Thus, while on its face, many of the new requirements within the Order are aimed at federal agencies and government subcontractors, the ultimate goal appears to be to create a more unified national cybersecurity defense across all sectors. In this installment of our blog series, I will outline recommended steps for private sector organizations to prepare for compliance with the Order, as well as general best-practice tips for adopting a more preemptive approach to cybersecurity.
1. Conduct a Third-Party Assessment
First and foremost, organizations must understand their current cybersecurity posture. Given the severity and volume of recent cyberattacks, third-party in-depth or red-team assessments should be done that would include not only the organization’s IT assets, but also include solutions providers, vendors, and suppliers. Red teaming is the process of providing a fact-driven adversary perspective as an input to solving or addressing a problem. In the cybersecurity space, it has become a best practice wherein the cyber resilience of an organization is challenged by an adversary or a threat actor’s perspective. Red-team testing is very useful to test organizational policies, procedures, and reactions against defined, intended standards.
A third-party assessment must include a comprehensive remote network scan and a comprehensive internal scan with internal access provided or gained with the intent to detect and expose potential vulnerabilities, exploits, and attack vectors for red-team testing. Internal comprehensive discovery includes scanning and running tools with the intent to detect deeper levels of vulnerabilities and areas of compromise. Physical intrusion tests during red-team testing should be conducted on the facility, networks, and systems to test readiness, defined policies, and procedures.
The assessment will evaluate the ability to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information maintained and used by the organization and will test the use of security controls and procedures used to secure sensitive data.
2. Integrate Solution Providers and IT Service Companies into Plans to Address Above Executive Order Steps