January 26, 2023
Operational security excellence requires partnership, communication, and oversight from vendors and clients alike.
The automatic mindset has become a part of everyday life. People can now use technology to optimize parts of their lives in ways unimaginable to previous generations. Personalized, cloud-connected set-and-forget solutions continue to pop up in every industry. Making decisions and taking action demands less effort than ever before.
It makes sense for people to look for the same thing from cybersecurity technology vendors.
At the same time, vendors want to present themselves as complete, self-sufficient solutions against security threats.
But cybersecurity is different. You’re working against cyber criminals who are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. It’s a strategic field where everyone has a role to play. Organizations must do more than meet the minimum requirements to succeed here.
The Security Chain Belongs to Everyone
Experts like to point out that security is a chain. Like any chain, it’s only as strong as its weakest link. That means that in the modern enterprise, every position is also an information security position.
Entry-level employees, mid-level managers, and executives all share a responsibility for keeping sensitive data safe. Customers, vendors, and end-users are part of the chain too. If a single link is compromised, that vulnerability extends to the rest of the chain.
Even the most sophisticated information security technologies can’t change this fact. Everyone has a responsibility to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.
Automation can strengthen the security of assets, applications, and networks, but it can’t absolve users of that responsibility. If users are clicking on questionable links, reusing weak passwords, and neglecting to encrypt data, it’s only a matter of time before the security chain is compromised.
Three Responsibilities MDR Customers Share
Whether your organization runs its own in-house security operations center or works with a distributed network of service providers, certain activities can’t be outsourced. These responsibilities are a core part of every organization’s risk profile, and the way they are developed and enforced plays a major role in determining your overall security posture.
Internal Information Security Policies
Your users, assets, and applications all share information in order to generate value. Your internal information security policies determine how they should and should not do that.Successful policies give users clear, actionable processes for communicating sensitive information. They provide guidance for using cloud-enabled tools, data backup solutions, and encryption protocols while telling employees exactly who should have access to sensitive data, and who should not. They also predict common security incidents and provide playbooks for security professionals to follow in response.
Robust cybersecurity policies reduce the risk of accidentally exposing sensitive data by communicating it over unsecured channels. These policies go hand-in-hand with in-depth security training that emphasizes the value of maintaining a security-oriented company culture.
Software UpdatesMany people avoid software updates because they don’t want to have to deal with version incompatibility problems. As your enterprise tech stack grows in complexity, the risk of updates causing unpredictable problems grows as well.
However, software updates often contain critical security patches against new and emerging threats. Delaying these updates comes with significant risks. Since security patch changelogs are public knowledge, it’s easy for cybercriminals to scan for old versions of enterprise software and exploit them using publicly announced vulnerabilities.
End-user PoliciesOrganizations aren’t just responsible for employee user accounts and assets. They must also protect end users from cyberattacks. People who rely on your products, services, and software should have the tools they need to protect their data.
Anyone who logs onto your organization’s website or interacts with it online expects the connection to be a secure one. To offer a secure end-user experience, you must encourage good password use, multi-factor authentication, and defense against phishing and social engineering attacks.
But these policies aren’t just suggestions. They only work when they’re consistently reinforced. Tools like Nudge Security help open visibility into policy violations, giving security leaders the opportunity to craft better, more inclusive policies.
Effective Partnerships Enable Better Risk Management
Your organization needs to implement security and software update policies according to its needs. The security of your organization depends on its ability to craft, review, and validate these policies.
One of the primary challenges your security team will face is achieving and maintaining compliance despite organizational growth, employee flux, and new tech implementations.
However, these aren’t challenges you must face alone. Reputable managed detection and response providers like Castra make this process easier by providing expertise, insight, and visibility.
Castra can help you identify opportunities to improve your organization’s security policies. Our Glass Box MDR approach provides unlimited visibility into your security processes and outcomes. With Castra as your partner, your organization can dedicate the resources it needs to craft better policies and execute them effectively.