Protecting your business from cyber threats
The phone rings — there’s been a breach. Ciena’s chief security architect Jim Carnes explains how to integrate security into each aspect of your business to mitigate this stressor – and stop fearing that call.
By Jim Carnes – It’s Friday afternoon (it always happens on Friday afternoon) and the phone rings — there’s a breach. Your internet provider has called and malware associated with the latest botnet has been detected coming from your corporate network. The incident response plans are triggered and everyone goes into high alert, looking for the source.
The common thought trajectory goes something like: How could this happen? We use the latest and greatest security products. Did someone open a phishing email? Did a hacker breach our firewall or was a vendor compromised? There goes my weekend.
How can we stop fearing that Friday afternoon call?
Integrating security into each aspect of your business could mitigate this stressor. When people, processes, inventory and technology are coordinated, the fear and uncertainty of security breaches is replaced with straightforward and seamless responses that protect your Friday evening dinner plans.
The conversation should always begin with your business. You need to understand the processes, the people and the vendor and partner relationships. Understanding how the critical aspects of the company function and interact will often point to gaps in security.
Are the tools that facilitate secure business processes in place? Look for:
- Single-sign solutions to ease integration of people and technology
- Multi-factor authentication solutions that ease the password management burden on users (compromised passwords are responsible for nearly half of organizations that are breached according to the 2017 Verizon DBIR)
- Product suites that integrate business processes and technology solutions
- Secure supply chains that enumerate the risks to both hardware and software solutions while protecting them (a white paper published by the SANS Institute offers guidance on combating supply chain cyber risk)
Whether your business is delivering software, hardware or services, the development of those solutions include security from the start. The ability to clearly articulate the purpose of the system, how it will be used, who will be using it and what value it provides will help begin the conversation. Articulating these key factors will help define the threat environment, the adversaries and the controls necessary to mitigate the attacks.
Mitigations will therefore have context and be able to address real threats, rather than generic ones. more>
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