Article by Fortinet Regional Director for ANZ, Jon McGettigan.
As technologies become more innovative, the threat landscape continues to evolve and increase in complexity. Organizations are under increasing pressure to improve cybersecurity strategies to protect and defend in the best possible way against potential risks and threats. But while cybersecurity is a crucial priority for many organizations, developing an effective security approach goes beyond investing in the latest defenses.
While it is essential for business executives to prioritize cybersecurity, the complexity of the threat landscape requires a systematic and strategic approach that identifies and prioritizes dedicated assets and defenses. This will help illuminate critical areas for investment in cybersecurity measures.
Instead of adopting a “protect everything” approach, which often does not lead to effective protection of anything, CISOs should implement a three-pronged approach to prioritize cybersecurity issues:
Align your cybersecurity strategy with your business priorities
Understanding the disparity between business priorities and the cybersecurity strategy is one of the first steps in developing a priorities-based cybersecurity approach. By first identifying core business priorities, IT and IT security teams can work with other executives to bridge the gap between what is important to business leaders and what is crucial to defending the organization’s cybersecurity.
By developing a deeper understanding of the gaps between organizational and cybersecurity priorities, executives can begin to align the two strategies to ensure that key priorities are addressed first and resources allocated accordingly. During this process, business leaders need to reach a mutual agreement and understand the roles and responsibilities of each team.
Identify possible vulnerabilities
Executives need to work with IT and CISO security teams to identify external and internal vulnerabilities, as well as other potential risks affecting the changing landscape of threats.
CISOs and business executives need to be aware of all the potential threats their organization faces. This includes the internal risk factors that can change and influence, and the external risks against which they must be defended.
While executives need to align and prioritize business goals and cybersecurity strategies, they also need to classify the level of risk posed by each threat and determine how best to defend themselves against them.
Define roles and responsibilities
When all members of the organization understand their cybersecurity roles and responsibilities, collaboration can lead to perfect protection. For example, business leaders should:
- Communicate your needs and concerns
- Identify the assets, people, and processes critical to the business that need to be protected
- Set goals and budgets for cybersecurity initiatives.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity leaders need to:
- Identify vulnerabilities, threats, and countermeasures
- Measure, monitor and report on the return on investment in cybersecurity
- Perform daily cybersecurity operations.
When business and security leaders can work together, results invariably improve. Neither group can work effectively without the input of the other, so it is important to avoid silo-based approaches.