All too often we hit next, next, next without any thought about what we are doing when installing applications. The result is downloading apps in their entirety instead of just the features required. You may be too interested in using the program and give little thought to whether it leaves you open to security breaches. So how do you harden software?
We all expect vendors to only release safe software. And this is true. In essence they do. Software comes ready to use and be no more complex than heating up a frozen dinner to install. Convenience can be fraught with problems when you do not prepare or manage it properly. Just like not preparing your frozen dinner before putting into the oven, some of the default features enabled in those downloaded apps can quickly become disagreeable. If you do not implement security controls it opens your business up to possible cyberattacks.
Hardening secures your applications
By hardening your applications, you reduce the risk of cyber threats. Hardening eliminates vulnerabilities and increases the layers of security to protect your business. The purpose of hardening is to stop unauthorised access to internal systems through the app.
So it is important to implement application hardening from the time you download a new app. This will ensure that it works properly, is secure and that only those who should use it have access.
Hackers use exploit kits to compromise system vulnerabilities in applications such as Microsoft Office, legacy web browsers, PDF viewers, Java and Adobe Flash.
Hardening is not something you do just once. It is an ongoing process that needs constant review as the threat environment changes. Review your apps at least annually or when there are major changes to your IT infrastructure.
Maturity levels to protect your applications
Apps are useful in business. But if you collect data and personal details, it is essential to ensure your level of security protects your data. The Australian Cyber Security Centre Essential Eight includes security strategies for application hardening.
Under the Essential Eight strategies, there are three levels of maturity for application hardening. The following is a summary:
- Maturity Level One. At Maturity Level One, disables or blocks the use of Flash in your users’ browsers.
- Maturity Level Two. Maturity Level Two builds on Level One by blocking Java and ads in web browsers.
- Maturity Level Three. Level Three builds on the previous two levels by disabling object linking and embedding in Microsoft Office documents and Flash.
The Rightsize technical team takes the time to understand the risks to your business and works with you to design an effective solution to defend against probable events.
Contact us now for a free consultation or call 07 3106 7348 to find out more about The Essential Eight and its implementation to protect your business. Rightsize Technology is your IT department as a service. Our solutions protect you online.
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Small businesses struggle to budget their IT operations and often spend inefficiently with less than a great return on their investment. Rightsize Technology understand. We deliver a minimum 30% reduction on IT overheads as a dedicated outside IT department for our clients. Our unlimited 24×7 support, both on and offsite increases business productivity and capacity, enabling their business to grow efficiently and effectively – we’re the Rightsize for growing small businesses. Talk to our team today for more information.