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How to get your network and security teams working together

Sarah K. White | Aug. 23, 2016
Your network and security teams may have different goals and objectives, but as networks grow more complex, it’s time to get these two teams on the same page to help avoid miscommunication around security threats.

That means, when embarking on new projects, get both teams in on the conversation. At the very least, Vigna says that network teams should be proactive in giving security workers a heads-up about new projects. He suggests inviting security professionals into the early concept stages, to give input where they might find security issues before any time, money or energy is invested by the network team. Similarly, he says security teams should be "consistently responsive in sending risk assessments to network teams."

Vigna suggests assigning a point person on each team, whose job it is to bridge communication between the two groups. These liaisons can help bring about unity through transparency, he says, allowing both groups to have better insight into each other's goals and objectives.

Hire the right people

Hiring the right tech workers might seem obvious, but if you want your network and security teams to get along, include it in your hiring process. While network and security professionals have different skillsets, you can still emphasize during the interview process that you encourage collaboration between the two teams, so they come in knowing what to expect.

If you know you'll need someone who can be flexible and open with other IT teams, find people with well-rounded backgrounds who express an openness to the changing landscape of IT. You might even find network professionals emerge with security skills, says Vigna, especially as networks become more complex, which increases potential risks.

Schwartz also points to the CIO as a guidepost for the rest of the department. As the CIO, he says, you need to encourage both teams to understand one another's priorities and goals. You can't expect your teams to understand how they can help one another if they don't even know how the other operates on a day-to-day basis.

"It's important for IT leaders to see these departments as part of one larger team, rather than separate factions. Though some organizations are quick to see their security teams as supplements to the IT department, IT leaders need to fully integrate security teams," says Vigna.

 

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