IT Security Threats: 2016 Is The Year IT Fights Back Against Hackers

In 2015, headlines were riddled with reports of large scale hacking attacks stealing everything from government secrets to children’s birthdays and toy profiles. IT Executives cringed as they wondered what the chances were that they would be next. In 2016, as leaders, we need to resolve to take control of the issues so we can protect our organizations and our customers while delivering innovation.

BMC and Forbes Insights reached out to executives in North America and Europe to get their point of view on these critical issues and begin to build a game plan to eradicate the problems from the root.

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44% said security breaches occur even when vulnerabilities and their remediation have already been identified.

Ideally an organization would scan for vulnerabilities, prioritize the list, and then set off to fix what already had a patch and then work to address the rest. In order for this chain of steps to happen, there has to be a significant level of engagement and collaboration between the security and operations teams. For most organizations the relationship between these two organizations is tense at best, resulting from misaligned or conflicting priorities.

 

60% said operations and security teams have only a general or little understanding of each other’s requirements.

The security team has to do everything they can to keep their organizations secure, while the IT operations teams work to keep the business up and running. When the security team runs a scan for vulnerabilities, they then hand off issues to operations to fix the problems. If the operations team doesn’t understand which vulnerabilities have patches, the severity of the different vulnerabilities, or the impact of the patch on the production environments, they’ll either fail to prioritize or worse ignore it all together. This gap is known as the “SecOps” gap.

 

60% of North American firms and 37% of European firms expect to purchase or implement a SecOps solution in the next 12 months.

We’ve identified the problem, and now executives are ready to set the game plan to address the SecOps Gap in 2016. There are three critical elements to the plan – People, Process, and Technology.

  1. A strong people strategy is the heart of an effective change management initiative. Start with setting a consistent vision for the security and operations teams. They need to see that they are interdependent and have shared goals in regard to the overall security of the organization. They need to balance these goals together with the needs of the business to be agile and reliable.
  2. The processes need to be reviewed in light of the shared goals and objectives. Repetitive, manual workflows should be evaluated to see if they are candidates for automation. Handoffs between the organizations need to be tight and provide opportunities for feedback and learning.
  3. Technology should be deployed to facilitate the coordination and collaboration of the organizations. It is vital to be precise, and make sure that the technology you choose is built to solve the root problem and not just portions of it. It must also be able scale to handle the demands and complexity of your enterprise. Of the survey respondents, 60% want tools for automating corrective actions and 59% want a centralized view into vulnerabilities and remediation actions.

 

Set Your Game Plan in 2016

The bottom line is that the flood waters of security breaches will continue to rise until something significant is done.  2016 needs to be the year for action.  Check out the report “The Game Plan for Closing the SecOps Gap” and start building your strategy.

 

 

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Bill Berutti

Bill Berutti

Bill Berutti is the president of the Performance and Availability product line and president of the Cloud Management/Data Center Automation product line for BMC Software, Inc. Prior to joining BMC, Berutti was a member of the management team at PTC where he was executive vice president of the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) business unit, the company’s fastest growing business. As general manager of SLM, Berutti doubled the size of the business over two years through both organic and acquired growth. Berutti holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and he is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Finance for Senior Executives program.