Cyber Security Check List

In August Carphone Warehouse had to admit that they had compromised the encrypted credit card details of up to 90,000 customers. Sebastian James, chief executive of parent company,Dixons Carphone, said: “We are, of course, informing anyone that may have been affected, and have put in place additional security measures.”

We recommend bolting the stable door earlier.

The central lesson from most data breaches comes down to better awareness and training. There is an array of Information Security training available including RESILIA which is based on new best practice guidance from the same stable as PRINCE2 and ITIL
Find Information Security Training

Another good start point is the check list of 20 high priority information security measures and controls from the Council on CyberSecurity.

1 – Inventory of Authorised and Unauthorised Devices
Actively manage (inventory, track, and correct) all hardware devices on the network so that only authorised devices are given access, and unauthorised and unmanaged devices are found and prevented from gaining access.

2 – Inventory of Authorised and Unauthorised Software
Actively manage (inventory, track and correct) all software on the network so that only authorised software is installed and can execute and that unauthorised and unmanaged software is found and prevented from installation or execution.

3 – Secure Configurations for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations and Servers
Establish, implement and actively manage (track, reporting, correct) the security configuration of laptops, servers and workstations using a rigorous configuration management and change control process in order to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerable services and settings.
4 – Continuous Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation
Continuously acquire, assess and take action on new information in order to identify vulnerabilities, remediate and minimise the window of opportunity for attackers.

5 – Malware Defences
Control the installation, spread and execution of malicious code at multiple points in the enterprise, while optimizing the use of automation to enable rapid updating of defence, data gathering and corrective action.

6 – Application Software Security
Manage the security lifecycle of all in house developed and acquired software in order to prevent, detect and correct security weaknesses.

7 – Wireless Access Control
The processes and tools used to track/control/prevent/correct the security use of wireless local area networks (LANS), access points and wireless client systems.

8 – Data Recovery Capability
The processes and tools used to properly back up critical information with a proven methodology for timely recovery of it.

9 – Security Skills Assessment and Appropriate Training to Fill Gaps
For all functional roles in the organization prioritising those mission critical to the business and its security), identify the specific knowledge, skills and abilities needed to support defence of the enterprise; develop and execute an integrated plan to assess, identify gaps and remediate through policy, organizational planning, training and awareness programs.

10 – Secure Configurations for Network Devices such as Firewalls, Routers and Switches
Establish, implement and actively manage (track, report on, correct) the security configuration of network infrastructure devices using a rigorous configuration management and change control process in order to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerable services and settings.

11 – Limitation and Control of Network Ports, Protocols and Services
Manage (track/control/correct) the ongoing operational use of ports, protocols and services on networked devices in order to minimize windows of vulnerability available to attackers.

12 – Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges
The processes and tools used to track/control/prevent/correct the use, assignment and configuration of administrative privileges on computers, networks and applications.

13 – Boundary Defence
Detect/prevent/correct the flow of information transferring networks of different trust levels with a focus on security damaging data.

14 – Maintenance, Monitoring and Analysis of Audit Logs
Collect, manage and analyse audit logs of events that could help detect, understand or recover from an attack.

15 – Control Access Based on the Need to Know
The processes and tools used to track/control/prevent/correct secure access to critical assets (e.g., information, resources, and systems) according to the formal determination of which persons, computers and applications have a need and right to access these critical assets based on an approved classification.

16 – Account Monitoring and Control
Actively manage the lifecycle of system and application accounts, their creation, use, dormancy, deletion in order to minimize opportunities for attackers to leverage them.

17 – Data Protection
The processes and tools used to prevent data exfiltration, mitigate the effects of exfiltrated data and ensure the privacy and integrity of sensitive information.

18 – Incident Response and Management
Protect the organisation’s information, as well as its reputation, by developing and implementing an incident response infrastructure (e.g., plans, defined roles, training, communications, management oversight) for quickly discovering an attack and then effectively containing the damage, eradicating the attacker’s presence, and restoring the integrity of the network and systems.

19 – Secure Network Engineering
Make security an inherent attribute of the enterprise by specifying, designing, and building in features that allow high confidence systems operations while denying or minimising opportunities for attackers.

20 – Penetration Tests and Red Team Exercises
Test the overall strength of an organisation’s defences (the technology, the processes, and the people) by simulating the objectives and actions of an attacker.

Each of the areas above are elaborated in far more detail in a separate report.