Secure configuration is a cornerstone of effective cyber security. Implementing secure configuration measures during the building or installation of computers and network devices can significantly reduce unnecessary cyber vulnerabilities.

Why is Secure Configuration Important? 

Security misconfigurations are a prime target for criminal hackers. As attackers seek easy ways to exploit systems, breaches stemming from these vulnerabilities are becoming more common. Default settings, which are often left unchanged by manufacturers, are particularly vulnerable. Attackers can easily exploit these settings to make unauthorised changes. Implementing secure configurations helps you identify these misconfigurations and unusual changes to critical files or registry keys.

Risks of Not Having a Secure Configuration Plan

Under the UK government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme, implementing a secure configuration is not just recommended; it’s essential for protecting against cyber threats. Relying on default settings might seem convenient, but it exposes your systems to serious security risks.

Unreviewed default settings can provide cyber attackers with easy, unauthorised access to your data. Additionally, misconfigured web servers or applications present numerous potential security problems. Without continuous monitoring for threats, detecting breaches in time to mitigate effectively is challenging.

Strategies for Effective Implementation of Secure Configuration

While secure configuration can be challenging, many issues are easily resolved with the right strategy.   

  • Varying expectations 

Security plans often have many elements, leading managers, stakeholders, and staff to develop different expectations. Clearly define your desired outcomes to ensure a smooth process and avoid common security issues. Then, discuss these outcomes with your service provider to align expectations and ensure effective implementation.

  • Data Integrity

When setting up software and implementing secure configurations, check the migrated data being migrated carefully. It’s essential to ensure that no data is lost, privacy is upheld, and data integrity is maintained throughout the process.

  • People 

Reducing the risk of human error is essential. Train and upskill your staff on any new software or applications to achieve this. Highlighting the benefits of these changes can improve their efficiency and work quality. This approach helps staff embrace new procedures and reduces the risk of further issues.

  • Protecting your End Users

To manage secure configuration effectively, consider the lifecycle of your computers and network devices:

  • Review and modify default settings to avoid serious security issues.
  • Disable auto-run features that allow file execution without user authorisation.
  • Authenticate users before granting Internet access to sensitive data.
  • Remove and disable unnecessary user accounts to minimise vulnerabilities.
  • Change default or easily guessable passwords to more secure alternatives.
  • Remove or disable unnecessary software to reduce potential attack vectors.

Safeguard Your Business 


Ready to elevate your cyber security with Cyber Essentials certification? Our team at The Missing Linkcan provide the expertise and support to achieve Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Contact our expert team for practical help with your certification and cyber security needs. For more information about Cyber Essentials including Malware Protection, User Access Control, or Patch Management, click here.

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Louise Wallace