet gateways also need to be within support with the manufacturer receiving firmware fixing potential vulnerabilities, with the latest generation of firewalls also come with advanced gateway security and would provide greater protection from cyber-attacks.
All devices that are not complaint with Cyber Essentials would be an automatic failure, you can find more information regarding compliant operating systems and hardware such as firewalls on the manufacturers websites.
If you wish to carry out Cyber Essentials contact Red Circles, and we can walk you through this scheme and apply controls where required. We have managed services that can provide a full asset list and a clear overview of your entire IT estate.