Proactive Information Security Is Better than Reactive Information Security
Cybersecurity efforts are often all about catchup: installing patches that have piled up, updating applications that have reached their end of support date, ensuring antivirus software has the latest virus definitions, fixing vulnerabilities identified after an incident.
All of that’s important, but it’s important that information security programs aren’t entirely reactive; you need to take proactive steps to stay ahead of security threats.
These proactive steps can include:
Making information security part of every project.
Whether it’s a major migration, a minor application update, or a new development project, every proposed IT change should be reviewed for security risks. Make plans for mitigating the risks as part of the project and validate the controls as part of acceptance testing or knowingly sign off on the risk with the deployment.
Keeping track of technology usage.
Shadow IT and other systems you don’t know about will never be protected, so it’s important to have an ongoing effort to identify technology use that isn’t centrally managed. It’s also important to track data flows to know where sensitive information is being used and who can access it. In addition, businesses should control the introduction of new technology to ensure that risks are identified and managed.
Recognizing the most vulnerable systems may not be what you think of as the most important systems.
The criticality of a system to the business, the risk of a breach, and the impact of that breach are not directly correlated. For example, social media platforms are rarely considered business critical yet they are a major vector for malware. Mission critical software may include routine tools such as email as well as specialized business systems.
Involving the entire organization in information security.
If the only employees who try to keep systems safe are the IT security engineers, you have a major gap in security. Every business employee, from the CEO to the janitor, has a role to play in protecting systems. Make sure all employees are trained to recognize threats to security and to know how to inform the security team of any potential incident.
Working with an experienced IT security partner.
Prescient Solutions’ team of certified experts provides cybersecurity services to organizations throughout the Chicago and Schaumburg area. We install protective tools, identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, monitor risks, and respond to breaches. Be proactive about protecting your systems and contact Prescient Solutions to learn more about implementing effective cybersecurity measures.