Thanks to the ever-mounting list of IT security hazards, companies are forced to constantly rethink their risk mitigation strategies. Of course, this is much easier said than done. Due to new and fast-developing security database threats (like ransomware), businesses must modify their risk mitigation practices to avoid an ever-growing list of potential hazards.
Why Risk Mitigation Strategies Need Constant Re-Evaluation
As “Industry 4.0” becomes more prevalent and smart factories become a reality, automation has opened the door to task optimization across departments in virtually all industries. With this rise of digital automation, the cloud has become the de facto dumping ground for this ever-increasing volume of data.
But cloud services are no longer used exclusively for ephemeral data storage and management. The all-pervasive digital transformation sweeping across many industries has meant that core legacy functions have also made the move to the cloud. This forces companies to enact new data protection policies to keep those legacy workloads safe.
With a vast array of essential services shifting to the cloud and most enterprises undergoing digital transformation, IT leaders need effective strategies and protocols to prevent or respond to cybersecurity risks inherent in today’s cloud environment.
Here are a few factors to evaluate as you reassess your risk mitigation strategies.
1. Enforce Stringent Cloud Usage Requirements
One of the many advantages of public or private cloud environments is their ease-of-access. For the first time, it is pain-free to grant access to users of your infrastructure. However, without appropriate management provisions, employees can become lax about security. Administrators must be vigilant when granting tenant access to environments, ensuring access is only authorized where needed.
2. Use Zero Trust Models
Zero trust refers to a security strategy where an organization requires every device, system, and user (whether inside or outside its perimeter) to undergo verification and validation before connecting to its system. This approach tightly restricts access only to personnel authorized to view and use certain data.
Since logical access is only provided to a limited set of users that have a restricted set of rights/ privileges to the data, user access is strictly controlled, reducing overall cybersecurity risk.
3. “Harden” Your Environment
Despite stringent security policies and risk mitigation strategies, data centers are always vulnerable to malware and exploit kits. Therefore, enterprises must review their security infrastructure and take proactive steps to “harden” their environment, often through restricting access to data and creating redundancy.
Consider implementing or improving the following:
- Physical controls (building alarms, cameras, and key access)
- Network controls
- Application controls
- Database controls
4. Apply the Same Level of Vigilance to Backups
Because backups and archives are usually reserved for the worst case scenarios, they are not always put through the same rigorous processes and tests as production data. However, if you approach this from the perspective of a security professional, backup data can contain as much sensitive information as production data and should be protected accordingly.
Hardening the backup environment will minimize the impact of successful attacks and ensure business continuity. You can do this by protecting the core components and output of your existing backup solutions. Consider taking these four steps:
- Design for resiliency and plan for vigilance
- Take storage snapshots and store them securely offsite
- Leverage different file systems for backup storage
- Ensure that backup storage is offline, powered off, and placed in a different authentication framework
Are You Prepared
The first step toward creating successful risk mitigation strategies, in today’s sophisticated security landscape, requires recognizing the possibility of loopholes in your current architecture. After this, you can acknowledge and quantify the possible risks in your IT environment, whether in mobility, core legacy systems, or infrastructure. By understanding these threats and their potential impact on an enterprise, you will be better able to reconfigure your business risk mitigation strategies for success.