Bad Practices

Recent attacks on the water we drink, our food production, our healthcare availability, our schools, our municipalities, and other national critical functions have demonstrated cyberattacks against critical infrastructure can have a significant impact on the critical functions of government and the private sector. All organizations, and particularly those supporting designated Critical Infrastructure or National Critical Functions (NCF)[1] should implement an effective cybersecurity program to protect against cyber threats and manage cyber risk commensurate with the urgency of those NCFs to national security, national economic security, and/or national public health and safety. 

CISA is developing a catalog of Bad Practices that are exceptionally risky, especially in organizations supporting Critical Infrastructure or NCFs. The presence of these Bad Practices in organizations that support Critical Infrastructure or NCFs is exceptionally dangerous and increases risk to our critical infrastructure. We rely on these critical infrastructures for national security, economic stability, and life, health, and safety of the public. Entries in the catalog will be listed here as they are added.

  1. Use of unsupported (or end-of-life) software in service of Critical Infrastructure and National Critical Functions is dangerous and significantly elevates risk to national security, national economic security, and national public health and safety. This dangerous practice is especially egregious in technologies accessible from the Internet.
  2. Use of known/fixed/default passwords and credentials in service of Critical Infrastructure and National Critical Functions is dangerous and significantly elevates risk to national security, national economic security, and national public health and safety. This dangerous practice is especially egregious in technologies accessible from the Internet.
  3. The use of single-factor authentication for remote or administrative access to systems supporting the operation of Critical Infrastructure and National Critical Functions (NCF) is dangerous and significantly elevates risk to national security, national economic security, and national public health and safety. This dangerous practice is especially egregious in technologies accessible from the Internet. 

While these practices are dangerous for Critical Infrastructure and NCFs, CISA encourages all organizations to engage in the necessary actions and critical conversations to address Bad Practices.*

 

*This list is focused and does not include every possible inadvisable cybersecurity practice. The lack of inclusion of any particular cybersecurity practice does not indicate that CISA endorses such a practice or deems such a practice to present acceptable levels of risk.

 

On our CISAgov GitHub, we opened a Bad Practices discussion page to engage with administrators and IT professionals from industry, federal government and state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Our intent is to gather your perspectives and input on this initiative as well as discuss how to eradicate these practices.   


[1] National Critical Functions | CISA