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What Is a Configuration Review?

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By TraceSecurity
December 4, 2023

Cybersecurity is an important factor on both a personal and business level, but the latter may include things like configuration reviews. There are many different aspects when it comes to cybersecurity on both of these fronts. There is some crossover between the two, but configuration reviews are important to any business, especially since the government requires it for some industries.

This service should be preformed quite often, especially as new threats appear each day. Recently, the NSA and CISA released a statement about common misconfigurations. This is another reason that configuration reviews are necessary, considering these controls can be improperly configured. Bad actors are counting on that and they won’t stop trying to get your information.

What Is a Config Review?

A configuration review, also called a config review, is an important check on programs and policies that your company may use. These reviews are crucial in terms of cybersecurity, considering their purpose is to go over specific vulnerabilities, threats, and weaknesses that may be in your resources. These include programs often used like email and Microsoft 365, along with network securities like firewalls, VPNs, and servers.

Because there are threats appearing more and more frequently, configuration reviews have become more important, especially when it comes to government compliance. Configuration should be monitored at all times, but a review will make sure that everything is in place. These should be done at least quarterly, if not twice a year.

Different Types of Config Reviews

As stated above, there are a few different areas that can be reviewed for configuration. There are variations of each as well, but there are a few main ones that should be checked regularly.

Microsoft 365

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft 365 config reviews have become more and more necessary with the use of the suite. Because of its popularity among the business world, it has become a bigger target for bad actors. Even though Microsoft has its own defenses against malicious activity on their platform, Microsoft 365 is so malleable that it is easy to find exploits.

With a Microsoft 365 configuration review, a third party will go through each security protocol and verify that updates, patches, and other things to make sure everything is safe. A few things that are checked are data management processes, accounts, authentication processes, and various permissions that might be given to users. Many other things are checked as well, so it’s important to get these reviews often.

Firewall Configuration Review

Firewalls are an important piece of any network. These are usually one of the first lines of defense against bad actors. A firewall will allow or block connections that reach out to your computer. At a more basic level, a firewall is simply a set of security rules that dictate what a connection can do. Because of these security rules, however, they need to be checked and updated on occasion with configuration reviews. Connections can sometimes get through, especially if someone accidentally accepts it.

VPN Configuration Review

A VPN, or virtual private network, is another line of defense against bad actors that might try to look for a connection to your business’s network. A VPN will hide your network from prying eyes, connecting your network to another with the use of encryption. It changes the IP that you’re connecting through, giving another layer of security to your network. However, these VPNs also come with their own security protocols, so it’s important to get these reviewed as well.

Server and Cloud Configuration Review

Most businesses have a server that run their computers, Internet connection, and manage data. These servers can also include cloud servers, which need their own reviews. These are key targets for bad actors to hack, considering they have the most sensitive information on them. One of these malicious attacks getting through to a server can be detrimental for any business.

In combination with a few other config reviews, server reviews will look through authorizations, access points, and go through the many connected devices that might be there. It is one of the most important config reviews that a business can have, considering the private information they carry.

Configuration reviews are important to any business. Security analysts go through security issues, including unpatched vulnerabilities, threats, and more. These reviews are necessary in order to be compliant with government regulations as well. They should be done at least two times a year, but many recommend getting these config reviews every quarter. This is especially true if the business is a bigger one.

These config reviews can be done for many things, including Microsoft 365, firewalls, VPNs, and servers. There are a few other things, but these are the most important ones. A third party can easily do these configuration reviews for a business. Each day, threats are getting more and more rampant. Bad actors are using advanced techniques to get through these defenses, so getting configuration reviews is crucial to cybersecurity.

Connect with TraceSecurity to learn more.

About TraceSecurity

TraceSecurity has provided over 30,000 examiner approved reports, helping credit unions of all sizes maintain compliance year after year. A CUNA Strategic Services provider since 2006, TraceSecurity helps credit unions with a range of cybersecurity services, including risk assessments, penetration testing and IT audits. With a combination of software and services, TraceSecurity can help credit unions manage their information security program and supplement it with third-party validation.