(these eight enterprise tools help run the company, but they also play a vital role in cyber security)
IT Operations teams oversee many enterprise functions. They’re the ones who keep the business up-and-running. But they also play a key role in IT security. The teams are often tasked with deploying, managing, and monitoring the tools that feed vital information into other IT teams—especially Security Operations.
When it comes to securing the IT infrastructure and protecting the company’s digital assets, it’s vitally important that IT Operations understands the security roles of the systems it manages and utilizes those tools to their full extent. Maintaining communications and exchanging the real-time data generated by the tools helps both IT Operations and Security Operations proactively work together to identify, block, and mitigate threats.
In this blog, we take you through the major enterprise tools typically managed by IT Operations and the key role they play in the cyber security realm. Each system can have a major impact on eliminating and reducing the severity of security incidents. For more insights, read the blog 8 Essential Components to Empower Your Security Operations Center.
- IT Asset Visibility and Patch Management: One of the basic tenets of cyber security is documenting all hardware and software running on the IT infrastructure. When a zero-day vulnerability is discovered, an accurate inventory allows you to thoroughly investigate which assets are vulnerable. Applying the latest patches to all those assets is another critical function—many cyber attacks succeed when devices are left unpatched or running on an old operating system.
- Enterprise Encryption: Operations plays an important role to protectSSL, DNS, secure portals, websites, mobile devices, medical devices, digital documents, databases, and many other data sources.It can be complicated to manage the security keys of many end users, and allowing sensitive information to get disorganized can lead to vulnerabilities. Organizations that use a hardware security module (HSM), which automates how key data is activated, stored, updated, and deactivated, have the necessary insight into who is accessing an asset and how it is being used. This intelligence can be shared with the security teams to help provide more context when investigating an incident.
- Privileged Access Management: It’s best to give admin accounts a separate set of log-in credentials and store the information inside a privileged access management (PAM) solution so that end users don’t know their admin account passwords. If it’s necessary for end users to log into their admin account, the PAM will provide a temporary password that changes once an end user logs out. Some PAM vendor solutions can also record keystrokes and commands when someone is proxying a device through the solution. This helps with forensics if any activities by an end user create a cyber security incident.
- Configuration and Compliance Management:This function is important for on-premises environments but especially for cloud environments—where developers may have the freedom to add new servers, instances, and containers. The IT Operations team should validate all assets are not exposed due to misconfigurations and lack of hardening. Check that your configurations are secured using best practices and are following a benchmark or hardening guide for the type of system deployed. Also continuously validate that your systems are complaint; if you fall out of compliance, make sure you have the visibility to report it and fix the issues right away.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: At a minimum,Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) should be applied to privileged devices—such as domain controllers, firewalls, financial systems, HR systems, and other admin devices—to give your environment an extra level of protection. The security data—pertaining to who is logging in, from where, and at what time—are all valuable information for security teams to have.
- Single Sign-On and Identity Lifecycle Management: Single sign-on plays a role in security by giving you the ability to lock users out of all assets at once by deactivating their account. Identity lifecycle management complements single sign-on by helping control the resources accessed by each user and by automating access provisioning. You can also more easily revise and revoke access when end users change roles or leave the company.
- Mobile Device Management: For employees who want to use their personal mobile phones to store corporate data, IT Operations needs to make sure that corporate data is well protected. A mobile device management (MDM) platform allows you to provision a separate storage container for company data and wipe the container if a device is lost or stolen, or if an employee unexpectedly resigns. The same protections can also be applied to company-owned devices.
- Messaging Security:Protecting emails includes spam filtering and attachment protection—the scanning of attachments in a sandbox to determine if they are malicious. Messaging security tools also give end users an easy way to report phishing and other malicious activity, which is very helpful since many attempted email attacks go unreported.
Added Insurance—In Case a Cyber Attack Succeeds
No matter how diligently IT Operations manages all the tools we outlined above, cyber attacks may still succeed. In case a security breach occurs, it’s critical to verify—well ahead of time—that the business can maintain operations, or at least resume operations as quickly as possible. This requires confirming data replication and backup processes are all working continuously. Also be sure to test your system failovers, server restores, and data restores on a regular basis. And by archiving data, you can easily find and retrieve older files when necessary.
IT Operations should also continuously collaborate with the Security Operations team. Cyber security is a joint effort that must span all IT teams, and by working together, both can more effectively protect the company and its assets.
For further information on deploying the right mix of security tools to protect your business, visit https://veristor.com/it-security.