It is already a weird summer for me. I normally go to Acadia National Park right about now and enjoy the Maine weather. (It is so weird that NY has Maine weather so far). Instead of my normal summer routine, this year I am moving one of my daughters to the University of Alabama at Huntsville to finish her CyberSecurity Degree. Alabama in August sounds like so much fun only matched by 2,000 miles of driving there and back.
Hopefully, you have some nice plans for the summer.
However, as we wrap up the 2022/2023 school year, I wanted to share some thoughts with you before you head off to your well-deserved time off.
Remember holiday breaks are the preferred time for bad actors to increase their activity. I have seen this locally each and every holiday for the last three years.
I suggest you do the following:
- Actively scan everything you can scan with whatever updated EDR/AV tools you are using going into the 4th of July and Labor Day holidays.
- Designate someone to actively pay attention to your security tools and logs during your reduced staff holiday breaks.
- The only supported version of Windows 10 after this month is Windows 10 22H2. Windows 10 will no longer have feature updates - just security updates. The end of support for Windows 10 is in 2025. All future feature updates will be in Windows 11 only.
- This is the last summer before Windows Server 2012 goes EoL this fall. You must migrate and retire these servers ASAP.
- Patch all your OSes (aka Windows Update)
- Patch all your third Party Updates (aka Audacity, VLC, Office, Adobe, etc.)
- Patch your Server and Workstation BIOS
- Patch your Remote Access Cards (aka CIMC, DRAC, ILO)
- Patch your switches and firewalls
- Patch your VMware VSphere. Remember anything under Vsphere 7.0 is definitely unsupported by VMware and there have been many security advisories against VMware.
- Patch your SCCM to the current version.
- If you use ManageEngine products patch those as well. Some have security updates.
- Make sure your AV/EDR solutions are 100% functional, updated, and reporting to a centralized console across all your endpoints.
- Calibrate your UPSes this summer on a day without any weather.
This list is by no means complete, but there is a whole lot of work that needs to be done before school opens to keep your district safe.
Please let us know if you need any help with anything on my list or anything else.
Have a great summer!
-Scott Quimby, CISSP