Why Operationalizing Security Must Become a Priority for Enterprises


Organizations need to take a step back and operationalize their security rather than merely increasing their budgets for another year. Businesses can start ensuring that their investments in cybersecurity are reducing their risk exposure by examining the relationships between cybersecurity and their fundamental business principles.

Businesses are spending more money than ever on cybersecurity, but there are also a record number of breaches. Have threat actors actually improved that much? Or are businesses failing?

One cannot deny that cybercriminals are now better organized and have become better at acquiring more sophisticated tools and techniques too. But, the real reason is that the money is often not being spent in the right way, and that’s why all those billions of dollars aren’t having an impact on the number of breaches.

There is a big market of high-quality solutions available to address cybersecurity issues, but just investing money in them will ultimately have little impact on security. To truly solve the issue, solutions must be appropriately implemented. This is where operationalizing security enters the picture.

Aligning Business Metrics with Cybersecurity 

Thinking of cybersecurity as any other business investment is the first step toward operationalizing it.

Unfortunately, there is a propensity for cyber spending to be aimless and practically random. Naturally, this also means that there isn’t much in the way of efficient measurement of performance.

Also Read: Four Common Ways Cybercriminals Leverage ML to Launch an Attack

It’s challenging to picture another business component operating this way, especially with continuous spending increases. However, most businesses will continue investing in new cybersecurity solutions without knowing if their security posture has improved. In fact, many companies lack the necessary metrics to determine whether or not their investments yield any kind of return.

Therefore, a major priority for operationalizing security must be the measurement. Risk reduction must be the main goal of the metrics utilized to do this. Businesses must clearly understand what they seek to protect, why, and how, with each security component they budget for.

Companies must determine which business processes would be most adversely affected by a breach and the impact such an event would have on business operations. Based on this knowledge, businesses can work backward to develop a security plan to address these high-priority risks.

Enterprises know which levers to pull for other aspects of their operations when it is clear that one may result in a loss. Cybersecurity requires the same kind of thinking that goes into mitigating, accepting, and transferring risks.

Accountability and Business Culture 

Businesses should become familiar with their maturity levels as they increase their awareness of their top cyber risk concerns. This does not mean a single measurement – it applies to all of those fundamental building blocks like accountability, culture, resources, processes, measurement, and automation.

Some business areas are simpler to define than others, which are more ambiguous. In the area of security, culture is often a relatively vague concept, and accountability is often unclear outside of specific security responsibilities.

Making a culture scorecard for each of the many personas within the firm who have a security interest is a useful strategy in this case. When compared to the more general workforce, more essential stakeholders like the executive leadership should have a higher level of maturity. Organizations can implement measures like training to improve things if a department is below the level of accountability and maturity needed.

Also Read: Four Reasons Why No-Code Automation is the new frontier in SecOps

Adapting business culture isn’t a quick fix; therefore, organizations should expect this to be a lengthy process that takes at least one year.

Organizations can start leveraging reliable metrics to efficiently monitor the Return on Investment (ROI) of their solutions at the same time. Security Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should also have a strong connection to business impact that stakeholders and non-technical leadership can understand.

It’s clear that skyrocketing cybersecurity spending is not the answer for the record number of breaches being witnessed today. This strategy is unsustainable since business technology has rapidly transformed and evolved in the past few years with factors like remote working and cloud migration.

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