Most companies today rely on IT environments in which cloud and distributed services are combined with legacy technologies. However, this makes it difficult for IT teams to keep track of security and performance issues across all systems. You need transparency across the entire IT stack and real-time data to quickly identify and fix critical issues. The more prepared a company is, the better it can protect itself against malware, data breaches and intellectual property theft:
- Detailed risk assessment
The first step is to determine the degree of vulnerability of all IT resources, the probability of an attack, and the possible impact on the company. Application data that is located in previously unknown areas is often discovered in the process. Without a detailed risk assessment, organizations don't know what additional security controls they need to implement. As part of this process, those responsible should also align their security needs with their business objectives to understand the specific impact a security breach can have on business outcomes.
- Plan for emergencies
Upon completion of the assessment, organizations should create a roadmap for their IT teams that outlines what to do in the event of a security breach, thereby significantly reducing response time. Company-wide exercises simulating cyber-attacks are helpful so that each department can practice a coordinated response. Why company-wide and not just for the security team? Because security breaches can happen to anyone and pose real business risks. Careful consideration of risks and their impact allows organizations to prioritize remediation so that the biggest threats are addressed first.
- Development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) instead of silos
DevSecOps is a modern approach to software development that makes security an integral part of the software architecture from the start. To do this, security teams work alongside the development and operations teams. Because teams work in silos, as is common in many places, threats are often not communicated effectively and responsibility is passed from the security team to the development team and back again, slowing response times. When people work in teams instead and security is built into the core of the application, companies can be much more agile and better protected against risk. To take full advantage of DevSecOps, organizations should also leverage full-stack observability to monitor the entire IT stack, from customer-facing applications to the core network and infrastructure.
- Automated threat detection
Automated security tools are also essential to further reduce incident response times. Systems tend to be too complex and distributed for IT teams to continuously monitor, while traditional monitoring solutions may not be able to detect threats before it's too late. Technologies that automate the threat detection process are critical to a proactive approach to security. Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) integrates security into an application, allowing it to detect and remediate threats without human intervention.
- Regular updates
However, a risk assessment is always just a snapshot, as the security landscape is constantly changing. Companies must constantly adapt their security measures. With the right tools, IT teams can stay on top of the changes and adjustments needed to respond to new threats. In addition, they must regularly review their security measures to ensure that criminals cannot exploit vulnerabilities in outdated technologies.
Organizations ensure security is an integral part of their IT infrastructure and not just an afterthought that could leave them vulnerable to attack, when following these simple tips.
By Daniela La Marca