Skip to content

Do Not Let These 5 Infrastructure Vulnerabilities Sneak Past Your Cyber Defences: A CISOs Guide 

In today’s ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, CISOs are like the frontline defenders, tasked with keeping their organisations safe from cyber threats. Their big challenge? Spotting and fixing any vulnerabilities in their digital systems before they cause trouble. Before we dive deep into these vulnerabilities, let’s talk about your digital environment more commonly known as internal and external infrastructure. It includes things such as your computer networks, servers, databases, software applications, firewalls, routers, switches, cloud services and so much more. You can think of it as the engine of your car without which things will come to a standstill.

As we explore the world of digital infrastructure, it becomes apparent that vulnerabilities lurk in the shadows, waiting to be exploited. Like cracks in the foundation of a building, these weaknesses can compromise the security of your digital space if not addressed promptly. From outdated software to misconfigured settings, each vulnerability is like an open door for intruders looking to break through your defences. So, let’s look at the top 5 infrastructure quirks that CISOs need to be aware of!

The Silent Assassin: Unpatched Software and Operating Systems

Infrastructure Vulnerability 1 - Unpatched Software and Operating Systems

Your software and operating systems are like a patchwork quilt—each hole represents a potential security flaw each patch representing a fix. When those patches are not applied, you are inviting all sorts of unwanted guests to snuggle up inside. Patches are often released to, as the name suggests, patch a security issue within the target software or OS. The bad news is, hackers are smart, and that patch points them directly at a known vulnerability, this often leads to exploit code being developed shortly after patches are released. Organisations need to apply these patches before the exploit code finds itself in the wild. While patches are commonly released without patch notes to obfuscate vulnerabilities to less advanced attackers, the fact a patch exists means a vulnerability exists, which means someone somewhere will try to figure it out. It is just what hackers do. The solution? Keep those patches regular and plug those security holes.

The Gatekeepers of The Digital World: Weak Authentication and Authorisation Mechanisms

Infrastructure Vulnerability 2 - Weak Auhentication and Authorisation

Authentication and authorisation mechanisms serve as gatekeepers to your digital citadels, tasked with distinguishing friends from foes and granting access only to the worthy. But if your passwords are weak and controls are loose, it is like leaving the gate wide open for anyone to stroll in with the least resistance. Adding some extra layers of security with multi-factor authentication, strong password policies and utilising the principle of least privilege, you can help keep your infrastructure locked tight against intruders.

Securing The Digital Maze: Misconfigured Network Devices

Infrastructure Vulnerability 3 - Misconfigured Network Devices

Misconfigured network devices are akin to installing a highly secure vault door on your safe and not changing the manufacturer pin, it will look secure to the casual observer, but to someone who knows what they are doing, you may as well have installed a turnstile. When network devices such as routers, switches, or firewalls are improperly configured, they create openings for malicious actors to exploit, potentially leading to data breaches, network outages, or other security incidents. These misconfigurations can range from simple oversights such as using default passwords or failing to update firmware, to more complex errors in routing protocols or access control lists. Just as you regularly check that you have locked your windows and doors at night, regularly updating and configuring your network devices will ensure your digital domain is as impenetrable as the Bank of England.

The Neighbourhood Without Fences: Lack of Network Segmentation

Infrastructure Vulnerability 4 - Network Segmentation

Think of your network as a lively neighbourhood, each department or function is a different house. A lack of network segregation is like the housing development firm forgetting to build walls and fences, as a result, your data could wander around for everyone to see. To keep things orderly, you have to set up virtual fences and keep your data neighbourhood in check. This is where network segmentation comes in, by dividing your neighbourhood into smaller blocks — HR, Legal, Accounting, IT, etc., each with its clear boundary, a network compromise will be limited to one specific area of your business.

Broadcasting Secrets in a Crowded Room: Use of Clear Text Protocols

Infrastructure Vulnerability 5 - Lack of Encryption

Sending sensitive data over clear text protocols is like chatting about your deepest darkest secrets in the middle of a coffee shop … at peak times, using a megaphone —there’s no telling who might be listening. To keep your secrets safe, you need to cloak them with encryption, shielding them prying eyes and nefarious eavesdroppers. The vast majority of clear text protocols have more secure versions with encryption as standard. Yes, they can be a pain to deploy and maintain, but their presence significantly increases the difficulty of identifying sensitive data or information for further attacks.

In the world of cybersecurity, CISOs are like digital superheroes, fighting to keep the digital assets safe. But even superheroes have their kryptonite, and for CISOs, it is those tricky infrastructure vulnerabilities that keep them up at night.

By staying vigilant and patching software holes, beefing up passwords and setting up a virtual neighbourhood watch program, it becomes a lot tougher for intruders to break into your organisation’s systems and access important data. Hackers are human after all, we like to take the easy road unless there is a reason to take the hard road. Unless you are being actively targeted, having a good security baseline will be enough to redirect malicious user attention elsewhere. Why break into the house with spotlights, CCTV and gates when the house across the road has the front door open?

While there are pre-emptive measures you can put in place, when it comes to safeguarding your infrastructure from cyber threats, thorough testing is key. We at Incursion Cyber Security (ICS) specialise in infrastructure penetration testing. Our team of skilled testers knows just how to uncover vulnerabilities and shore up your defences with an added layer of insight. So, whether it is pinpointing weak spots or tailoring solutions to fit your needs, count on us to have your back!

 CONTACT US TODAY FOR A TAILORED APPROACH AND QUOTE TO MEET YOUR UNIQUE COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY NEEDS! 

What our clients say

Incursion are professional with their approach whether this be within the internal team or external stakeholders. They are responsive which makes the engagement flow really well throughout the project, communication is great; attending daily stand up call, responding to WhatsApp messages quickly as well as reaching out to the wider team if needed. The level of work produced is to a high standard and follows industry best practices, Incursion make sure they thoroughly cover everything on the agreed scope. This has led to us receiving further work from the customer and an extension in our engagement. Incursion have no issues with working collaboratively within a team which has really helped with working in an agile environment. Overall, Incursion are a pleasure to work with.

Chloe – Leonardo

Our audit was very useful – written in a non-technical manner, enabling us to understand cyber threats and also provided a series of recommendations for each one. Can’t recommend highly enough.

Incursion are professional with their approach whether this be within the internal team or external stakeholders. They are responsive which makes the engagement flow really well throughout the project, communication is great; attending daily stand up call, responding to WhatsApp messages quickly as well as reaching out to the wider team if needed. The level of work produced is to a high standard and follows industry best practices, Incursion make sure they thoroughly cover everything on the agreed scope. This has led to us receiving further work from the customer and an extension in our engagement. Incursion have no issues with working collaboratively within a team which has really helped with working in an agile environment. Overall, Incursion are a pleasure to work with.

Chloe – Leonardo