Leap Day: A Good Time to Leap Into Better IT Security

Cybersecurity(Own)(4)It’s February 29. Leap Day. The only day of the year that only happens every four years.

Leap Day and the entire leap year are opportunities to adjust our timekeeping methods and tools to realign them with those used by the rest of the Solar System.

Leap years have also seen some significant historical events—some good, some tragic.

1752: Benjamin Franklin is believed to have flown a kite in a storm to prove his theory that lightning is in fact electricity. (Thomas-François Dalibard of France did in fact perform the same experiment the same year, based on Franklin’s writings).

1848: gold is discovered in California.

1876: George Armstrong Custer and his troops fight the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

1912: RMS Titanic, the largest ship afloat at the time, strikes an iceberg and sinks.

Leap Day just might also be a great time to improve IT security at your organization. After all, it is an “extra” day, and what security team couldn’t take advantage of an extra day?

One suggestion: review your patch management processes. Look for ways to shorten the vulnerability gap—the time between when a vulnerability surfaces and when your organization deploys the patch delivered for it. Kenna Security research found in 2015 that 90 percent of vulnerabilities are exploited within 40 to 60 days, but enterprises can take 120 days or more to deploy patches. Whatever you can do to reduce this gap improves security at your organization, and is definitely worth doing.

For some additional suggestions, check out “New Year, No Fear: Lessons Learned from 2015 and Resolutions for 2016.” Then, make your own “great leap forward” toward better security at your organization.