Legacy Systems: The Preferred Path for Hacker Attacks

FrogViews are Leapfrog’s top takeaways from the most informative articles on IT trends.

If your company has been relying on one or more legacy systems and they’ve run smoothly for many years, you may think they don’t need much attention — you can continue with SOP.

But the opposite may be true.

Organizations that fail to update and remediate vulnerabilities in their legacy systems are putting those systems at risk — and even worse, they’re giving attackers a foothold to infect and take control of other systems, including cloud systems that interact with the physical network.

Leapfrog believes that a strong vulnerability management program and swift action to deal with legacy system vulnerabilities are key to getting ahead of risk and protecting your business.

In Are your legacy systems an open door to cyber-attacks?, Nick Denning, CEO of Diegesis, warns that the business systems you rely on the most can also be the most neglected. The events of the past few years have generated so much change, including WFH and hybrid work, that security boundaries have been pushed out and new points of vulnerability have been introduced. Currently, cloud platforms, apps, new systems, and other innovations are getting the most attention — and the most funding.

RELATED: Modernizing and improving your IT also secures and uncomplicates your IT.

Meantime, vulnerable legacy systems can be open doors for hackers. Denning advises:

  • Focus efforts on protecting and controlling access to key systems
  • Identify and prioritize new risks, including the impact of losing experienced employees who know how to run legacy systems
  • Consider the cloud — it’s not possible for every system but it’s a good option for some

In Legacy systems are the new attack vectors for hackers, InfoWorld expands on the premise. The public cloud has seen enormous investments in security over the past decade but legacy systems haven’t received the same kind of attention or investment. Now public clouds are more secure than most data centers, and it’s easier to access your cloud systems through your data center than vice-versa.

Legacy systems have become the weakest link in the enterprise IT security chain.

To secure your legacy systems, make sure your IT team:

  • Deploys the same defenses for legacy platforms as your inter-system security, if possible
  • Works with the fewest number of vulnerabilities by updating security software and security configurations, testing, and auditing
  • Take a “zero-trust” approach to all systems that connect to systems in the public cloud (despite the added layer of complexity and expense)

When you update and remediate legacy system vulnerabilities, you’re shoring up your weakest link and protecting your entire organization.

Helping businesses modernize their infrastructure, including preparing environments that run legacy platforms to transition to the cloud, is one of Leapfrog’s core capabilities. We approach the migration process systematically — adhering to standards and working closely with your IT team — to ensure a smooth transition. Then we operate as your partner to co-manage your environment. As an MSSP that’s SSAE-18 SOC 2 and PCI compliant, meeting regulatory compliance while improving your ability to innovate is part of what we do every day.