5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization Vulnerable

5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization VulnerableWhen it comes to protecting your organization from the ever-increasing, relentless onslaught of cybersecurity threats, it can be easy to wander down the wrong path. In many instances, well-intentioned but overworked and understaffed IT teams end up inadvertently placing their company at risk due to misinformation or false truths. Take a look at five of the biggest myths surrounding the topic of cybersecurity and see if you might be more vulnerable than you realize.

Myth #1 – External threats are the most dangerous.

Truth: Obviously there is a very real and very serious problem with cyber criminals today, but what many organizations fail to recognize is that internal parties are often the weakest link, whether it’s an employee who falls for a phishing email or a consultant who isn’t careful enough with network access. If you want to develop the strongest defense possible, your cybersecurity incident response plan must incorporate training, checks and balances that will keep everyone inside your company vigilant.

Myth #2 – Our patch management is sufficient enough.

Truth: You may feel your security team is at the top of their game, and they very well may be. The problem is, software and application vendors issue patches for vulnerabilities that are known. Unfortunately, there are a good number of vulnerabilities that either haven’t yet been discovered or haven’t yet been disclosed. In other words, it’s important to understand and acknowledge that despite your best efforts, you may be exposed without even realizing it. So, while patch management is certainly important, it cannot be the only component of your strategy.

Myth #3 – It’s all about prevention.

Truth: While it’s certainly critical to put the right measures in place to prevent incoming threats from being successful, it’s equally important to recognize that preventing every single attack simply isn’t possible. This is where many organizations get into trouble. They focus 100% of their efforts on monitoring and neglect the all-important step of remediation. The strongest cybersecurity incident response strategies include steps to quickly pinpoint, isolate and eradicated those attacks that manage to slip through undetected.

Myth #4 – We haven’t been compromised.

Truth: We touched on this in the previous point, but it’s so critical that it deserves its own section. The bulk of the damage that occurs due to cybersecurity incidents occurs not at the initial point of attack, but rather in the length of time it takes to realize the attack occurred. This can take days, weeks or even months. All the while, the hackers are free to wreak havoc within your network. Furthermore, in many cases, successful compromises are not even detected by the victim, but by an outside party. Being vigilant and leveraging automation technology to keep round-the-clock watch is essential.

Myth #5 – If and when we become compromised, we’ll be able to tell.

Truth: The average data breach can take up to six months before it is detected. Imagine how much damage could be done in that amount of time. That’s like giving free reign to criminals and allowing them to destroy systems, compromise applications, access and steal sensitive data and any host of other unsavory activities. Never assume that you’ll easily know when a breach occurs. Instead, operate under the assumption that you already have been and use technology to your fullest advantage to bridge the gap between human capability and the real and present dangers at hand.

Have you fallen victim to any of the above myths and misconceptions? If so, you could be inadvertently placing your organization at unnecessary risk of a serious and costly data breach. Protect your sensitive information and keep your network as safe as possible by incorporating automation technology into your cybersecurity incident response strategy. Try it free for 30 days.

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How to Bring IT Process Automation from Elementary to Exceptional

How to Bring IT Process Automation from Elementary to ExceptionalHave you already mastered IT process automation? Do you feel like, while automation has definitely made a difference in how your organization operates, there’s so much more that you’re not yet taking advantage of? If you’ve already automated most of all of the routine, manual tasks that once plagued your highly skilled IT workers, it’s time to bring your automation project to the next level. Here’s how you can do just that in just 6 simple steps.

Identify and assess current resources, processes and maturity levels.

Before you can embark on a more advanced IT process automation implementation you have to first identify your existing strengths and weaknesses. Does your current staff possess the skillset and bandwidth to be able to handle additional automation projects or will you need to seek external resources on an either temporary or permanent basis?

You’ll also need to pinpoint what specific processes and workflows you wish to envelope into the ITPA fold so that you can adequately plan accordingly.

Establish a dedicated team.

While the proposed automation projects will eventually impact not just everyone in the IT department, but also likely the entire organization, it will start with a dedicated team of experts who are handpicked and appointed to facilitate the initial project.

Begin by appointing an automation leader and then identify other key players who will contribute to the team. Obtaining support and buy-in from all directions, including executive management and front-line employees should also be a goal as ongoing cross-team and interdepartmental collaboration will be required in order for the project to be a success.

Achieve standardization wherever possible.

Successfully implementing a complex IT process automation initiative requires an environment in which there is a high degree of standardization. This is particularly important in IT infrastructures that are diverse, as the more intricate design will demand additional checks and balances to ensure that every step is executed properly and completed successfully.

Setting and maintaining standards in terms of devices and software configurations, as well as policies, documentation, approvals, etc. will facilitate smoother processes, fewer errors and a faster, more efficient processes overall. This will also reduce risk and lower costs.

Manage scope by keeping objectives focused and expectations set.

The key to a successful advanced ITPA rollout is establishing clear objectives while managing expectations. The goal is to use specific and measurable metrics to avoid the potential delays and other problems that arise when the scope is changed – that is, process steps are added, changed or removed or the overall objectives begin to evolve.

Specific and documented deliverables should be defined and agreed upon in advance and objectives should include such things as reduction in cost and workload, reduction in human dependency, enhanced/improved process integration, and overall improvement in operational efficiencies. Avoid setting unclear or overly ambitious goals or expectations that are unrealistic.

Control costs and identify quantifiable results.

Be careful not to underestimate the amount of investment that will be required in order to successfully achieve the goals of adopting advanced IT process automation. Remember that this investment will extend far beyond the simple purchase of an automation tool, especially given the increased complexity of an advanced initiative. There is also a cost associated with designing, planning and implementing the process, as well as maintaining it over time.

To account for this, all costs should be identified upfront and measured closely on an ongoing basis. To keep these costs as low as possible, the automation team should ensure that any and all basic tasks are automated first, standardize systems and processes wherever possible, carefully manage the expenses associated with implementation and proactively guard against scope changes.

Communicate value to key stakeholders.

Finally, to maintain the ongoing support of the IT process automation initiative (and any future ones), the actual ROI must be calculated and regularly communicated to the powers-that-be. This can be somewhat challenging, as much of the value of ITPA comes in the form of greater reliability, faster response times and enhanced efficiency levels – all of which can be difficult to quantify. Over time, however, the actual monetary ROI of automation can and will be measurable and reportable.

Some of the critical metrics used to measure and quantify ROI include:

  • Time to complete the task or process manually
  • Cost of labor required to complete the task or process manually
  • Costly problems associated with manual tasks or processes (such as human error or system/business downtime)
  • Costs in time and resources for ancillary activities associated with manual tasks or processes (i.e. documentation for audit compliance)

Gaining a better understanding of all the costs associated with manual workflow will allow you to specifically calculate the savings achieved through automation, which will help support ongoing and future ITPA initiatives.

Without question, adopting a more advanced degree of IT Process automation can and will help bring your organization to an entirely new level, but getting there can seem nothing short of overwhelming. By following the six steps above, you’ll be able to adequately plan, implement and achieve all of your team’s automation goals on time, on budget and without issue.

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IT Process Automation Survival Guide




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