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Remediation Definition & Meaning

Remediation, also known as threat remediation, is the process by which organizations address possible attacks and vulnerabilities in advance and respond to them when they arise. Threat remediation is proactive, looking for ways that an attack might happen and preparing vulnerable places within a network. This includes preparing employees, not just devices and access points.

Threats to company networks include:

Social engineering—one of the easiest ways a company can be compromised is by tricking employees into giving away personal information, mistakenly sending company finances to a scammer, or downloading malware onto a company device. Employees should be thoroughly aware of both external and internal threats. Employee cybersecurity training programs are the best means for educating employees on cyber risks.

Privileged access attacks—It's critical to restrict employee access to high-level accounts and databases, since data breaches often come through privileged access. Practicing the principle of least privilege access company-wide will limit the chance that an attacker could access executive resources.

Third-party applications—using other software to integrate existing platforms can be a threat, too, especially if that third-party app is permitted access to a lot of programs with sensitive data.

Data storage loss—although threat typically refers to cybersecurity and attacks, it can also mean threats to stored data. An organization without a disaster recovery plan or backup provider won't be able to protect their data sufficiently, particularly if it isn't backed up in another location.

IoT devices—the Internet of Things wasn't designed to be secured in the same way that computers and smartphones are, and companies can easily suffer the consequences if an attacker accesses their private networks through a smart watch or door lock.

Remediating threats means being aware of each one and setting up network and endpoint security to prepare for attacks. If employees have IoT devices that can't be easily secured, each one should undergo company security checks and monitoring. And any devices that team members use to access the company's network should be password-protected at the least. For an employee to access a high-level account or one that has any sensitive data, they should provide multiple forms of authentication.

XDR and remediation

Systems such as intrusion detection and prevention enable companies to catch threats as they arise and address them proactively. And endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions monitor endpoint devices and spot suspicious activity at the edge of a network. XDR (extended detection and response) is really the ultimate goal for large enterprises, though: it's a comprehensive threat response solution that addresses all parts of a network, not just the endpoints or the perimeter. An XDR solution analyzes all the company data in a pool and automates searching for threats. It prioritizes alerts so that IT teams and engineers aren't overwhelmed.

Because XDR monitors all the company data, not just one section, it can more easily build connections between threats and can better locate the root cause of a security issue or breach. This allows an XDR solution to react quickly based on the details of the specific threat. In contrast, other siloed security solutions will not have access to all of the data and might not be able to pinpoint the problem as quickly.

Incident response

Remediation sometimes refers to incident response, the process of responding to a data breach or cyber attack. More commonly, though, it refers to preventive measures.

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