Business Goals and Security Strategy: Key Points for Perfect Alignment

    To secure your company from intrusions by cybercriminals and consequent breaches, it is essential to align your organization’s cybersecurity strategy with your overall business objectives. Security leaders are responsible for implementing impactful and efficient cybersecurity policies that strengthen the ERP data security posture of the company.

    How do you make realistic changes to your ERP data security defenses to make them effective? All of this begins with recognizing, identifying, and ultimately aligning the relationship between your core business functions, IT assets, and data.

    If you examine how these elements interrelate with each other, it will be easier for you to determine the security controls you can enforce for each:

    1. Business functions depend on information technology assets

    2. IT assets yield data

    3. Data gives business functions

    Management must implement organization-wide security controls to protect IT assets, business processes, and data. To protect your business operations, properties, and data against hacks, intrusions, and theft, you will need to face internal and external risks and rely on and adopt best practices.

    Only when protection strategies are coordinated around the enterprise can you improve your cybersecurity strategy, secure your sensitive assets and applications against hacks, theft, and intrusions, demonstrate successful security measures, and optimize your return on investment.

    1. Business Functions

    A business role is a process or activity regularly carried out to fulfill an organization’s mission. Examples include R&D, distribution, marketing, human resources, finance, production, manufacturing, etc. To secure business functions traditionally focused on governance, management, policies, and planning, we need security controls.

    The frameworks in this context refer to the International Standardization Organization (ISO) standards. For example, ISO31000 for business continuity management, ISO38500 for governance, ISO22301 for risk, and COBIT 5. Business verticals covered as part of this include governance, positions & duties in management, business continuity planning, crisis management, risk management planning, etc.

    2. IT Assets

    IT assets include all the hardware and software components used during business operations and in the IT environment. Examples include operating equipment, routers, desktops, mobile devices, switches, servers and server components, backup devices, etc.

    Security controls are somewhat different for IT properties than security controls for business functions. You will need to decide whether your IT assets are vulnerable to threats and, if so, to what extent.

    The frameworks in this context include vulnerabilities based on OWASP Top 10 or CVSS. Services related to this include vulnerability checks, penetration tests, social engineering, etc.

    In addition to the vulnerability-related assessment, you will also have to implement specific security controls.

    IT assets security controls relate to norms such as ISO20000, ISO270xx, SANS CIS 20 Critical Security Controls, NIST, COBIT5, PCI DSS, etc. The related services to protect IT assets include security architecture reviews, IT disaster recovery planning, threat modeling, security incident planning, information security management systems, security metrics, dashboards, etc.

    3. Data

    By definition, data is a set of facts (numbers, terms, measurements, observations, etc.) converted into a form that computers can process. Companies are using huge volumes of data in today’s digitized world to carry out their operations and influence their strategic decision making.

    And with all these security checks in place, the data always needs to be secured, and data breaches adequately handled. Ideally, organizations should have identified mechanisms in place to continuously track their environments and respond to security incidents where appropriate. In reality, the work is not over after all the security measures have been enforced. Understanding your company information protection is one thing, it’s much better to coordinate all the security controls between business processes, IT assets, and data to recognize what works and to protect what’s essential for the organization.

    Fortunately, this becomes easy with data security solutions that are available in the market that allow better visibility into and control over organizations’ data access and usage.

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