Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security

10/16/2018
09:35 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Security Needs to Start Speaking the Language of Business

At the Gartner Symposium/ITXPO, upcoming security trends for the next year include learning to speak the language of business.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gartner Symposium/ITXPO -- The good news for enterprise security teams is that executives and board members are starting to pay attention to a range of issues, from cyberattacks to data leaks to privacy.

The bad news is that executives and company board members are starting to pay attention to security and want answers.

What can security pros, InfoSec teams and CISOs do? For starters, they can learn the language of business to communicate better with C-Suite executives. Through a better understanding of the enterprise, security can learn how tolerant executives are to risk and how security can help the organization achieve its financial goals.

At the start of the show here on October 15, Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook looked at several security trends that enterprises of all sizes will face in the next several years. Better communication between security and company executives topped the list.

"Security teams have to change in order to respond to this trend," Firstbrook said.

What's driving this new-found interest in security are the daily headlines about the latest breach or attack. Firstbrook used examples ranging from the Equifax breach last year, to Verizon getting a $350 million discount on its acquisition of Yahoo thanks to data leaks at the company. (See Second Equifax Employee Facing Insider Trading Charges.)

Then there's ransomware, especially WannaCry, which cost businesses between $1.5 billion and $4 billion to recover from in 2017. (See WannaCry: How the Notorious Worm Changed Ransomware.)

Taken together, all these incidents have enterprises thinking more about security, but all parts of the business need to communicate to better respond to cyberthreats.

"Part of the problem is that security doesn't really speak the language of business, and the business doesn't speak the language of security, and so the security organization needs to change the way they talk to the business," Firstbrook said. "They need to understand the business risk appetite and that it's OK for the business to take risks -- that's what they do all the time. They just need to understand from security what risk they are taking, and accept that risk. Our job as security practitioners is to explain to them what can possibly go wrong, what can we do to fix it, how much it might cost to fix it and then let them decide what to do."

There are several different ways to improve communication between security and the executive team. These can include hiring consults to help bridge the communication gap, and explaining why investing in better and more secure technology can help the bottom line.

An example Firstbrook used is one company wanting to upgrade to Windows 10, which offers better security, but would require a major investment. The security team explained to the CEO how the newer version of Windows could protect against ransomware that could affect the sales cycle. In the end, the company upgraded.

Firstbrook also encouraged security teams to expand by using a combination of internal recruitment and training, investment in cloud-based security tools and automation, and outsourcing some security tasks when needed.

In addition to improved communication, Firstbrook noted in his presentation that security faces a host of other challenges in the coming years. These include:

  • Legal and other compliance and regulatory rules that are affecting digital transformation plans, as well as increasing liability as enterprises are under more pressure to protect their data.
  • Security services and tools increasingly moving to the cloud, and how enterprises can take advantage of these new services.
  • Advancements in machine learning that are helping with some tasks but still require humans to make final decisions about security.
  • Security decisions that are being made against a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty.
  • The centralization and concentration of businesses into a handful of companies. This requires a decentralized approach for security that includes technology such as blockchain and peer-to-peer networks.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9079
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
FusionSphere OpenStack 8.0.0 have a protection mechanism failure vulnerability. The product incorrectly uses a protection mechanism. An attacker has to find a way to exploit the vulnerability to conduct directed attacks against the affected product.
CVE-2020-16275
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Credential Manager component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.
CVE-2020-16276
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Assets component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16277
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Analytics component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16278
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Permissions component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.