The Path to Faster IT Security, No Expensive Change Management Required

The Path to Faster IT Security, No Expensive Change Management Required

Every month, there are new information security problems. Your servers are hacked, and you set up an incident team to recover from the issue. Next, your developers want to implement machine learning, and you worry about security exposures. No matter how hard you work, there are always new IT security threats.

Why You Always Feel Overwhelmed in Information Security

There’s no such thing as “done” in IT security. If you take best practices from five years ago and implement them today, you’ll be exposed to new threats. Likewise, ignoring the IT security risks of APIs and third-party providers will increase the risk of a breach. Consider some of the emerging issues that make life more difficult for IT security managers.

More Devices, More Security Challenges: Internet of Things (IoT) Security

Securing desktops, laptops, servers, and related traditional IT infrastructure used to be enough. However, the Internet of Things (IoT) trend has changed the game. Today, your security cameras or smart speakers need to be monitored and maintained from a security standpoint. To help companies navigate this risk, the UK government has introduced a voluntary Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security. If your company permits IoT devices in the workplace, studying the Code of Practice is a good resource.  The first guideline in the Code is an excellent starting point: no default passwords.

Password Behavior Continues to Be a Weak Point In Information Security

Despite years of training and awareness campaigns, password behavior continues to be weak. According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, the most commonly hacked passwords include 123456, 123456789, qwerty, and password. The fact that these terrible passwords continue to be used is a major problem. Consider using the Centre’s report when you refresh your password training program this year.

Hacking Tools and Services Are Becoming More Accessible

In the past, cybersecurity threats required a high level of expertise, hardware, and software. However, the rewards of a successful hack – money, the political payoff of embarrassing a government or glory in the hacker community – keep increasing. For example, CNN reports that Chinese spies appear to have successfully stolen secrets from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and used them to carry out attacks. If the NSA, one of the most security-conscious organizations in the world, struggles with defending itself, you can assume most companies are even greater risk.

Three Strategies to Achieve Faster Information Security Without Blowing Your Budget

Improving your IT security effectiveness may feel overwhelming. Let’s assume you’ve asked for and already received multiple budget increases over the past few years. As a result, your executives aren’t going to favor yet another request for a major budget increase. What can you do instead? Do you force your company’s employees to take more security training? Alternatively, do you improve your change management program? Those methods will play a role, but there are other steps to take first.

1. Eliminate Low-value IT Security Tasks

Doing low-value IT security tasks is one reason you may feel overwhelmed in your work. For instance, you might be creating IT security reports based on an incident that happened several years ago. That report takes hours to produce every month. Yet, when was it last used to make decisions? Out-of-date IT security practices should be considered for elimination.

2. Delegate More IT Security Work

As an IT security professional or manager, your specialized security knowledge is valuable. That’s why you should be thoughtful about how you use your time at work. If you’re manually reviewing and approving each user account request, it’s time to rethink that approach. With some training and support, you can delegate more IT security tasks to front line managers and employees.

3. Automate Routine IT Tasks

Changing how other people work is tough. That’s why we have a change management industry to provide support. If you need to deliver improved information security in the next 90 days, there’s no better strategy to use than automation.

Your Information Security Automation Options

There are two approaches to bring automation to your information security practices. You can hire employees or consultants to build an in-house solution. Alternatively, you can buy a solution and move on. If your organization focuses on information security as a key part of your brand, developing an in-house security automation solution makes sense. Everybody else should optimize their resources and buy a solution.

Introducing Apollo, the 24/7 Information Security Chatbot
Your IT help desk and managers have too much work to get through. That’s one of the reasons we built Apollo, to handle routine IT security tasks for you. You can submit password requests by text message, Skype, and Slack whenever you want. You also never have to worry again about failing an information security audit due to incomplete records. Apollo automatically keeps full audit records for every request.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto