Threat management is an approach to information security that ensures early identification of threats, mitigates the risk and protects critical organizational assets. If your organization is serious about threat management, then you will have to ditch the reactive firefighting approach and embrace a proactive approach to threat management.
Even if the organization takes the proactive approach, they must deal with challenges like poor integration between security systems and system management tools, human-related bottlenecks and information overload. How can you up to your threat management game in such a situation? That is exactly what you will learn in this article.
In this article, you will learn about five effective ways to enhance threat management capabilities.
1: Know Your Assets
The first thing you need to do is identify your critical assets and who owns or manages them. It could be your best-dedicated server, data center, cloud infrastructure or databases and network. This might not be as easy as it might seem because cybersecurity teams use a combination of sources to determine what their critical assets are and where they are located. The good news is that there are many tools you can use to automate and keep track of your asset inventory. You can also join hands with industry leaders to ensure that your vulnerability and threat management program stays up to date.
2: Create a Vulnerability and Threat Management Strategy
Develop a vulnerability and threat management strategy that aligns with your business strategy. Effective, timely and collaborative reporting of metrics is important but what’s even more important is you focus on the right metrics. For instance, you should track rates of exploitable vulnerabilities on critical systems instead of focusing on the number of vulnerabilities targeting your Windows systems.
Remember that your vulnerability and threat management strategy will only work when it coincides with your other security operations. A vulnerability and threat management program can help you minimize the risk of threats and can play an important part in reducing the attack’s surface area. Moreover, it can also help your IT team to scan and patch vulnerabilities before it can be exploited.
Divide your vulnerability and threat management strategy into two phases.
The focus of the detection phase should be on identifying, reporting and prioritizing vulnerabilities while the response phase should involve other businesses so they can help you in patching and hardening systems.
3: Make Continuous Improvements
The pace at which the cybersecurity industry is evolving demands a vulnerability and threat management program that constantly improves and adapts according to the changing industry dynamics. One of the best ways to bring continuous improvements to your vulnerability and threat management program is to follow the OODA loop.
OODA loop consists of four different stages:
During the observer stage, your focus should be actively absorbing the situation. Instead of looking at the numbers, you should look at emotional context, competitors move and industry trends during this phase.
Orientation phase is all about understanding cultural heritage, learning from past experiences and critically analyzing and synthesizing the observations you have
already made. The primary objective of this phase is to find mismatches between your current and previous judgements.
Decision stage requires a number of meetings and lots of discussion so that we can adjust the strategy and roadmap based on new assessments. Decisions both at an individual level or at a team level needs to be taken based on facts instead of emotions.
The last phase of OODA loop is Act. Once you have taken a decision, now it is time to put it into practice. Implement your decision and see how it performs. The OODA loop starts all over again. You observe what happens, tweak your strategy based on the new information you have received, take a new decision and implement that new decision. This loop continues until you have received the desired output.
The OODA loop was presented by Colonel John Boyd, who was a military strategist and Colonel in the United States Airforce. According to him, decision making processes take place in a recurring cycle. The major purpose to develop this concept was to use it in combat operations and help soldiers direct their energies to defeat enemies and survive in the process.
In OODA loop, all the observations are based on the situation with an increased focus on the problem. An organization that can process this cycle quickly, observe and react to events more rapidly can gain a competitive edge over adversaries. also read about Custom Software Development Company
4: Take Your Vendor Management Game To The Next Level
Vendor management is an important part of IT operations. Even though they might not allow you to perform penetration testing or run vulnerability scans but you can put clauses in contracts that force vendors who have access to your critical business data to keep it safe.
Consider including clauses that give you rights for auditing your vendors. This will allow you to evaluate how good your IT vendor really is. Work closely with your vendors and focus on building long term relationships with them. Once you are in a
healthy relation with your vendor, getting support for new vulnerabilities won’t be an issue.
5: Create a Professional Network
Last but certainly not least is to create a professional network. Couple of decades back, collaboration between different security organizations was considered a big no-no, but not anymore. It is very important for cybersecurity leaders such as CIOs and CISOs to have an external network that they can collaborate with.
CIOs and CISOs should ask burning questions related to common problems they face on a daily basis. This will give them useful insights and actionable information from external sources, which would allow them to streamline their vulnerability and threat management strategy. Additionally, this collaboration can also put them one step ahead of the cybercriminals and hackers and allow them to efficiently cope up with ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
How do you improve your threat management program? Let us know in the comments section below.