In recent weeks, President Biden has issued a statement encouraging organizations to improve their cyber defenses in what he called “a critical time to enhance national cybersecurity and bolster national resilience.” The following week, the proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2023 launched with a nearly $11 billion line item for cybersecurity measures. These announcements speak to a persistent issue plaguing public and private sector organizations: how to best secure networks and where to allocate resources.
Too often, companies, organizations, and even government entities relate only the amount of money spent to the resiliency of a network. While investing in new capabilities is important, organizations must also understand that purchasing tools and resources is no substitute for a strong foundation, ongoing training, and effective integration of tools and automation. Before buying more, organizations should assess the effectiveness of their entire arsenal and maximize what they currently have. At Forescout, we recommend that organizations first establish their understanding with basic hygiene:
- know your surroundings – What devices are connected? What systems are they running? What could pose an immediate threat or risk to the organization? When organizations gain visibility into everything connected to the network, including IoT and OT devices, they can better assess what type of security tools will be most effective.
- Take an inventory of existing security processes and verify that they are working properly. Note where security tools do and do not overlap.
- Find your non-compliant devices and immediately quarantine them so they can be investigated.
Once an organization has a solid understanding of its digital reality, it can turn its attention to improving its security posture. Making such adjustments requires companies to ask questions like:
- What are we automating? What could we automate to free up our security resources and focus on what matters? Automation is a powerful tool in cyber defense when used appropriately. Some tasks can and should be directed by machines, while others need individual supervision. Think of this as physical security: when protecting a facility, cameras work autonomously and can see everything without blinking, but a security guard can better analyze anomalies. What in your organization can be protected by a camera and what does a human sentinel need?
- Are our staff properly trained and informed on how to make the best use of our cyber tools? Otherwise, existing investments will never function to their full capacity. Make sure your staff is well trained to execute your current security posture before loading them down with more tools to manage.
- What’s our next right thing? If/when we get more funds, where would they be best spent? Having a plan for future investments allows companies to effectively layer their cyber arsenal and build strategically.
Impenetrable infrastructure is a myth. All networks can be compromised regardless of how much you spend on solutions. The effectiveness of cybersecurity requires a better measure; that is, how quickly companies can restore functionality and trust in data.
Security teams face many challenges, starting with how to deal with an explosion in the number of digital assets amid a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff and limited budgets. Rarely is a new tool the answer. Organizations must focus on what really matters and invest accordingly. True investment means maximizing what you already have by identifying gaps, understanding where you are in your cyber journey, and what you need next. Most of the time, it’s not about more money, but about a more complete understanding and plan of action.
The charge The no-cost way to improve your cybersecurity posture first appeared in Forest ranger.
*** This is a syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog from Forest ranger written by Timothy Jones. Read the original post at: https://www.forescout.com/blog/the-no-cost-way-to-level-up-your-cybersecurity-posture/