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Security leaders across all industries face an increasingly complex environment. More organizations are embracing remote, distributed workforces that need to access corporate data and applications from anywhere in the world. Adversaries profit by stealing data and holding businesses hostage through malware and ransomware attacks, amplified by difficult-to-track cryptocurrencies.
A comprehensive security program enables you to proactively manage these risks while driving efficiency and reducing vendor complexity and costs.
Security should be hardwired into every aspect of your organization. This requires thoroughly understanding your current business operations to build comprehensive solutions that address cloud, automation, networking, infrastructure and data science.
We recommend CISOs follow a phased approach to maturing enterprise security programs. Consider your current maturity posture in the following areas and determine where your resources would have the most impact.
Assessment, strategy and governance
Before organizations build the strategy that will accelerate their cybersecurity program, security teams must first assess their current state. Is your organization adhering to the latest data privacy regulations? Are your current security policies and risk management strategy driving the business forward?
You also need to know everything that makes up your environment – the hardware, software, people, data, applications, locations, and dependencies and interconnections. These are the assets that drive your business. They are also potential vulnerabilities that need to be inspected and strategically addressed as part of your comprehensive security program.
We recommend focusing on the following areas to modernize your enterprise security posture.
- Zero trust
- Infrastructure security
- Cloud security
- Cyber resilience
- Security operations
CISOs must put governance and regulatory compliance at the heart of everything they do. Then, a solid and comprehensive security strategy will help define the vision, services and capabilities needed to deliver security controls and reduce risk for your organization – all while enabling your business to thrive.
Identity and access management (IAM) ensures that the right people and devices have the right access at the right time. While already an aspect of enterprise security, IAM is worth additional focus. The right approach reduces risk to an organization's corporate assets by streamlining authentication, authorization, automated provisioning/de-provisioning and access review process.
Has your security team identified, documented and evaluated risk across the current identity ecosystem? It's essential for CISOs to understand the organization's current IAM maturity posture.
Start by identifying stakeholders and gaining a clear understanding of role-based access needs across the organization. Who is responsible for granting access? What piecemeal tools are being used? Look for redundant capabilities and ensure your tools are fully utilized and scalable. Then, begin creating a common directory of users and access justifications. Clearly document identity policies and procedures for every phase of users' lifecycle and conduct periodic audits across the organization.
This will be the basis for creating your identity vision and architecture and will also reveal opportunities for automation.
Industrial control systems (ICS) are increasingly merging with traditional IT environments and enterprise networks. This convergence of operational technology (OT) with traditional IT introduces a new world of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. You must understand how these environments integrate to create digitization strategies that promote standardization, operational resiliency and security of industrial assets.
A proven method for protecting these critical industrial assets is a defense in depth strategy in which organizations implement both detective and protective measures designed to impede the progress of adversaries while providing detection and response capabilities.
Start by focusing on the basics. An IT/OT segmentation strategy that separates ICS networks from enterprise networks will help prevent bad actors from entering enterprise networks to access ICS devices. Then, take segmentation a step further by using network access control (NAC) which requires a device to be authenticated and meet certain requirements (e.g., up-to-date patches and current antivirus signatures) before accessing the ICS network.
To further mature your ICS security, consider implementing automated asset discovery, antivirus software and a safe list of approved applications.
Accelerating the maturity of your security process allows you to more quickly – and more fully – protect your organization's reputation, critical assets and intellectual property by accelerating the maturity of their security posture. It's important to first understand your organization's use cases and specific goals and needs before shifting your focus to comparing, building and testing technology solutions.