Comprehensive security mitigation requires far more than just a patch.
Our digital world requires IT decision-makers to have a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity and the threat environment in which they operate.
The threat of data breaches, cybercrime, and the resulting downtime ranks as the number one most important global business risk in 2023, tied only with the general category of business interruptions, such as supply chain disruptions, for the top position.
Considering the severity of the situation, the old OEM patch/fix/update approach alone might not be sufficient to protect your software environment. What companies actually need is a security risk management program that can respond quickly to new security intelligence and leverages existing resources to keep their systems safe.
The pitfalls of security patches
A software security patch is one element of a vulnerability management program, but there are many other effective ways that can mitigate security risk. OEM security patches are typically focused on addressing issues within a particular product. They are not tailored to individual customers, and software securities and vulnerabilities can remain unchanged.
This assumes each customer has deployed the product straight out of the box, and that no customizations have been made. But there’s a big problem with that. If custom code has been used that the OEM is not aware of, implementing that security patch could unintentionally break the system.
What’s really needed is a tailored, more targeted approach to addressing potential vulnerabilities in legacy IBM products, one that can be deployed regardless of version number, custom configurations, or whether the problem lies within an open-source component.
If custom code has been used that the OEM is not aware of, implementing that security patch could unintentionally break the system.
A game-changing option for software security
OEMs aren’t the only ones who monitor and analyze security vulnerabilities. Third-party software maintenance (TPSM) providers often have teams of security professionals with global cybersecurity and engineering experience who analyze available threat and vulnerability information. In fact, many have worked within the fields of government, military, finance, and national infrastructure. These specialized teams focus on understanding what vulnerabilities might be present and how to reduce the likelihood of their exploitation.
One way to accomplish this is through a combination of machine-driven intelligence and analysts who monitor dark web activity. Using both AI and human insights can increase security by verifying, flagging, and making sense of potential threats.
Having 24/7/365 access to tailored, actionable intelligence enables an efficient and effective response to potential risks and allows companies to leverage various threat warning sources. These flagged potential risks are then analyzed by threat experts to determine if they are credible. If found legitimate, the security and specialist engineering teams can mitigate them.
It’s important to understand your wider environment, what it delivers, and how it works. This includes assessing your people, processes, technologies, and regulatory environment. Multilayered defenses can be put in place to protect the organization, including encryption, software controls, and proxy servers. Identifying and implementing a wide range of mitigating actions exponentially increases security without touching the source code.
Although an effective security program can reduce the likelihood of companies being compromised, nothing is foolproof.
There is no such thing as zero risk — breaches can and most likely will occur — but you can reduce the likelihood of being compromised.
Is your legacy software really protected from cybersecurity attacks?
Curious about how to get started on the path to proactive cybersecurity mitigation? Ask yourself:
- Are we alerted to potential cyberthreats in a timely manner?
- Do we receive more than security patches as a line of defense?
- Do we have a clear picture of potential cybersecurity threats and mitigation solutions?
- Is our cybersecurity solution tailored to our business?
- Do we feel supported in our plan against cyberthreats?
- What is our company’s determined level of acceptable risk?
Our latest guide, “Securing Legacy Estates: Are You Really Protected?” offers a general overview of today’s security climate, discusses the trouble with OEM patches, and examines contextual, risk-based cybersecurity strategies to help ensure you are protected before threat actors strike.
With cybercrime forecasted to rack up a global total of $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, there’s no better time to evaluate your current cybersecurity processes and take effective steps to progress securely.