Reality Check: Can Legacy Systems Mitigate or Prevent Cyberthreats?

 In Security

In 2021, businesses are vulnerable to a multitude of cyber threats. One extensive cybersecurity report highlights that complete overdependence on legacy systems is a bad strategy for most businesses.  Another report highlights how businesses can, in fact, continue to use legacy systems in a modern sense.

Technically, the trick is to prevent your existing system from becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks. But a lot depends on the nature of your business, operational capacity, and requirements. In the last year, there has been a significant shift to the work-from-home model.

Legacy System: Different Business, Different Needs

Although a remote work environment helps employees become more productive, it creates security issues for organizations. In fact, businesses have to take a few extra steps to safeguard their valuable data and ensure legacy systems are up to date.

The fact of the matter is that legacy systems consist of outdated software and hardware that take a lot of time to replace. In some situations, businesses can’t even replace conventional legacy systems. But all systems are open to security vulnerabilities and often do not align with cybersecurity features. These access features usually involve single-single-in, role-based access, and multi-factor authentication.

Legacy Systems and the Issue of Outdated Encryption Methods

Whether it’s simple or complex security vulnerability in the system, it serves as an invitation for cybercriminals to exploit business data. But many businesses still use outdated operating systems to get access to critical information from the servers and manage business operations.

It sets a dangerous precedent for the business and makes valuable data even more vulnerable. Still, the solution for businesses is to focus on heightened cybersecurity measures and review different elements that can make systems more secure.

Make Continuous Updates

If your organization’s workflow revolves around legacy systems, there is no secret solution to mitigate or avoid cyberattacks. Instead, you will have to be vigilant and roll out relevant system software and patches for the operating system. Again, it is crucial to make sure the network system is up-to-date.

Here are a few actions organizations can adopt to improve the security framework of their legacy system:

Legacy Servers

  • Perform a vulnerability evaluation to figure out what you have to fix and pinpoint major weaknesses
  • Create a dedicated list of the owners of each application and server
  • Monitor old servers that might not be relevant but still exist in the legal system environment
  • Establish stored data categories on the servers
  • Review the location of your legacy system and its overall environment.
  • Make inventory updates
  • Decommission old servers in the legacy system

Legacy Servers without Internet

  • Install the most recent patches for OS when possible
  • Improve the functionality of the operating system
  • Cut out unused services and applications from legacy servers
  • Set new governing rules for legacy servers to make them more secure
  • Add an extra security layer through an antivirus solution from a reliable vendor
  • Integrate and centralize solutions that support your legacy systems to prevent unrecognized software installations on the server.
  • Revalidate the access controls on legacy systems for different users

Pandemic Crisis and Legacy Systems

It is fundamental to make sure legacy systems are updated and have the capacity to thwart or at least mitigate common cyber threats. During the pandemic crisis, many companies decided to transition to the cloud altogether.

In some cases, companies managed to update and secure their legacy systems for better performance.  But the COVID-19 pandemic influenced companies to change the way they operate. Ordinarily, it probably would’ve taken a long time. But swift digital transformation waits for no one.

Wrap Up

At its core, businesses that “use” and “depend” on legacy systems must invest in multiple security layers inside the organization. And that includes network-specific IPS, endpoint solutions, email security solutions, and proxy solutions. Last but not the least, businesses should inform and educate their teams about security concerns and foster an organizational culture that prioritizes security.

You can contact Prescient Solutions to update and improve your existing legacy system right now. 

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