The nature of the cyber threats we’re facing is changing. If you look around, you can find organizations that are doing a better job than others to protect their systems. The question we all must ask is, are we up for the challenge?
Effective organizations are proactive
Since cyber threats are evolving just as quickly as our usage, the most progressive firms on the forefront have shifted from a reactive mindset to a proactive mindset.
Firms that are leading the way in their security practices have made a commitment to extend and integrate information security throughout the enterprise so that it becomes more than an afterthought, it becomes a part of the culture.
If you desire to be a leader in information security, there are 5 key factors that the most successful organizations share.
One of the first steps in fostering proactivity is developing a collaborative culture throughout the enterprise by prioritizing communication with business stakeholders. Doing so implies that security is everybody’s business not just the IT or security team. Involving everyone to some degree reinforces the importance of good security, and it keeps it front and center. The security team benefits as well since collaboration can improve their understanding of business needs and the strategy behind them. Collaboration helps the security team to become an enabler rather than an impediment.
The most successful security officers anticipate future needs and proactively review and propose the most prudent ways to implement new technologies and features without ‘slowing’ the business down.
A good example of this is anticipating the need for BYOD and doing the research before the business raises its hand to see if and how it can be implemented securely. For more information on BYOD policy considerations, please refer to this link.
Expand their defenses
From a technology perspective, security risks have progressed to a point that focusing all of your efforts on protecting your perimeter and endpoints is insufficient and will set you up to fail. They still need to be secured, but there are a lot more ways to penetrate an organization and do damage than ever before. Many of these vulnerabilities don’t involve physically attacking individual components of the infrastructure (ref: spear phishing).
Understand their own vulnerabilities
Awareness of their weaknesses is the first step to addressing them. There are a lot of tools out there that can help uncover infrastructure or application vulnerabilities. This knowledge provides the ability to fix them before they’re exploited.
Assume they have already been breached
Odds are that if there aren’t security monitoring capabilities in place then there has already been a breach. Monitoring delivers the ability to look for and identify suspicious behavior. Once again, good intelligence gives them the ability to lock down their infrastructure.
Master the basics
The best firms are diligent to use anti-virus, web filtering, and anti-spam solutions along with keeping their software/firmware patched. They also reevaluate their policies and risk assessments on a periodic basis.
Cyber threats will persist as long as data is valuable. Raising awareness of these risks and getting buy-in across the organization will go a long way to taking the steps necessary to secure the information we’re entrusted with.
If you have questions about how to improve your infrastructure or application security, please give us a call @ 501.801.6700 or send us an email.