The value of cybersecurity can be a difficult topic to navigate for operations and IT security professionals. The perspective that cybersecurity is “just a cost” is common among corporate decision-makers that hold budgetary purse strings – but are they aware of its greater operational worth?
Cybersecurity events, or attempts to gain unauthorized access to or disrupt electronic systems and the information they store, are a growing threat. And no company is immune. That’s why having the right systems in place to help prevent and mitigate cybersecurity events is so important.
Decision-makers consider the security policies, procedures, and controls that need to be in place throughout the continuum of a cybersecurity event – before, during and after. The visibility of and ability to monitor network changes during each of those stages not only provide great value from a cybersecurity perspective but contribute to the overall health of an organization’s operations as well.
The right cybersecurity policies put comprehensive protections in place for a company’s valuable assets before, during and after an event or attempted event may take place. Take a closer examine best practices pertaining to each step of the continuum.
- Before An Event: Build a robust asset inventory of both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets. With deeper understanding of both connected and disconnected assets, you can more readily characterize security risk within your environment. An added benefit to this step is an updated asset inventory. This can be used to help you minimize lifecycle risk by storing an appropriate amount of spares onsite, staying ahead of end-of-life dates, and proactively maintaining your critical assets.
- During An Event: The ability to detect when an event is taking place requires a level of visibility into your operations that, until recently, was hard if not impossible to achieve. Various security technologies and controls can provide continuous monitoring and detection for increased visibility into normal day-to-day operations. Any event that deviates would signal an alert. Deploying the cybersecurity toolsets appropriate for your needs provides a higher level of operations visibility, with the added benefit of establishing a baseline for “normal” operations. This visibility is provided by alerts when anomalous events, such as an incorrect maintenance task, are taking place.
- After An Event: With correct response and recovery programs in place, such as backup and disaster recovery procedures for applications and data, organizations can become programmatic about responding to anomalous events. If the appropriate policies and procedures are put in place to respond effectively to a cybersecurity event, operations are able to return to normal production more quickly afterward.