Keeping your website secure is like trying to stay in the lead during a marathon. You’re breathing heavy, ahead of the pack, giving it all you’ve got… and you can feel your opponents right behind you, just waiting for you to run out of steam.
Bad actors are constantly trying to overrun your security efforts and take control of your site. To keep the lead, you have to stay vigilant — and, most importantly, keep moving forward.
Bot management is one crucial aspect of staying ahead of hackers. Over 50% of traffic on the internet comes from bot activity, both malicious and benign. Bot management means identifying bot traffic, discerning its intentions, and taking action to thwart attacks.
To help your business get started with bot management, we asked for advice from four cybersecurity experts:
- Michael Fisher, Jr., Systems Analyst, Whitcraft Group
- Darryl MacLeod, Information Security Manager, Securicy
- Mike Quindazzi, Managing Director, PwC
- Mark Lynd, Executive Technology, Blockchain & CyberSecurity Consultant, Relevant Track
Read on to learn how to improve your site’s security, protect your organization from attacks, and keep up your winning pace in the cybersecurity marathon.
1. Organization-wide education and training
The human element is an often-overlooked area of security strategy. All too often, people are the weak link that breaks when hackers come calling. Michael Fisher stresses the importance of thorough and ongoing education throughout the organization:
“To help mitigate against botnets, a business leader should take a serious stance with educating their staff,” he says. “As the end users are the first line of defense, we should have continuously improving training sessions as part of the on-boarding process and as a mandatory process for other employees on an annual basis.”
It’s important to treat cybersecurity education as strategically as any other corporate initiative, too. Make sure your employees know that the organization values security, and that it’s everyone’s responsibility.
2. Proactive device security
It’s easy to focus on the software side of security. But the physical devices we use to connect are often a point of vulnerability as well. This is especially true with the Internet of Things. Internet-connected appliances frequently have fewer security features than devices like smartphones and tablets.
“In the age of Alexa and Google, specialized IoT botnets are now being used to take over IoT devices,” says Darryl MacLeod. “They are quickly becoming a major risk in today’s always connected world.”
To address the threat, make sure you know which devices are internet-enabled, and take steps to secure them. Enable automatic updating so they’re running the latest security patches, set strong passwords, and change them regularly.
3. Ongoing risk assessment
It’s important to think of security as a journey, not a destination. Threats continue to evolve, hackers continue to become more sophisticated, and security measures must do the same. A set-it-and-forget-it mentality is likely to leave your site vulnerable.
“Hacker assaults on internet infrastructure have already shown the potential of commanding a hijacked army of IoT devices,” says Mike Quindazzi. “Organizations need to constantly reassess environments for security vulnerabilities that might increasingly jeopardize networks and critical operations.”
Organizations that make security a priority will not only be less vulnerable, they will also have an advantage over the competition in earning consumer trust.
4. Proper security configuration with periodic review
The strongest security software can’t protect your site if it isn’t properly configured and updated. It’s a problem Michael Lynd confronts on a regular basis: “As a former CIO and CTO for billion-dollar companies, I have continually seen one vulnerability re-occur over and over due to changing vendors, new team members or new vulnerabilities being continually discovered in the wild. Security misconfiguration is the most common website vulnerability that most people are not aware of.”
Installing a security solution is just the beginning.
Says Lynd, “Leadership should require their security professionals to perform periodic reviews and comprehensive quality assurance tests for website functionality and security verification.”
That way, your organization will keep moving up the security continuum instead of falling behind the latest advances.
Find a running partner
Keeping your site safe is an endless marathon. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, keeping up with the pace of change can be grueling. Policies that worked yesterday might not keep you safe tomorrow.
But you don’t have to run your race alone; you can turn your marathon into a relay race. The right cybersecurity partner can help identify vulnerabilities and guard against potential future threats.
Oracle Dyn is dedicated to making the internet safer for business. If you’re tired of running the cybersecurity marathon, it’s time to pass the baton.