Self-Doubt and Introspection is Crucial to Keep the Security Teams Sharp

Security Teams

Having a healthy sense of self-doubt and introspection towards avoiding false negatives goes a long way for maintaining the cybersecurity of organizations.

To ensure cybersecurity, businesses need to be sure that they know how to mitigate risk amidst a changing threat landscape successfully.  Also, there is a need to gain confidence in partners, peers, customers, executives, and other stakeholders.  So, being overconfident in such areas can be actually dangerous. A healthy dose of self-doubt can actually go a long way towards keeping the team on their toes and continually enhance the security posture of respective organizations.

Below listed ways prove how self-doubt can keep the security teams sharp and protected:

Investigating alerts:

Different security operations teams have a well-defined work line that they work out of.  Alerts fire, tickets are assigned to analysts, analysis is documented and performed, and the event is either marked or closed for escalation or further investigation.

Assessing threats:

In today’s ideal world, a security team would have a strong handle on the top threats that its company faces. That security team would then focus on instituting detective and protective controls to monitor for those threats. Unfortunately, this threat landscape changes very quickly, that it is almost impossible to stay out in front of it. A constant game of catching up is required, the result of which is that very threat are invariably missed. Further, even as an organization has a good handle on the threat landscape, it may be challenging to implement the proper detective and protective controls.  A security organization that remains humble and self-aware here can take steps to work around such challenges. If the security team is too cocky, they won’t be able to.

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Assessing risk:

Security is, predominantly, a risk management profession. Any robust security program maintains a risk register and seeks to mitigate, manage, minimize, and monitor those risks on an ongoing basis. There are a number of diverse methodologies and frameworks that an organization can apply to help with this. None of them work as efficiently as an over-confident security organization. The security team, which is constantly worried that it has oversight, is the team that will successfully mitigate risk.

Institutional knowledge:

Companies need to be aware of the ingress/egress points to the internet. It is important to handle all the assets effectively within the organization. Companies need to question that they trust the patching, vulnerability, and compliance numbers. Are the firms comfortable with the risk that the third parties introduce and the way in which they try to connect to and access the enterprise? Do they have a good handle on apps security and penetration testing? These are a few considerations in the realm of institutional knowledge, but they do clarify the point. Perhaps it is naive to be over-confident while answering the above questions. A healthy dose of insecurity can help go a long way towards allowing an enterprise to ask the right questions, answer those accurately, and ultimately, understand itself and the vulnerabilities far better.

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Policies, processes, and procedures:

Firms need to question whether they have the right processes, policies, and procedures across the security program? That includes minimum formal steps to handle the above points well. They are taking a step back to have the humility to objectively evaluate and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the security program with the minimum bias to pay huge dividends. This needs the desire to improve and the self-doubt to facilitate that improvement.