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Closing the SecOps gap

Darric Hor, ASEAN Regional Director, BMC Software | Oct. 18, 2016
BMC tells us why it is important to close the gap between operations and cybersecurity.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The Yahoo breach is yet another high-profile example that illustrates that it is not a matter of 'if' your organisation is going to be hacked, it is a matter of when. In this case, two years had passed between when the breach occurred and when Yahoo became aware of it. There are numerous theories as to why the breach was announced so late, but one thing is for sure: There is a real disconnect in enterprise security between the identification of issues and taking action.

Most organisations approach problems from the traditional perspective: a series of defined starts and stops, with no information sharing between steps. That game plan can leave the door wide open to malicious attacks while IT teams struggle to scale and keep track of all the moving parts. Cyber-attacks cost Asian companies $81bn last year. The Singapore government has just announced the launch of an S$10 million ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme aimed at enhancing the cybersecurity resources and know-how among fellow Southeast Asian member states.

Benefits to having strong Security Operations (SecOps) in place

Cyber security is a growing concern globally but it is creating particular anxiety in Singapore after a flurry of attacks affecting Bangladesh, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. One of the key attractions for attackers are poorly defended banks and companies. Having a clear SecOps programme in place is crucial.

Firstly, SecOps is able to help organisations defend against security vulnerabilities quickly. Through a clear task list, operations can address threats based on policy and impact, using criteria that protects uptime and maintains stability to ensure the most critical issues are fixed first. Leveraging operations inputs, the security dashboard provides key insight and updates to security teams on remediation workflow progress. Through the dashboard, an open dialogue is created for both teams to align priorities while doing away with opening tickets that never seem to reach a conclusion.

A January 2016 survey by BMC in association with Forbes Insights revealed that 60 percent of C-level executives surveyed believe that IT operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other's requirements. Therefore, it's clear the 'SecOps Gap' needs to be quickly acknowledged and addressed. Until businesses adopt the mindset that every unchecked application or device is a potential open door for hackers, we are going to continue seeing private data and other valuable digital assets held ransom at greater frequency and broader impact.

Secondly, having a strong SecOps programme can help an organisation proactively defend itself against vulnerabilities. Organisations of all sizes need to adopt a much more proactive posture to security, whether it is patching known vulnerabilities or eliminating potential risks associated with unsecured assets and blind spots in their networks.


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