How to Level Up Your Security Operations

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Security is a journey, not a destination.

Every organization — no matter their size or age — should be constantly working to level up their cybersecurity. It’s the kind of process that can be continually reworked, reevaluated, and honed as organizations grow and evolve, and as the cyber threat landscape changes.

The question, of course, is where to start? Well, before an organization can understand their entire cybersecurity architecture and identify what work needs to be done to bring their security operations into the future, they need to start with a foundational base of knowledge.

What is Security Operations?

Security operations is the harmonious integration of people, processes, and technology to strengthen an organization’s security posture and reduce the likelihood and impact of cyber incidents.

An organization can’t simply focus on one component of the trio and ignore the other two. All three must work together to develop and maintain a mature cybersecurity program.

Similarly, an organization can’t simply throw money at the problem (or their tech stack) in the hopes of reaching security maturity. They must make thoughtful investments to ensure their tech stack and approach are hitting all the high notes.

What Does it Mean to Have a Mature Cybersecurity Program?

Maturity is achieved when an organization is actively moving away from a passive approach toward proactive cybersecurity. In other words, maturity is not achieved through time or organizational growth, but through action and adjustments designed to optimize security operations. Since cyber attacks continue to evolve and change, your security operations must do that same.

Achieve maturity through a strategic approach to security

To have strong security operations, and in turn a mature cybersecurity program, organization must think and act strategically. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides, in their security framework, the key strategic steps any organization must take to put them on the path toward maturity.

The five steps of NIST

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

A mature organization, for instance, will be able to identify gaps and weaknesses in your posture as well as ensure the protection of highly valuable assets and end points by limiting access and controls. It would also be able to detect if a breach is happening, and then respond to that breach appropriately before conducting a thorough recovery.

None of these steps are achievable without critical security controls.

The Top 5 Critical Security Controls

The NIST framework detailed above is admittedly rather general. That’s because every organization has different, personalized needs and is at a different place on their maturity journey.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to identifying, protecting, detecting, responding or recovering, digging into the Center for Internet Security’s top five critical security controls will help. In fact, 80% of breaches can be prevented by implementing the following:

  1. Inventory Devices
  2. Manage Software
  3. Control Configurations
  4. Conduct Vulnerability Management
  5. Exert Privilege Control

Partner with a Security Operations Solutions Provider

Many organizations lack the budget, talent, or expertise to implement security operations independently. Tech stacks are growing more complex, and most businesses aren’t in the cybersecurity business — they’re in retail or healthcare or financial services.

Arctic Wolf, the leader in security operations, gives organizations access to a cloud-native platform that ingests 2 trillion security events each week, plus a Concierge Security Team that not only provides 24×7 eyes-on-glass coverage, but works with you to harden your security posture over time and help end cyber risk for your organization.

To better understand what’s needed to build out your organization’s security operations, view our webinar: So You Want To … Level Up Your Security Operations.

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Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf provides your team with 24x7 coverage, security operations expertise, and strategically tailored security recommendations to continuously improve your overall posture.
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