With technology and cyber criminals getting smarter by the day, businesses must have a strategy for reducing the risk of unauthorized access to data and IT systems. Enterprise security strategies allow businesses to defend themselves against internal and external threats to data and IT systems. Organizations must engage in enterprise security management activities such as developing, assessing and improving enterprise security processes in order to mitigate risk. Below, we will provide tips for implementing, managing and improving enterprise security within your organization.
1. Document your current enterprise security architecture
Assess which security measures you currently have in place, how often they are monitored/maintained, and whether they’ve been tested/proven to work in the past. Documenting the current state of your enterprise security architecture will allow you to create a reference by which you can judge the extent of improvement you’ve achieved. Documenting your current enterprise security will also help you identify holes that need to be filled. You may want to perform an IT risk assessment as you audit your current enterprise security architecture in order to ensure you’re identifying each threat you face so that you stand a better chance of reducing their potential.
2. Document your target security architecture
With your current security architecture documented, consider feasible improvements and decide on your “target” security architecture. Your target architecture serves as a measurable goal that you can work your security policies, procedures and defenses up to. As you develop this target enterprise security architecture, remember to include an awareness of the threat landscape. Which threats are on the horizon? Whether in your industry, hacker advancements, evolving computer viruses, and the potential for internal threats. Decide how you will defend against each of these.
3. Create a security management framework
In order to create and sustain security for critical infrastructure, you’ll need to use your current and target enterprise security architectures to create a framework that outlines business objectives and security risks, resolves conflicting business objectives, and fulfills regulatory and internal compliance requirements. You may need to involve executives in the development of this framework so that your IT objectives will be in line with current and future business objectives and the IT/security needs they will present. With security risks and company objectives outlined, selecting security implementations will be made easier.
4. Be proactive
While your security management framework should always include reactive strategies for recovering from a security incident, don’t forget to include the most important element: proactive security precautions. While you may know exactly how you’ll handle the aftermath of a ransomware virus or a data breach, create proactive responses to these threats and outline them in your security management framework so that you can improve your organization’s ability to prevent threats altogether. Preventative security may incur more management and monitoring, but it will ultimately save your organization time, money, and reputational repercussions in the long run.
5. Work together
With your security management framework outlined, determine how staff, executives and IT representatives can work together to protect digital assets and prevent data loss — whether by theft, damage or accident. Work with executives and each business unit to develop and implement guidelines and policies that fit within your organization’s security management framework and give each individual a stake in maintaining data and IT security. There should be procedures in place for preventing common incidents, reporting incidents, and mitigating damages. Include items such as changing passwords, engaging in safe email and internet usage, and proper endpoint security for the BYOD workplace (bring your own devices), as these are playing a bigger role than ever in today’s work environment and are an easy inlet for threats.
6. Implement security barriers
While your security management framework may include technological security features, such as encrypting all data, patch management, implementing firewalls, and monitoring data, don’t forget to implement physical security barriers as well. Security threats can come in all shapes and sizes, and we often forget the physical element of IT security threats and data disasters. Theft, device damage, and internal security breaches should not be ignored and can be combated with the right physical security solutions, both to protect data and the devices where it is stored. Audit your physical safeguards and determine what measures can be implemented to improve physical security. Consider introducing additional locks, security cameras, alarms, and biometric fingerprint scanners to keep intruders out, and backup generators to ensure devices stay cool even in a power outage.
7. Third party involvement
You may be so focused on internal security measures that you forget to consider the third parties you work with. As you improve your internal enterprise security, make sure that your third party providers are in alignment with your focus on bulletproof IT and data security. Afterall, you are only as secure as all extensions of your IT infrastructure. A prime example is cloud backup. There are dozens of cloud backup providers, all with varying levels of security. If you want top-tier security measures in place, overlooking your data, be sure to choose a provider that offers the same or better physical and technological protection.
Nordic Backup has mastered data security, with end-to-end encryption, multiple levels of access control including alarms, armed guards, video surveillance, gated perimeter, locked server cabinets, security checkpoints with biometric scanners, uninterruptible power supplies, diesel backup power generators, redundant cooling and multiple redundant gigabit internet connections, and more. Whether you realize it or not, the providers you work with can either help or hinder your enterprise security measures. Be selective about who you work with so that your security is strengthened, rather than weakened.