IT Security Starts With Good IT Management
IT has become an asset for any organization but there are still a lot of questions that needed answers. How can your business maximize investments in technology? How can you effectively implement IT to improve business operations and productivity? or how IT can safeguard critical information?
IT Management and Its Components
IT Management is more than just one person, it’s a team of individuals who deals with your tech issues such as engineers, support specialists, programmers, technicians, and more.
IT Management is composed of different components, but simply put, it is the management of all things related to IT or technology within your organization.
The three components:
The most important component where it maximizes the return on IT investments. IT strategy is the plan of action to align the capabilities of Information Technology with business requirements. With the use of technology becoming a norm, businesses, or organizations who do not have an IT strategy developed will not survive in today’s market.
Multiple drivers can influence your IT strategy, such as:
Since many employees now are using their devices for work, the demand to work from anywhere anytime is increasing. Your IT strategy should support the employees to be efficient and productive, without losing control.
Since the cloud is scalable, it’s easier to adjust your business’s needs depending on your company’s growth. Cloud solutions enable you and your employees to easily collaborate virtually.
- Data Management
Implement systems and policies to protect your most important assets: information and your people. Establish a strategy where you can foster innovation and add value to your business
Businesses, big or small are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Educate your employees on the best practices to safeguard information and intellectual properties.
Related Article: Why is an IT Strategy so important?
Providing a good IT service includes millions of things and it’s not just about the input your tech team can give. Delivering a top-notch IT service involves the individuals who use these services: employees and customers.
Employees rely on technology to conduct business operations and having access to a stable internet connection and internal data is essential. Employees are also encouraged to be trained with regards to responsible network access and they also expect a platform to report any technical issues and get them fixed quickly.
Customers on the other hand would expect that their data won’t be compromised by a faulty system. They will also require a stable connection if they drop by your office for a meeting, or a reliable system to conduct business with your company.
Any information, system, and hardware that is company-owned and used for business are an IT asset. Within the organization’s system and network infrastructure, these assets are a vital element.
When managing the IT assets of a company, well-developed processes and policies are required. An IT manager’s task is to ensure that each asset is valuable, and they should understand how each can contribute to the environment.
Best Practice of a Good IT Management
Good IT management aims to focus on improving IT processes and customer satisfaction as well as the continuous development of solutions to meet the future demands of a company.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework – The Framework Core
There are several best practices for good IT management, but we’ll focus on risk management and how private organizations can enhance their ability to prevent, identify, and respond to cyberattacks.
As per NIST, “The Framework provides a common language and systematic methodology for managing cybersecurity risk. The Core includes activities to be incorporated into a cybersecurity program that can be tailored to meet any organization’s needs. The Framework is designed to complement, not replace, an organization's cybersecurity program and risk management processes.”
The cybersecurity framework consists of three main components which are the Framework Core, Implementation Tiers, and Profiles. But in this article, we’ll focus on the Framework Core.
Within the framework’s core are five high-level functions and each consist of various categories:
NIST indicates that this function focuses on “understanding the business context, the resources that support critical functions, and the related cybersecurity risks enables an organization to focus and prioritize its efforts, consistent with its risk management strategy and business needs.”
This function will be the foundation of your organization’s cybersecurity actions and response. It determines the risk associated with your current environment and how it will align with your business goals.
The categories linked with the Identify function are the following:
- Asset Management involves the system, equipment, facilities, users, and data that supports the key business functions, which should be managed according to their importance.
- Business Environment covers the company’s processes, mission, and goals which will be utilized for assigning roles, responsibilities, and key decision-makers.
- Governance is about understanding the organization’s policies, and procedures for managing and monitoring legal, risk, environmental, and operational requirements.
- Risk Assessment is about identifying different cybersecurity risks that can affect the business, the users, and the IT systems.
- Risk Management Strategy connects to the organization’s challenges, priorities, and risk tolerances for enabling the best operational risk decision.
When you successfully implement the Identify function within the NIST framework, your organization will have a firm grasp on your current assets and environment, as well as a properly defined plan to protect these assets.
The purpose of this function to create and implement a proper security solution to ensure seamless delivery of Infrastructure Services. According to NIST, this function supports the ability to limit or contain the impact of a potential cybersecurity event.
For successful implementation, your organization should have controlled access to multiple assets, and provide employees with proper training. Establish your process to secure critical data and ensure that maintenance is regularly scheduled to prevent unauthorized access.
The most common threat businesses face nowadays is ransomware, thus the importance of deploying safeguards to ensure that no threats can compromise important business functions.
You can never be too complacent and expect that your company won’t fall victim to a cyberattack. At some point, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience it in some form. Consistent monitoring and scanning for any suspicious activities are important so you can detect any breach and prevent it from damaging your system and business operations.
One example of the outcome within this category, according to NIST includes: Implementing Security Continuous Monitoring capabilities to monitor cybersecurity events and verify the effectiveness of protective measures including network and physical activities.
Your organization should be able to foresee any cyber incident and have all the necessary information to respond and solve it.
Response planning usually depends on the organization’s strategy and its priorities. When an incident occurs, who will be the liaison and who will oversee contacting stakeholders and law enforcers? What are the necessary steps the employees should follow?
This function covers the steps in which an organization should take when a breach occurs and how to properly resolve and contain the impact on the business. Adopting the respond function should start with an incident response plan to ensure compliance with requirements transmitted to a given location. And the next step should be a mitigation plan where it will identify the steps your team will take to remediate the risk to your organization and plan.
Your organization should have developed a plan to restore the system, and services that were impaired by a cyber incident. This function involves the assessment of your existing plans and strategies, as well as reprioritizing and making improvements to your recovery response plan.
The recover function should enable your business to recover on time and reduce the impact of a cyberattack. Based on the experience and the lessons learned, your organization should be able to implement improvements on your existing strategies.
Both your external and internal communications must be coordinated following the recovery from a cyberattack.
Related Article: A Guide to Disaster Recovery Plan
Adopting the NIST Cybersecurity framework allows your organization to have better cybersecurity and bridge gaps between the technical and business stakeholders. Given the flexibility of the framework, it will allow your organization to have a cost-effective way to combat cybersecurity challenges.
Enable your organization to focus more on protecting its critical assets. Managing your IT system is critical and challenging, but the security of your critical information is a top priority. Contact us today!