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Risk

4/8/2019
04:00 PM

8 Steps to More Effective Small Business Security

Small business face the same security challenges as large enterprises but with much smaller security teams. Here are 8 things to do to get the most from yours.
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Cover the Basics
Whenever a conversation turns to 'getting the most' from a set of resources, talk turns to esoteric techniques and non-obvious technologies that will super-charge available technology and provide super-natural results for the team. Eye of newt, anyone?
But when it comes to security, the best results start by giving special attention to the fundamentals. 
It's the list of boring, ordinary security functions that are so often given only cursory attention from staff eager to move on to more 'advanced' security topics. But especially for small businesses, taking particular care with issues involving authenticated access to resources, perimeter security, malware avoidance, system resilience, and system visibility will pay enormous dividends in effective security.
The best news for small business owners and executives is that many of these basic functions are included as parts of infrastructure on which applications run. The IT staff should pay attention to these security components, understand what each will (and won't) do for the security function, and make sure that each of the basic functions is working at peak effectiveness - and working in concert with the other security functions that have also been optimized.
(Image: Gorodenkoff VIA Adobe Stock)

Cover the Basics

Whenever a conversation turns to "getting the most" from a set of resources, talk turns to esoteric techniques and non-obvious technologies that will super-charge available technology and provide super-natural results for the team. Eye of newt, anyone?

But when it comes to security, the best results start by giving special attention to the fundamentals.

It's the list of boring, ordinary security functions that are so often given only cursory attention from staff eager to move on to more "advanced" security topics. But especially for small businesses, taking particular care with issues involving authenticated access to resources, perimeter security, malware avoidance, system resilience, and system visibility will pay enormous dividends in effective security.

The best news for small business owners and executives is that many of these basic functions are included as parts of infrastructure on which applications run. The IT staff should pay attention to these security components, understand what each will (and won't) do for the security function, and make sure that each of the basic functions is working at peak effectiveness and working in concert with the other security functions that have also been optimized.

(Image: Gorodenkoff VIA Adobe Stock)

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tdsan
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tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2019 | 6:45:24 PM
Substantive security areas that were left out
I do agree the eight areas identified are important but it seems these techniques are not working.
  • Patching - Microsoft Patches come out every Tuesday, firmware and linux patches come out weekly, the systems have to be download and check for patches every day. If the patch causes the system to reboot or not come up (which it has done and been reported) how is that effectively helping the organization. There is a problem with the application development process because patches of such quantity should not be distrubuted in large amounts (firmware, patches, software, hardware, updates)
  • Hiring third party entities, I agree with this but the rates they charge are outside the scope of small businesses, so it is difficult to justify the expense with the benefit

I do think there are a few things that were left out:
  1. Training - there needs to be an online training program that is indepth and puts the security expert in a quandry, something that challenges them by putting them into specific scenarios that require the group to be part of. Stay abreast of the security and application areas, since technology is evolving, we need to evolve as security professionals. The writer mentions this but I think by challenging the security team by almost monthly (keeping them on their toes, will improve response times, this needs to be measured as part of the training proces).
  2. Test the security teams knowledge over the weekend (mock test scenarios) to test their knowledge but creating most scenarios where an attack is simulated by the mgmt team, they should be tested quarterly and/or semi-annually
  3. Team up with senior security members - The security team members should team up with senior members to learn different business roles, they should have an understanding of who, what, when, why involving the application, they should have an understanding of the application, how it functions and they should have a basic understanding of how to bring the system online
  4. Develop incentive programs to obtain certifications so the company can build and go after potential business
  5. Develop business relationships with OEM manufacturers to test their wares in office envionments, work with OEM engineering teams to get a better understanding of the products (integrate your strategic security program with theirs and determine how it fits or change your program to do so)
  6. Develop an enterprise security strategic approach to addressing this cyber-security quandry
  7. Create and/or develop a network of security professoinals outside the organization, that will help mitigate some of these impending concerns, this network will give others in the organization the ability to learn outside of the existing walls (work with IBM, PaloAlto, Cisco, Sophos, NSSLab professionals)
  8. Schedule meetings and put together an online tracking system that tracks individuals progress, put the progress on a large TV for the group to see so members are accountable for the whole team to see
  9. Implement IPv6, move away from IPv4, that should only be used with connecting to sites that do not have an IPv6 netwok address, this has been proven to create AES256 IPSec ESP/AH VPN networks
  10. Create and deploy cloud environments to take advantage of implicit DR/Backup/Recovery scenarios (this allow users to create business databases in the cloud in the event if something happens to the primary business location, so if there is an outage, the cloud's load-balancers can move requests and work-loads offsite, the end-user would not be the wiser.
  11. Develop a "SecDevOPS" team to include application developers and security expert or it could be the same person, but application awareness and security should coincide with one another for future business development.

There are other points, but I think this would be essential for any-type of business to utilize. Thank you for sharing, it does not cover it all but it is a good start.

Todd
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