All too often there is a serious disconnect between a company’s security and operations teams which, on the surface, may not seem like much to be concerned about. Unfortunately, a lack of synergy between these two critical groups could make the organization much more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. For instance, a breach is discovered by the security team but the ops team is slow to react or IT operations might be focused on correcting an application failure that, in reality, is a system hack. These two teams must find a way to work in unison. The good news is, incident response automation can help bridge this gap.
The underlying issue stems from the fact that, traditionally, IT operations and enterprise security were considered entirely separate functions. These silos unintentionally made it difficult if not impossible to quickly identify and respond to potential security threats. As IT departments have continued to grow and take on more responsibility, and with cyber incidents becoming more complex and relentless by the day, it’s become increasingly evident that collaboration between the two departments is absolutely necessary in order to ensure compliance and security of the organization.
Defining Roles & Responsibilities
The functions of each of these teams, at least from a traditional standpoint, are pretty straightforward and logical. Enterprise security is tasked with defining, documenting and implementing the strategies for identifying and remediating potential threats to the network and the operations team is responsible for executing these strategies. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s much more convoluted and significantly more challenging. Some of the issues with this setup include:
- Tasks are being performed manually or using individual, siloed tools. The result is a slower process that’s wrought with error.
- Lack of integration amongst systems results in security and IT operations failing to share and manage data interdepartmentally, further isolating the functions of each team.
- Security scanning tools that are audit-only and lack integrated remediation functionality (closed loop compliance). This approach can cause significant delays at critical moments.
Closing the Gap
In order to close the existing gap between security and IT operations within your organization, a fundamental shift in thinking must first take place, particularly around how the firm can and should handle risk and governance as well as achieve compliance. Furthermore, there must be a clear and complete understanding of what the goals are for each group. Ultimately, both teams want the best for the organization. Aligning the goals and tying them into each other can help them achieve this together.
To further address these challenges and create a more cohesive SecOps environment, technology that is designed to link and integrate systems can help significantly. Specifically, incident response automation that eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks and provides visibility across both departments will not only help align the two groups together, but it can also dramatically improve the overall process of incident response, remediation and compliance. Employing such an intelligent solution can also lower costs, reduce risk and facilitate more effective collaboration between security and IT operations. As a result, the organization will maintain a much stronger, more fortified defense against potential attacks.