Having a clean house when it comes to tech security makes sense in many ways, but it’s far from simple. Traditional approaches to fighting today’s highly technical cyber attacks may have limited effectiveness. Some popular tools are no longer accepted by most organizations. And as attacks get more sophisticated, IT teams have to think more deeply about how to protect their networks.
The purpose here is to outline how organizations can reevaluate their cybersecurity stack and bring in the best practices needed to make sure it keeps pace with the continually evolving threat landscape.
The end game is to have a strategy that’s effective, adaptable and sustainable, as different players in the landscape make their own changes to stay ahead of their competitors. The first part of that process is looking back at an organization’s security postures today and identifying areas for improvement.
Reusing Old Security Architecture
What’s in and what’s out are the two biggies. First, consider what existing technologies you’ve already invested in. Then take a hard look at what’s obsolete and no longer supported.
Many products are already coming to the end of their product lifespans, and most IT pros are well aware of this. But even those of us who support and manage the tech involved may not think about it. The time to take stock of your inventory is now.
For example, look at which tools you’ve got sitting around from previous acquisitions or purchases that could be facing the axe. Consider how much of the IT stack (such as servers and storage) are still supported by their vendors. Sometimes vendors make it difficult to determine if and when support is going to be ending. Consider whether you should be looking for new servers for your organization, or for the storage hardware.
Some products, such as BYOD (bring your own device) security, rely on ad hoc security. That means your IT team has to worry about updates as well as securing devices when they’re brought in, in a generic way.
Investing in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) may not have the cachet that they once did, but it’s still a useful tool, especially if you’re moving to a cloud-based world. The security functions that SD-WAN offers are what make it valuable for many organizations. You’ll no longer have to worry about managing and securing multiple network protocols.
Next, consider which existing services your organization is using and whether they’re getting sufficient protection. Will you be maintaining those services in-house? If so, it may be time to look for a new home for them. Will you look to get the same level of protection that they are now or would you prefer something more comprehensive, or lower-cost?
By the end of this process, you should be armed with an action plan and your options for tackling the ” modernization ” of your cybersecurity stack. A portfolio of cybersecurity solutions should be managed with a measured approach that develops the right solution stack, avoiding a bloated stack that does not overwhelm margins. A proven security framework will help you set the right course for your business.
Strategy and Adaptability
On the risk side of the spectrum, your current focus should be building a framework for evaluating risks, prioritizing them and prioritizing capabilities to address them. This includes mapping the threats your company faces as well as those you anticipate and developing a prioritization matrix for technologies, capabilities and staffing.
Keep in mind, though, that cybersecurity is a living process, and you may not ever fully get out from under the threat of a cybersecurity breach. The idea is to make sure you’re making the best moves in the right direction in order to head off bad outcomes as quickly as you can.
Invest in people. Cybersecurity requires a diverse set of skills, from deep expertise in technology to customer care, and not just from your traditional IT support team. Look for IT professionals who can also demonstrate proficiency in security risk analysis, threat management and ethical hacking. If possible, acquire skills and talent through an external vendor, or even as a combination of internal talent and outside contractors.
Develop a testing strategy to validate that the solutions that you have in place are performing to industry standards. In other words, testing will show you whether your current tools and processes are doing the job they should.
Risk management is only as good as its ability to adapt. As new threats arise, and as the industry continues to evolve, your organization needs a framework to help it evolve along with it.
Technology is constantly changing, so you’ll have to make changes as well. The fact is, though, that you’re not going to just invest in one technology in order to cover all the bases. Nor should you. At best, investing in the right technologies will just help you cope with threats that it might not have been able to address before.
If you decide to invest in a combination of internal and external resources, be sure that you can evolve your existing tools to meet the evolving threat landscape. If you decide to take your focus off your traditional infrastructure and reallocate your resources, it might be time to look for a new home. Either way, your cybersecurity strategy will have to change to meet new challenges.
Don’t just start with a security program. Start with a security framework. Then go about acquiring the right tools to fit your organization’s needs. Then adjust and adapt, focusing on the things that are important to your organization and your customers, and to you.
By taking a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, you can better establish and enhance your defense against hackers and other external threats. By focusing on the right solutions at the right time and aligning them to your business needs, you can lower risk and grow your bottom line, and the costs associated with cybersecurity will be significantly lower as well.
We can help. The Launchpad is partnered with the most innovative cybersecurity providers in the
space. Reach out to us and we’d be happy to find you a match.