New Years Resolutions.  Some people love them, and some people hate them. Some stick to them throughout the year, and others have already ignored them at this point in January. That being said, I have put together three simple 2018 Information Security resolutions almost everyone can benefit from. There’s also a plethora of blog posts around this time with predictions for the coming year, often referencing events of the previous year.  Usually, these examples aren’t the best case scenario, as you will soon see.

Ready for the resolutions that can really help your 2018 information security planning, and make sure you do not be come an example for years to come? Here they are:

  • Patching
  • Backup Verification and Testing
  • SSH Key Rollover

Patching

This may seem like a no-brainer for many, or does it? The 2017 outbreak of WannaCry proved it may not be a given in many organizations. Ransomware has been on the rise in recent years and a number of organizations faced staggering losses, in both time and resources. Even if your organization does have patching policies in place, are they followed? Are they up to date? Are there provisions for the rapid patching of environments due to critical security flaws?

Patching is critical to any organizations 2018 security resolution. The time is now to fix broken processes, and dive deeper into existing ones. As we have learned in recent years, the next exploit is just around the corner, and it is up to us to be prepared for it.

Backup Verification and Testing

Another lesson we learned in 2017 thanks to WannaCry is a backup can be an invaluable tool. At the same time, backups do not always get the respect they deserve in an infrastructure. Many times, as long as a backup job is complete, the box is checked and everyone continues on with their next set of tasks.

What about verification of those backups? Did they really complete properly? Can we restore them? How long does it take to restore? Also, have we classified our data correctly? If we are only backing up our most critical data once a week, we may be in trouble if we need to depend on those backups in the future. This all ties back to a proper Business Impact Analysis to determine the Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) for any given environment.

SSH Key Rollover

When we think of ways to further secure our environment, it is also a good practice to change SSH keys in the same sense we make users change their passwords. AWS provides a handy view which tells you how long you’ve had a key active so you can plan when to swap it out accordingly. Using the same SSH keys for long periods of time opens up the potential for hackers to exploit your systems.

It is also important to ensure you are checking who in fact has access to the SSH keys. Staff roles often change as members rotate in and out of teams or leave an organization all together. Ensuring SSH keys change along with staff members ensures only the correct people have access the systems with the current keys. It is important to remember disabled passwords won’t block an active SSH key.

These are just a few simple ways you can make sure your organization ushers in a more secure new year. Feel free to add more to your 2018 information security resolutions list, and be sure to hold onto it for next year.

Are you looking to find out more about technology in 2018?  Be sure to take a look at this post to see what the year has in store for you.

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