The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the global non-profit organisation “with the mission to enhance online trust and empower users, while promoting innovation and the vitality of the internet”, released its 2015 Security & Privacy Best Practices and Security & Privacy Risk Assessment guides yesterday.
According to its analysis of “nearly 500 breaches reported in the first half of 2014”, more than “90% could have been avoided had simple controls and security best practices been implemented.”
OTA recommends the following best practices:
- Enforce effective password management policies.
- Employ least privilege user access (LUA) to provide protection against malicious network behaviour and system faults.
- Deploy multi-layered firewall protection; use up-to-date antivirus software; enable patch management for operating systems, apps and add-ons; disable auto-running of removable media; and employ whole-disk encryption.
- Conduct regular penetration tests and vulnerability scans.
- Require email authentication on all inbound and outbound mail streams to detect phishing and spoofed emails.
- Implement a mobile device management programme.
- Continuously monitor the organisation’s infrastructure security.
- Deploy web application firewalls to mitigate common threats, as identified by OWASP.
- Only permit authorised devices to connect wirelessly to the network and encrypt communications with wireless devices.
- Implement Always On Secure Sockets Layer (AOSSL) for all servers requiring login authentication and data collection to prevent data sniffing.
- Review server certificates for vulnerabilities and risks of domain hijacking.
- Develop, test, and continually refine a data breach response plan.
Organisations that are concerned about information security and want to implement OTA’s recommendations will be pleased to learn that there is a single best-practice solution that can be employed to address all of the points listed above.
ISO 27001, the international information security standard, sets out the requirements of an enterprise-wide information security management system (ISMS) that encompasses people, processes and technology.
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