As cybercrime continues to grow and organizations digitize, understanding cybersecurity and how to improve one’s security posture becomes paramount.
Unfortunately, the firewall has dissolved and tools alone, though helpful, can’t protect environments when public sector organizations are understaffed, underfunded, and struggling to maintain compliance. This leaves organizations in a position where they’re constantly reacting to threats, never able to optimize their operations or invest in vulnerability management and visibility practices that could have a long-term benefit. But there are solutions and actionable steps organizations can take to get out of this cycle and improve their security posture.
Arctic Wolf partnered with CyberScoop on an educational video series, “Optimizing Your Security Operations” to help organizations understand their gaps and adapt to an operations-first approach.
How to Improve Your Security Operations
1. Stay Compliant
Compliance is critical, and most compliance regulations are designed to protect organizations’ most valuable data, so following them is a quick way to further the security journey. However, it’s a process easier said than done.
Organizations should work with experts to make sure they understand what is needed and how to comply, break down silos to ensure that all areas of the organization are working together on compliance goals, and utilize modern tools (like the NIST framework, cloud services, and risk assessments) to ease compliance burdens.
It’s also recommended that an organization find an external partner who understands government organizations, will manage those tools, and has the architecture to not only meet the business where they are, but scale in the future.
2. Be Proactive Against Cybercrime
Cybercrime is everywhere. Ransomware is still king, and it comes with immediate, vast impacts. The other major player is external vulnerabilities, but both can be mitigated with a proactive approach that goes beyond just tools.
External vulnerabilities can often be detected through scanners, and developing a strong vulnerability management program can help an organization not only monitor these vulnerabilities but patch them effectively.
In addition, organizations must have visibility into and understanding of their attack surface. This knowledge can not only help if a ransomware, or other, attack occurs, but can help the organization better understand, and fortify, weaknesses.
Another way organizations can stay proactive, especially public organizations that may have limited budgets, is to work with their cyber insurance provider. Many providers now package together vulnerability management options into the underwriting process. These providers can also offer ways for organizations to maintain and retain their policies, such as continuing to make strides when it comes to Center for Internet Security (CIS) controls.
The main thing is to do what you can with what you have so that if the worst-case scenario happens, your organization is prepared.
3. Optimize Your Security Posture
Unfortunately, 60% of organizations state that the firewall is the foundation of their security posture. That is outdated thinking because an organization’s perimeter is no longer around the edge — it’s everywhere. Organizations need to think about their security strategy as one that works everywhere and combines people, tools, and processes to build both resilience and better threat response.
The solution is not just tools-based but needs to be a people– first approach that leverages existing talent and uses only the best tools for an organization’s specific needs. After the people piece has been sorted, visibility is the second important piece in security posture. No organization will make significant steps without complete visibility into their security environment.
It’s also important to think of security strategy as an ongoing process that is working towards being more efficient, nimble, and effective. There is no finish line, it’s a continuous journey.
These three steps are just the start of how organizations can reduce their cyber risk. Watch the Arctic Wolf video series with Cyberscoop to take a deep dive into these topics.
How Arctic Wolf Can Help
Arctic Wolf helps local governments improve their security posture, providing a people-first operations approach with our Concierge Security Team and meeting organizations where they are to help them take actionable steps to end cyber risk. From our managed awareness program that helps employees understand how to defend against social engineering to Arctic Wolf® Managed Risk, which helps with vulnerability management, to our managed detection and response (MDR) solution that creates broad visibility and security understanding, we offer a holistic approach to cybersecurity.
Learn more about how to improve your security operations with our video series “Optimizing Your Security Operations.”
Better understand your security gaps and potential solutions with our State and Local Government Checklist.