When digital security first became a thing it was the dreaded virus that everyone was concerned about. IT providers got right to work developing anti-virus protection and it worked. For a while, at least. But times have changed and hackers have upped their game. Now we’re facing much more evolved and complex attacks through things like malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs) and, unfortunately, traditional protection methods are no match. Add to this the IoT, cloud and mobile technologies enabling enhanced data sharing, and it becomes increasingly clear that cyber security incident response must be advanced, intelligent and ever-evolving if it is to protect the enterprise of tomorrow.
Data integration has virtually revolutionized the way we do business. It has broken down barriers and made it possible for businesses of any size and industry to achieve global success. It’s also opened the doors to increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks. The foundation of a strong cyber security incident response strategy begins with making sure that the data being shared within the network is secure. To accomplish this, the following basic steps should be applied:
- Take inventory of your software and other assets. After all, you can’t protect what you’re unaware you own.
- Determine the baseline upon which you can measure to identify the presence of potential security threats.
- Establish a solid foundation based on what you are protecting.
- Employ cyber security solutions that most closely match your network protection needs.
- Solidify your detection process. The goal should always be to prevent cyber-attacks rather than respond after the fact.
- Establish policies and procedures that incorporate advanced, closed-loop solutions.
A Strong Security Team
Once you’ve taken these first foundational steps, it’s time to beef up your strategy and make cyber-security a priority. Start by putting together a team of highly skilled IT professionals that are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of cyber security. If the skills gap and labor shortage in this area are making this more challenging, consider investing in training for your existing IT staff. You can also leverage technology, like automation, to help bridge these gaps and create a more solid team defense.
Evolving Roles and Responsibilities
The one thing that remains constant when it comes to cyber-attacks is that they’re always changing. Hackers spend 100% of their time identifying new vulnerabilities and developing enhanced strategies of attack. To combat this, enterprise IT must also be ready and willing to evolve as well. This includes the roles and responsibilities of CIOs and CISOs. Today, every single person in IT – from front line to C-Suite – has a duty to do whatever it takes to ensure that the massive amounts of data being shared remain safe.
Fighting Fire with Fire
Today’s security threats are becoming more sophisticated by the day. They’re also becoming more relentless. It is often not just the strength or complexity of the threat that makes an attack successful, but rather the persistence. Organizations must protect their data at all times, not just during business hours, and they must be prepared to handle the non-stop onslaught of incoming threats. Using automation as part of cyber security incident response can provide this level of round-the-clock detection and response.
To reiterate yet again the importance of approaching cyber security incident response as an ever-evolving, agile function, it’s critical that enterprise IT professionals don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” trap and become lulled into a false sense of security. To maintain a solid defense against new and improved attacks, the incident response strategy in place must be well-documented and tested on a regular basis. By being proactive, the organization will enjoy a much stronger defense that will stand the test of time by adapting and improving right alongside the very threats it’s designed to protect against.