3 ways to eliminate gaps in enterprise security

Published: February 13, 2017

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Enterprises have a large number of active endpoints, and each one can represent a major threat if it’s not protected properly. Bigger organizations often have challenges enforcing security policies and monitoring activities across the workplace to identify and address unusual activity. However, as threats become more sophisticated, it’s essential for enterprises to eliminate gaps in their security in three big ways:

1. Establish better access control

Organizations should place a heavier focus on internal protections in addition to external security measures. While it’s true that a malicious party can significantly damage a business, employees could be some of the biggest threats to data loss and compromised files. A survey by Ponemon found that the leading cause of data loss or theft is insider negligence. In fact, 62 percent of end users have access to sensitive company data they shouldn’t see, and only 29 percent of respondents enforce a least privilege security model. To make matters worse, 38 percent of participants don’t monitor file or email activity, making it difficult to identify ransomware encryption and other unusual behavior.

Enterprises must establish a security model that keeps business data on a need-to-know basis. This will improve accountability and reduce the overall likelihood for errors or data loss. A low-level employee should not have the same authorizations as a manager, and this accessibility must be reflected in enterprise protection measures and policies.

Your own employee could be the biggest threat to business security.Your own employee could be the biggest threat to business security.

2. Communicate effectively between departments

Goals and resources can vary dramatically across different teams within an enterprise, and these disparities can lead to gaps in security. In fact, according to a survey by BMC and Forbes Insights, 33 percent of respondents noted that it’s difficult knowing what systems to patch first due to differing priorities between the security and IT operations teams. These groups only have a general or small understanding of each other’s requirements and that lack of knowledge can take a toll on the strength of the enterprise’s security posture, The VAR Guy stated. However, nearly half of survey respondents don’t have a plan in place to bring these teams closer together.

To close the protection gaps, enterprises must improve coordination between IT and security teams. This could include establishing procedural policies, leveraging collaboration tools and providing additional training. If teams can boost their understanding of each other, it will significantly enhance communication and decision-making processes. These advancements will be essential to patching systems and filling in security gaps quickly.

3. Utilize capable tools

“It’s essential for enterprises to augment and capitalize on their security capabilities by providing capable tools.”

The demand for IT professionals, especially those with security knowledge, is skyrocketing across industries. Unfortunately, the supply of available candidates cannot keep pace. It’s essential for enterprises to augment and capitalize on their security capabilities by providing capable tools. According to a survey by SkyHigh Networks, 80.4 percent of participants viewed incident response management as the most important IT skill to have within the next five years. However, IT members must have the right tools in order to facilitate this. Just over 40 percent have tools that send alerts without actionable information. Additionally, 27 percent have experienced incidents without receiving a security alert, and 31 percent ignore their alerts due to ongoing false positives. A lack of tools like this can leave significant holes within an enterprise’s security and can even lead to shadow IT.

Organizations must reevaluate what systems they have in place for security monitoring and if they provide valuable information. With the right tools, IT teams can view real-time security updates with actionable information to quickly fix issues. Providing this type of asset will improve protection measures and quickly root out any unusual behavior across the entire enterprise. Even with a small team, a tool can improve security over the network, monitor file activity and detect authorization failures.

Security is a critical priority for organizations, but any gaps can make it easy for vulnerabilities to impact an enterprise. With capable tools, effective communication between teams and better access governance, businesses can protect their systems and sensitive files from internal and external threats. As threats become more sophisticated on all fronts, enterprises should take the time to close their security holes and supply their teams with the means to maintain protection measures.

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Ben Foster

President & CEO at ISG Technology
Ben is President & CEO of both ISG Technology and Twin Valley Telephone, Inc., a fourth generation family owned company. He started his career in 1997 with Southwestern Bell/SBC where he held a variety of positions ranging from Manager of Installation/Maintenance to the Chief of Staff for the president of consumer operations. In 2004 he joined Twin Valley Telephone, Inc. where he has served as Director, Vice President and COO for the company. He has led projects, investments and acquisitions which resulted in the company tripling in size from 2005-2010. In 2011 Ben was appointed President & CEO of Twin Valley and led the acquisition of ISG Technology the same year. He has led the transformation of ISG from a regional IT reseller to a data center and IT infrastructure partner with nationwide reach. Ben is a graduate of Kansas State University in Business Administration. He has served on multiple boards including KsFiberNet, NTCA- The Broadband Association, Southwestern College and is Chairman of the Board for the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association. He resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife and their three children.

Ben is President & CEO of both ISG Technology and Twin Valley Telephone, Inc., a fourth generation family owned company. He started his career in 1997 with Southwestern Bell/SBC where he held a variety of positions ranging from Manager of Installation/Maintenance to the Chief of Staff for the president of consumer operations. In 2004 he joined Twin Valley Telephone, Inc. where he has served as Director, Vice President and COO for the company. He has led projects, investments and acquisitions which resulted in the company tripling in size from 2005-2010. In 2011 Ben was appointed President & CEO of Twin Valley and led the acquisition of ISG Technology the same year. He has led the transformation of ISG from a regional IT reseller to a data center and IT infrastructure partner with nationwide reach. Ben is a graduate of Kansas State University in Business Administration. He has served on multiple boards including KsFiberNet, NTCA- The Broadband Association, Southwestern College and is Chairman of the Board for the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association. He resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife and their three children.

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