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Why you must integrate security into core business processes

Anupam Wahi Executive VP and Head of Communication, Engineering and Media , Incedo

As data security threats increase, your organization must continually and consistently improve its security architecture. And while a foolproof, or zero-breach, security architecture is impossible to create, you can improve your organization's security framework to make it more arduous for hackers. 

High-profile data breaches are increasingly the norm. From breaches and hacks of the past—Equifax, Uber, and JPMorgan Chase, to name a few—to the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, we're increasingly witnessing the vulnerabilities of a connected world.

As a result, cybersecurity has become not only a core business issue but a strategic imperative for organizations. Organizations will remain vulnerable until they make IT and cybersecurity a central pillar of their operations.

Adopting an active defense against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats is the only way organizations can beat the challenge. Here's why. 

The security landscape

Organizations across the world can be grouped into two groups based on their approach to cybersecurity. The first comprises organizations that have so far escaped serious security breaches, while the second includes those that have not escaped.

The first group sees IT and cybersecurity as support functions. Organizations that haven't felt the pain of a breach are often reluctant to invest in IT and security other than for compliance purposes and are much more likely to spend on sales, marketing, or products that give them tangible returns.

The second group knows firsthand that a breach can cause significant revenue loss and damage to reputation. Organizations that have been breached often become paranoid and erect multiple layers of security architecture, which can erode the ease of doing business. Security, for such organizations, becomes the core, and business becomes the fringe.

What is common to both is the wide mismatch between their security needs and security architecture. Security solutions are installed, not based on the needs or the protection required, but often at the suggestion of the technology providers. Consequently, there is lack of concurrence between the money that the organizations spend, the solutions they get, and their security requirements.

How to achieve cyber-resilience

According to Gartner, enterprise security spending is expected to total $96.3 billion in 2018, an increase of 8% from 2017. Global spending on cybersecurity products and services is predicted to exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021.

Despite the increase in security spend, organizations will continue to remain vulnerable until they transform themselves and make IT and security core to their business.

Organizations need to understand the business case of continually and consistently investing in creating a cybersecurity architecture even in the absence of threats. Only those organizations that make security and compliance integral to their business—not in the aftermath of a breach, but before one happens—will succeed in the war against the hackers.

So what needs to be done? To start with, organizations need to have a good understanding of their requirements, their assets, and all inside and outside threats to build a robust security strategy. Defining the security methodology and guidelines meticulously is central for a robust security architecture.

People are one of the most vulnerable elements in a security infrastructure. To plug the gaps, people dependencies have to be reduced to ensure effective safeguards. The future security architecture, based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language programming, etc., will substantially reduce human vulnerabilities.

The endless war

Hackers will continue their efforts to subvert security architecture of organizations for various reasons. Enterprises and governments will have to look at their security architecture, budget, and finances, and invest more to make it tougher for the hackers.

However, for effective cybersecurity, a unified approach that includes technology, process, and people is required. That is the only way forward for organizations to survive and thrive.

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