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Why IT security is a management issue

IT security is about making sure that the services and tools that your company uses are protected. Even though it might seem self-evident for those who actually work in the field of IT, security issues need to be prioritised and understood by the whole business.
Hybrid working and the geopolitical situation have affected IT security in the world at large. It is now not only Malware and Ransomware attacks that represent the biggest threats to companies and private individuals. We are currently seeing more supply chain attacks than ever before. This means that attackers take advantage of the weak links in the work processes of organisations. The vulnerabilities that many businesses have can be linked to information that is stored in systems and digital services.

Integrate risk management into the business

Cyber risk incidents can have operational, financial and strategic consequences. Incidents that occur are often the result of inadequate controls. One measure that can contribute to solving the problem is to integrate risk management into commercial and technical processes. In other words, vulnerabilities need to be identified and prioritised. Shifting from a focus on technical measures to strategic IT security work brings opportunities for greater maturity and a more secure business.

The strategic initiatives shape the initiatives that need to be implemented in the area of technical and operational security. Organisations cannot control an ongoing Ransomware attack, but making sure that the business has backup and a data recovery solution represents an important first step. Additional controls to manage risk include reviewing continuity in the business. You can also increase awareness of phishing by means of drills and training programmes, and ethical hacking checks that reflect how well-prepared your business is for attacks. By setting up risk management procedures, management can help to direct the focus and be involved in the work.

“The Board, management
and those with operational
responsibility should interact
so they can work more efficiently
and comprehensively on
security issues”

Investigate information assets and potential attack surfaces

It is important to understand what the potential attack surfaces are. Conduct an investigation in which you draw up a list of all the information assets in the business and identify the risks. You should know where the least protected and most sensitive information is. Acquire an overview of which information assets the organisation depends on. If you bring in help from the business’s partners and conduct a security analysis, many assets can be identified and protected.

Interaction between different parts of the organisation

Pursue the issue of IT security together with management and all other parts of the business; it is important that you are united and work together to protect sensitive data. The Board, management and those with operational responsibility should interact so they can work more efficiently and comprehensively on security issues. Together with a trusted partner that possesses specialist expertise in the field of IT security, you can conduct breach tests, receive training in security and carry out drills for crises and incidents. Plan your security work and make sure there is a plan for each stage of the process. What is to be done if there is an incident? How do you prevent incidents? How do you limit a breach that is under way?

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