Securing your business against cyber threats is a top priority for most businesses today. Cybercriminals have never been as skilled and cunning as they are today, and companies are constantly reassessing their risk levels. Internet facing applications may be a bigger security threat than you realize and an important area for consideration in these risk assessments.
What You Don’t Know
There is an App for that may the nemesis you don’t realize. There have never been as many business programs and applications accessible via the internet today. Not only that, but employees use a wide range of devices, software, and apps, especially when working remotely. Surprisingly, many businesses haven’t considered the impact of internet-facing applications and the threat of their data security. This is partly because they aren’t aware of all the internet-facing and public applications that are utilized and/or haven’t put the necessary protocols in place to defend against these apps. Before we find out how to identify and protect these threats, let’s begin by understanding more about them.
Internet-Facing Applications Defined
Internet-facing applications include all programs and services that are accessed via the internet. Some programs and services are only accessible via internal networks, and others can be accessed through internal and internet-based networks. Any applications that are either entirely or partially accessible via the internet will be considered internet-facing applications.
The most obvious question would be, if they’re so risky, why are internet-facing applications set up in the first place? Firstly, internet-facing applications are vital to communicating with customers, partners, and role-players. They’re also essential for employees working remotely, from home, or on the road.
Over the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic increase in employees requiring remote access due to covid-19 lockdowns and changes in company structures. This change has resulted in a renewed concern about the safety of internet-facing applications, and for a good reason.
Examples of internet-facing applications include:
- All remotely accessible services
- Cloud application delivery platforms
- Internet-facing firewalls
- SSH gateways
- VPN gateways
- Web applications
- Mobile applications
- Web servers
Who Do I Need To Identify My Internet-Facing Applications?
Companies that don’t keep a regularly updated list of internet-facing applications are entirely oblivious to the data available to anybody looking for it. And companies that don’t address these vulnerabilities with specific security solutions are sitting ducks for cybercriminals.
Cyber attackers are constantly on the lookout for security vulnerabilities, and they have a wide range of highly effective tools to assist them. Unfortunately, Internet-facing applications are the easiest to access, and they are the number one target of these criminals.
Companies, therefore, need to know exactly which applications and data are internet-facing and take the necessary precautions in securing those applications. This is one of the most important parts of risk management and being negligent in this regard is a direct threat to the business.
How Do I Identify My Company’s Internet-facing Applications?
For many business owners, this might seem like a daunting task. But, firstly, it is essential to remember that nothing is more daunting than not addressing these vulnerabilities. Secondly, it isn’t as scary or time-consuming as you think. Getting professional support involved is always recommended—more of which, shortly.
Identifying your internet-facing applications properly requires input from your IT support team. This might be an internal team, or you may be outsourcing it. Any IT support team worth their salt should already have systems that protect internet-facing applications. If, however, they don’t, you need to address this with them urgently.
The process for identifying internet-facing applications usually includes the following steps:
- Identifying internal assets
- Confirming the positioning of assets on your network
- Identify all public-facing systems
- Organize and access the discovery data
- Determine your cloud-attack service
The importance of identifying and securing internet-facing applications has never been more critical. And unfortunately, companies can lose everything to data breaches like ransomware and other forms of malware that are only increasing in frequency and severity lately.
And it isn’t only medium to large-sized businesses under threat. Criminals are increasingly targeting smaller businesses too, which means that all companies need to implement security measures.
Would you like help with your business’ network infrastructure, security protocols, and risk assessments? Conscious Networks is a full technology solutions partner for businesses – contact us for a free assessment.