3 Ways to Master Organizational Security Playbook Without Breaking A Sweat
In these modern times, being digitally secure is of paramount importance. But first, let us try to understand, what we exactly mean by being digitally safeguarded. Cyber security or in this case, information security is the protection of vital information from various security threats to maintain confidentially, integrity, accuracy and availability of information and its associated assets. The CIA (confidentiality, integrity & availability) triad is a prominent security model that serves as the foundation which organizations use to identify weaknesses in their systems. Let us understand each model here
Confidentiality: The efforts made by an organisation to keep data private or hidden are referred to as confidentiality. To achieve this, access to information must be restricted to specific users to prevent the intentional or accidental sharing of data with unauthorized persons. A major factor in maintaining confidentiality is making sure that people without proper permission are prevented from accessing systems that are important to your business. On the other hand, an effective system also ensures that those who want to access any documents have the necessary privileges.
Integrity: Maintaining integrity mandates in making sure your data is trustworthy and free from any tampering. The integrity of the data is maintained only if the data is genuine, accurate, and reliable. It is the process of ensuring that information which is being made available can be trusted and any unauthorized changes to the data or information are prevented.
Availability: Availability is ensuring that the required data or information is always accessible. Even if data is kept private and its integrity is protected, unless it is accessible to those within the business and the clients they serve, it is worthless. The procedure demands that all systems, networks, and applications should operate effectively and be available as and when needed.
The CIA triad provides a simple yet thorough high-level checklist for evaluating your security protocols and equipment. All three requirements—confidentiality, integrity, and availability—can be achieved by an effective approach. A system of information security that falls short in one of the three CIA triad factors is considered weak. Let us deep dive and understand how an organization can protect the CIA triad and be secured from other threats.
The first step in protecting an organization is to identify the risks, threats & attack surfaces. A risk can be termed as a conceptual threat that may cause danger to your organization. A risk involves uncertainty about the effects and implications of an activity. Security flaws, accidental deletion, cyberattacks, system failures, and environmental disasters are all examples of possible dangers / risks within IT Security domain. An attack surface is a method or pathway of achieving unauthorized network access, manipulating the network, extract sensitive data or launch a cyber-attack. Attack surfaces can be bifurcated in 2 ways - physical or digital. Physical surface vector refers to hardware or physical devices such as computers, tablets, routers, and servers, whereas, digital asset includes software, web, desktop applications, networks, and ports. Attack vectors are potential pathways into sensitive resources & Attack surface is the sum of all attack vectors on a physical or digital surface. An attack vector is a method of gaining unauthorized access to a system or network & an attack surface is the total number of attack vectors an attacker can use to manipulate a network or computer system or extract data. Some of the common attack vectors are :
- Compromised or Weak Credentials
- Insider threats
- Missing or Poor Encryption methods
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
- Misconfiguration of systems
- Ransomware attacks
- Phishing attacks
- Exploits or Vulnerabilities
- Brute Force attacks
- Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS)
- Risks from Third-Party Vendors
- Social Engineering attacks
Today's businesses are connected more than ever before. All your systems and their associated data assets live and operate in different environments. The complexity of installing security controls inside each environment makes perimeter-based protection inadequate. Many layers of defense need to be included in a solid cybersecurity plan to combat cybercrime. Cybercrimes are not limited to but also include attempts to access, modify, or delete data, demand money from users or the organisation via ransomware attacks, and attempting to obstruct any regular business activities. Without compromising user or customer experience, the best practices, technologies & security appliances that will aid your company to implement robust cybersecurity, which minimizes your vulnerability to cyberattacks and safeguards your vital information systems are as follows –
- Performing risk assessment – Knowing the value of what your critical assets are will help in justifying security expenditures.
- Creating a good security policy – Creating a policy that clearly outlines company rules, job duties, and expectations.
- Physical security measures – Restriction of access to any networking equipment, server locations, as well as fire suppression.
- Human Resource security measures – Employees should be properly thoroughly vetted with background checks.
- Testing business continuity processes & data recovery procedures – Perform regular backups and test data recovery from backups.
- Maintaining security patches and updates – Regularly update server, client, and network device operating systems and programs.
- Implementing proper access controls – Configure user roles and privilege levels with strong user authentication methods. Implementing a PAM ( Privileged Access Management ) solution would also be worth considering.
- Regularly test incident response – Employ an incident response team and test emergency response scenarios.
- Conducting vulnerability assessments & penetration tests – Along with conducting a organization wide risk assessment, carrying out a VAPT annually shall help you out in keeping you safe from a hacking attack.
- Implement a network monitoring, analytics, and management Tool – A SIEM (Security Information & Event Management) solution is frequently used to protect enterprises of all sizes and IT systems and proves to be a very helpful tool for identifying and advising users of potential threats. A technology-integrated security monitoring solution is what you should pick to maximize benefits.
- Educate users – Educating users and employees to build and deploy virtual training, domain specific courses to your employees, partners, clients or whoever else you need to get up to speed on complex subjects. This helps in minimizing the risks of accidental data leakages.
- Encrypt data – Encryption of all company data assets including regular emails to avoid any compromise or leakage of sensitive information.
- Implement network security devices – Using next generation routers, firewalls, and other security appliances.
- Implement a Comprehensive Endpoint Security Solution – Use enterprise level antimalware and antivirus softwares to prevent being affected by trojans, malwares, viruses.
Some of the most helpful guidelines can be found in organizational repositories such as
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency (CISA)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Security Division
- Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
Although cybersecurity experts put a lot of effort into closing security gaps, attackers are constantly looking for innovative ways to avoid IT surveillance, get around defenses, and take advantage of developing weaknesses. The most recent cybersecurity risks are reinventing "existing" risks by utilizing work-from-home settings, remote access technologies, and new cloud services. Businesses that have a thorough cybersecurity plan which is driven by best practices and automated utilizing advanced analytics, are better able to combat cyberthreats and minimize the impact of breaches when they occur. All in all, even with the best protection, there is no guarantee that any of these things won't happen to you, but there are steps you can do to reduce the likelihood. Following regulatory compliances or employing guidelines shall help an organization to safeguard their critical systems and assets in case of any cybercrime and minimize its impact.
March 17, 2023
March 07, 2023
March 06, 2023