Does Your IT Team Really Understand Your Cybersecurity Needs?

Even the most seasoned cybersecurity professional has only a few decades of experience, so it should come as no surprise that many IT professionals may not be fully up to speed when it comes to keeping organizations safe and secure. Does your IT team even know the systems, data, people, and other resources it should be protecting?
Skilled IT professionals who are equally talented in the cybersecurity arena are in high demand and short supply. The ideal IT team includes members with experience in:
 making network operating systems as secure and reliable as possible;
 using software to identify vulnerabilities and dependencies;
 handling specific incidents and breaches;
 building intelligence products and identifying specific types of threats;
 understanding compliance issues; and
 ensuring the organization is meeting specific regulatory requirements.

The Right Stuff

Today, many organizations are woefully staffed to prevent or respond to a cyberattack. In a 2014 survey of nearly 700 IT and IT security professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 34 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations did not have a fully functional computer security incident response team (CSIRT) to respond to computer security incidents, to provide the services to handle them or to support the organization’s quick recovery from security breaches. For those organizations with incident response teams, survey respondents reported that many appear to be underfunded and may lack the tools and audit trails they need to properly investigate incidents. If you want to be more confident that your organization is prepared to manage future security breaches, consider making the right investments now to put the required people, processes and technologies in place. The Cybersecurity Framework, published by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in 2014, along with a variety of industry-specific guides provide a set of best practices to give organizations a starting point for their own cybersecurity programs.

Know Your IT Team

Long before any breach or security incident occurs, take time to explore the strengths and weaknesses of your IT team. Based on that knowledge:
 Assess the readiness of team members to respond to a cybersecurity incident.
 Define rules and roles for all team members in advance of a crisis.
 Involve staff members outside of IT in the process to create multi-disciplinary organization-wide teams.

Effective communication and teamwork are critical elements in mitigating any cybersecurity risk. Take steps now to boost your IT team’s risk management capabilities.

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