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System Hardening: The Key to Minimizing Attack Surfaces

Cyber-attacks are busting in from all directions. The biggest and most widespread attack was in 2017, called Wannacry. More than 230,000 computers were affected by ransomware amounting to more than $4 billion in losses. This attack was due to an old SMB protocol enabled in Windows devices. Microsoft had released a patch 2 months before the attack, but many organizations failed to patch their endpoints. A publicly disclosed critical risk was not detected and remediated in time. 

Studies predict that businesses in 2021 will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, down from every 14 seconds in 2019. To keep your business secure from threat actors, you need to implement a system hardening process to secure your IT infrastructure. 

Here are a few metrics to implement the system hardening process 

1. Implement a robust and continuous approach to detect configuration drifts

Continuously scan your endpoints, detect the deviations in system settings, and identify the non-compliant devices immediately. You can detect configuration drifts instantly and roll out a remediation plan to reduce security gaps. Continuous scanning is the best way to maintain a minimal attack surface at all times. 

2. Abide by industry or organizational security standards

Complying with industry-specific security standards like ISO, HIPAA, NIST, PCI, etc. serve as guardrails to follow a more robust security policy. They tighten your security strategy by making risk and threat mitigation processes faster. If you don’t have security benchmarks in your industry, create a security policy for your organization and follow it religiously. 

3. Don’t miss out on hardening configurations across all OSs, applications, and servers 

All your OSs, applications, and servers contribute to your security posture equally. Third-party applications are equally vulnerable to attacks as OSs. Ensure that you have a firm grasp on hardening all possible attack vectors. Don’t leave out any devices in your network because they seem unimportant. 

4. Eliminate risks lurking everywhere and not just software vulnerabilities

Patching vulnerabilities in software are an important part of system hardening. But system hardening does not stop there. You need to monitor and control many other faulty configurations that might leave endpoints open to attacks. Apply strong security measures like controlling account privileges, regulating application installation, and setting firm password and firewall policies, and a lot more configuration checks

SanerNow System Hardening is a cloud-based solution to detect and remediate risks in your environment and keep your endpoints secure. It runs continuous scans to detect configuration drifts instantly and also remediate them. With SanerNow, you can leverage 500+ security parameters per OS and support for major industry compliance benchmarks including HIPAA, PCI, ISO, and NIST. 

SanerNow will help you orchestrate strong system hardening process on your heterogeneous OS endpoints, applications, and servers. Schedule a free personalized demo and we’ll show you how SanerNow can help you tighten your system configurations and secure your IT infrastructure.

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