Consider these alarming statistics:
- Studies have revealed that on an average, companies are attacked about 16,856 times every year
- In 2013, between 68% and 82% of the S&P 500 companies had their internal systems compromised with external eventualities
If you psychologically analyze an enterprise, you will observe that most organizations scale up their security infrastructure only after a breach! As to why they behave the way they do, is because of the issue of disrupting the functioning business critical operations.
The major challenge in enterprise security is convincing stakeholders of the impact and prevention of loss by implementing a security plan that continuously scans systems for threats. 85% of IT professionals believe that a bigger internal IT security team with the necessary systems in place will reduce organizational pressures on enterprise security.
Enterprise Security Management Strategy
To develop a robust strategy for enterprise security management, the following aspects need to be considered:
- Security Systems should go beyond Automated Passive Scans – While passive scans may have the advantage of not disrupting operations of critical business operations, it lacks in a drill-down scan at application layer levels. With multiple devices, channels, networks and platforms in play, and as the complexity of usage increases, security threats have also advanced to deeper levels. Therefore, passive scans that cover only infrastructure layers and do not scan application layers would not be sufficient to secure enterprise systems.
- Execute Security Scans at all Phases – In order to prevent unexpected security threats, security scans must be introduced at all phases from the development stage, QA, staging, production to maintenance. By addressing security threats at the early stage of development, developers, and QA and testing teams will be able to develop products further with the awareness of security parameters.
- Implement Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Tests – Vulnerability assessments on critical business operations should go beyond compliance checks and should include penetration tests to determine exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Implement Continuous Security Assessments – It is important to conduct continuous security assessment because applications and systems that are scanned today may be vulnerable to threats tomorrow. A successful approach is by conducting security tests by mirroring production environments, in order to validate and make the security process more granular.
- Security Teams should interact with Other Stakeholders – It is essential for security teams to interact with the operations team and other stakeholders, in order to conduct a comprehensive security analysis. With data breaches becoming a major concern, the functioning of security systems are no longer considered an intrusion on business critical operations.
Enterprise security management is an ongoing process. The underlying trick is in understanding those vulnerable points that are exploitable, and in identifying the impact on end users and the business. With data infiltration and breaches taking place at an alarming rate, organizations need to build robust enterprise security management strategies. According to statistics released by the Identity Theft Resource Center for the first half of 2014, the total number of data breaches in all categories of business (banking/credit/financial, general business, educational, government/military, and medical/healthcare) was 395 – 20% more than half the number of data breaches for the entire year of 2013 (614). And it’s a no-brainer that unless quick and foolproof measures are taken, this number will only skyrocket in the coming years. A security plan needs to be developed that will not only protect businesses from threats, but build resilience against future risks.