Communication Is Key to IT Security
Posted: Wednesday, Jan 10

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Communication Is Key to IT Security

The growing scope and severity of cyber threats targeting Australian businesses this past year has put a spotlight on the need for greater security measures.  It has even reached national attention as  the country’s Home Affairs Minister recently announced the government’s Six-Shield Cybersecurity Strategy, which aims to make Australia one of the most cyber-secure nations by 2030. With more attention and support for cybersecurity measures, now is the time for companies of all sizes to bolster their preparedness against emerging threats – and opening up internal dialogues across the business will be key to their success.


The Importance of IT Security Strategy Conversations

Given the rapidly changing IT environment, organisations should prioritise continual adaption and agility rather than developing rigid long-term strategies and plans. By implementing feedback loops that collect information from incidents and threat analysis, businesses can avoid the risk of maintaining an outdated security strategy and more quickly adapt to the ever-evolving threat landscape.

Gathering feedback from across the company ensures that business and IT leaders have the necessary data to understand their unique strengths, weaknesses, and the effectiveness of the organisation’s strategy. This preparation allows companies to proactively respond to newly identified threats and vulnerabilities, and invest in areas that will have the greatest impact on the company’s cybersecurity posture.


Collaboration Across All Departments

To gain a holistic perspective, IT security conversations should have a diverse range of participants. Key business leaders such as the CISO, CTO, and CIO can lead the conversation given their expertise, but it’s important that leaders from different departments of the business are also included. By doing this, business leaders can increase their understanding of each department’s varying IT security goals and challenges.

Incorporating a variety of perspectives and expertise together enables organisations to develop a comprehensive IT security strategy that is prepared to tackle emerging and existing threats. Additionally, a cross-departmental, collaborative approach gives team members the space to ask questions and recognise IT security as a shared responsibility across the business.


The Right Environment for Open Dialogue

When initiating IT security strategy conversations, organisations will benefit from choosing a setting that fosters engagement and collaboration, whether in person or online. The goal of IT security strategy meetings is to create an environment that allows for open conversation. It is important that all company stakeholders feel comfortable sharing their security challenges and experiences, as when employees are hesitant to ask questions, the opportunity for cyber risks to remain or creep in only expands. To maintain ongoing IT security communication and education efforts, businesses should consider holding workshops, monthly status updates, and training sessions.


Implementing Next Steps for Immediate Improvement

Vulnerabilities will differ for every organisation, but they often involve updating software or integrating new security tools. Once the most pressing issues are addressed, business leaders should take the time to carefully consider any feedback stemming from these conversations, both positive and negative. This will help to identify which aspects of an organisation’s security strategy need more attention.

Following this, departments can drill into any specific needs and re-evaluate existing strategies to make necessary improvements. Finally, organisations should leverage the insights they’ve developed to create ongoing security initiatives that involve all stakeholders. This will reiterate the significance of security being a shared responsibility, and an ongoing effort that extends beyond singular actions.


Don’t Set-and-Forget

It is vital that IT security strategy conversations regularly take place to avoid a complacent security mindset within organisations. By offering multiple pathways and lines of communication for conversations , businesses can continuously identify where security improvements are required, and avoid relying on outdated strategies or feedback. Existing controls may also degrade with changing environments and could no longer be effective, so retesting should be considered to evaluate if reinvestment in existing controls is appropriate or if a new strategy needs development with the business.

Having quarterly or semi-annual meetings is a good place to start, however, organisations must recognise that their approach to cybersecurity must be flexible and responsive to the organisation’s changing needs. Keeping an ongoing dialogue enables organisations to stay ahead of evolving risks and ensure that their IT security strategy keeps pace with the growing pressure from cyber threats.

Jesse Booth
Experienced Cyber Security leader with a demonstrated history of working in the Utilities SaaS, and software industries. Skilled with Security Operations, Engineering, Incident response, Network and Endpoint Security technologies, SIEM, Multi factor authentication, Databases, Domain Name System (DNS), IT Service Management, Servers, and Internet Security. Strong information technology professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and numerous cyber security certifications.
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