With increasing risks, enterprises are seeing a future where IT security must be deeply woven in the overall IT strategy.
Experts have observed that with increasing threats and more complex risk scenarios, many companies are planning on a tighter integration between security strategy and IT strategy. Various tactics that are helping with this integration are integration of departments, embedding security earlier in the development pipeline and even changing leadership structures. .
According to the 2019 State of the CIO survey, 83% of organizations are expecting to tightly integrate their IT security strategy and IT strategy by 2022. CIOs believe that by integrating the two departments, IT security becomes a key component of IT roadmaps and projects.
Looking ahead, experts forecast the two will increasingly become indistinguishable. Information security has traditionally been regarded as a subset of the IT department, and security tools looked merely meant to manage spam filters and firewalls. Now it has become crucial to see InfoSec teams as drivers for risk management functions.
Security teams are now more concerned about the code being securely moved from developer’s testbeds to production, with testing and controls. Experts believe that this kind of application security strategies helps identify areas where the codes can lose integrity or be compromised, and provide recommendations at this stage to mitigate the risks. The two departments can closely align in risk management and mitigation.
While integrating IT Security and IT strategy, experts emphasize on empowering the top security executive. Bringing the two teams closer should not mean taking authority away from CISOs but giving them a bigger voice in strategic planning. Independence is essential to ensure that the security voice is heard without being superseded by other IT functions, such as infrastructure. The security function needs to be at an appropriate level in the organization, where reporting should be at least to the CIO, better still, to the CEO.
The importance of IT security and IT strategy integration takes place in a trickledown effect, where the senior executives must be more inclined towards understanding the value of this integration. CISOs have to show how security can enable business and not be another bump in a workflow. IT and security each must have a direct line to senior executives.
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Experts believe that the biggest requirement for this integration is a space for better communication between IT and security. It has been observed that a successful phishing campaign has the power to bring a company to a screeching halt. To be able to provide a strong defence, IT and security must work together to implement solutions, whether on-premises or on the cloud.
Enterprises looking to integrate IT and security should consider a standard security framework such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for setting security environment goals, to enable the creation of a roadmap that can be prioritized effectively. A framework makes sure that the company has ‘security strategy.’
It is essential to build data protection in the company’s offerings. Effective IT and security integration should not just be limited for internal safety, but extend to the products and services that the company provides, regardless of the industry.