6 Security Projects for 2020

The digital and cybersecurity space saw unprecedented evolution in the last decade, in terms of both technological and security developments and cyber incidents.  We saw innovative technology change lives while hackers stole record-breaking amounts of data.  As changes keep coming, we want to highlight how you can take back security starting in 2020 with these projects.

1. Outsource the tactical IT and IS tasks.

Staying on top of everyday tactical IT and IS tasks is essential for strong security.  However, when your team’s day-to-day is consumed of reactive processes, then all initiatives seem cumbersome.  A continuous factor in a strong security posture is staying up to date on upgrades to the environment.  Whether it’s an ongoing digital transformation or performing deep forensics and analysis of attacks or processes, those projects get sidelined to tackle the time-consuming IT and IS tasks.  If your team feels plagued by those everyday tasks, then outsourcing to a provider would be beneficial for your organization.

Where to start: Identify the areas that can be outsourced to a managed service provider. Rather than overloading your in-house staff, team up with another set of experts to help with those time-consuming tasks.

2. You can’t protect what you can’t see.

Do you know how many devices are connected to your network right this second? Visibility tools provide those real-time insights to ensure you know what/who is connected so that unauthorized users can be blocked.  The rise of IoT devices have revolutionized aspects like communications, automation and control.  However, with that comes the drawback of increased endpoints connected to the network that attackers can take advantage of.  As those devices continue to integrate into everyday tasks, organizations will need to establish a strong security foundation – visibility.

Where to start: Evaluate the network setup to understand all endpoints and how to automate and classify devices.  Forescout’s platform covers all the above.

3. Integration of tools.

Organizations have different reasons for implementing tools, it can be to pass an audit or with the pure hope of strengthening security.  The unfortunate reality is that if the tool is not relevant to the business and resources available, then the tool risks being underutilized.  And as more budget is allocated to security initiatives, it’s important to properly utilize all tools.  We talk about this more here.

Where to start: Evaluate the current toolset.  From utilization and implementation to processes and integrations.  Identify gaps and areas for improvement.  Does the setup require additional tools or simply reconfiguration to fully optimize?

4. Cloud adaptation and digital transformation. 

The digital transformation and cloud adaptation continue to transform the way organizations use technology to improve performance.  Whether ditching on-prem all together or using a combo of on-prem and cloud, the shift triggers an onslaught of security concerns.  So, while technology and trends are driving cloud adaptation and digital transformation, it also creates the need for visibility and control.  The ability to automate, classify and control devices across platforms will greatly increase security.

Where to start: As we talked about above, visibility comes down to providing insights and the ability of protecting what you can now see with the proper tools.

5. Securing the environment while creating a positive user experience.

Secure access continues to be an evolving conversation due to the continued rise in attacks of account takeovers and credential taking.  Traditional passwords are not enough, and bad user password habits jeopardize the true security.  There will be a trend towards ISO, SSO and more MFA.  All of which result in a more secure and seamless sign-on process.

Where to start: Understand the platforms the organization uses as well as additional tools and the options to create a more secure sign-on process. Also, remember that this will need to be implemented organization-wide, so start thinking of a plan to clearly communicate with your users.

6. OT/IT Convergence.

The past decade has focused on the IT environment and combatting issues related to the internet, digital transformation and IoT devices.  Those evolutions and processes have made way to OT environments further streamlining processes, but also creating vulnerabilities.  Those vulnerabilities are related to the OT/IT networks being more interconnected than ever.

Where to start: Again, it comes down to that you can’t protect what you can’t see.  The first step in an OT/IT convergence is gaining visibility.  Forescout has developed a unified OT/IT platform to fully secure these environments.

Our final takeaway for the year ahead is, before implementing new tools, to evaluate how current operations are running and find ways to optimize. Whether that’s outsourcing to a provider, or better integrating the current toolset, understand how the current set is succeeding or failing.

And remember, our team of advisors are here to help at any point along the way.  Contact us here, and we’ll get you in contact with your rep!