Contributor:
Brian Hanrahan
June 9th, 2015

Let the bird fly

Learnings from the keynote at Gartner’s Security & Risk Management Summit, Washington

Every business is becoming a digital business. By 2017, 50% of IT spend will fall outside of the IT department’s control. So what does this mean for organizational security?

The first temptation is to take back control and lock everything down. But that would be the wrong thing to do, and here’s why.

Time and time again, we see that traditional defenses have failed to stop cyber attacks. According to Gartner, 40% of businesses say they have battled attempts to shut down their network and delete files, such as the recent attack on a French TV station.

So what’s the solution, in an increasingly digital world?

The overriding message is that we need to “reignite belief in resilience”. In other words, stop trying to prevent every fire and instead, focus on big successes that align with business objectives and be ready to absorb the punches.

Gartner’s 6 principles of resilience provide a solid framework for this new way of thinking:

  1. Move from check-box compliance to risk-based thinking. Following regulations to the letter just doesn’t equal a proper level of security.
  2. Move from focusing on protecting infrastructure to protecting business outcomes – whether that be profitability or citizen welfare.
  3. Move from being a defender to a facilitator. Do not confuse security with control.
  4. Move from controlling the flow of information to understanding the flow of information – as we don’t always own all the infrastructure.
  5. Move from a technology focus to a people focus. People-centric security is about behavior and motivations of people; emphasizing trust over lockdown.
  6. Accept that compromise is inevitable and that protection only is not enough, it must be coupled with detection and response measures.

“Resilience is our new standard of success, our north star” Peter Firstbrook, Gartner

So what does this mean in practice?

In today’s landscape of increasingly advanced threats, not one security solution provides perfect protection. The key is to achieve a balance of security agility; creating an environment that caters for today’s digital workplace.

“Checking boxes is easy but leads to annoyed customers and employees, while hackers still get through” – Avivah Litan, Gartner

A key shift from technology to people-focused security is crucial. This involves a mindset of trust where users are enabled, with easier exception monitoring, forming the only effective approach to shape employee behavior. Essentially, eliminate restrictive controls and move from enforcing restrictions to creating resilience.

Retention is now a success metric for security. For example, banks lose one in 30 customers when they have controls that add friction to their experience.

Make the right investments and design choices today and your organization will be well equipped to deal with the challenges of tomorrow.

“Let the bird fly, but tag it” – Ant Allen, Gartner

Avecto will be exhibiting at booth 147 for the duration of the summit and showcasing our unique approach to proactive endpoint security. Visit the team to discuss how this technology will help you meet your resiliency objectives; freeing your users while reducing risk of cyber breach.

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