Improve Data Security Team Structure and Operational Implementation through InfoSec Training


Improve Data Security Team Structure and Operational Implementation through InfoSec Training

For an organization's cybersecurity team, the structure plays a key role in the team's effectiveness and success. Today we will outline information security strategies for setting up your data security team for flawless implementation and streamlined operations.

As the importance of cybersecurity rises exponentially, so does the organization's need for cybersecurity training for their teams. While firms indeed need to carefully structure their cybersecurity operation, one cannot underscore the importance of a well-trained team to carry out your security strategies to the letter. Organizations need assurances that their staff are effectively performing the right functions and efficiently managing issues and resolving them as soon as they arise.

There is no one team organizing strategy that applies to all firms, each firm must create their own bespoke team that fits their particular goals, priorities, and culture. However, there are a few core principles that organizations must follow when putting together their data security team.

Start with Team Charters

Every security team needs a formidable lead, a senior that can manage the team like a well-oiled machine. The team also requires a formal, well-documented charter that's approved annually by the CIO.

This charter is instrumental to the success of the security team as it describes the objectives and responsibilities for every member of the team, how the decisions regarding operations will be made and its deliverables. This detailed document clarifies the roles of the team members and gives them a bird's eye view of what they are trying to achieve.

Map out the Functions

A firm's information security team need to manage daily operations and perform functions to maintain security. So, how does a company go about doing that?

Here is the most common framework upon which security strategy of most leading companies are based. Software engineers structure security teams around these four functions.

Shield, protect, prevent and defend

This function covers responsive protection, shielding and defense from potential security threats and prevent infection of any data systems.

Detect, monitor and hunt

Effectively monitor the ongoing security operations and actively hunt for any loopholes hackers might exploit and detect any seemingly hidden threats.

Sustain, respond and recover

This function is responsible for mitigating cyber threats should company defenses are breached. It also is responsible for repairs and resuming operations back to normalcy as quickly as possible should an attack take place.

Manage, govern, educate, comply and risk managing

This function is primarily concerned with the oversight and management of the team, their performance measurement and upgrading of cybersecurity activities. Ensure the configuration of the security complies with all of the organizations internal and external requirements while mitigating risk.

The aforementioned framework covers everything from the beginning to the end, while it does sound great, this model is realistic for organizations that have matured their information security practices.

An approach that is more realistic or pragmatic for an adolescent organization is a framework developed by the security expert Mike Rothman. This particular framework employs an individual, usually a Chief Security Officer (CSO), who is charged with implementing the overall cybersecurity of the company as well as managing and coordinating with the security team. There are four functions CSO is in charge of overseeing.

Infrastructure security

This function is responsible for the creating the organization's security technical infrastructure, for instances the servers and networks. The CSO isn't necessarily in control of the team that administers security protocols like firewall administration. But regardless this security function must coordinate and keep all relevant staff and team member in the loop.

Data security

This function entails providing security for the firm's applications and data. The control of this function once again varies, however they too need to coordinate with all relevant staff and inform them of the data security protocols that have been put in place. The person in charge of this function must closely work with app developers and make sure the new apps are secure in every way before they go into production.

Security testing

This is one of the most important functions of cybersecurity, without testing how will an organization know if their security protocols are up to the challenge of thwarting security threats. This is done through vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and cybersecurity training for the staff to mitigate risks.

Security architecture

The security architecture covers putting security control in place for protecting a firm's most sensitive information and data systems. From a bird’s every view, it protects all entry points into the firm's network and adds multiple layers to security so the threats are identified before they do any damage to any sensitive parts.

Continuous Cycle of Improvement

Once your cybersecurity team has been set up and tested, what comes next is a continuous cycle of improvement. Simply setting up a team isn't enough, you also need to further invest in them to improve and adjust their tactics to counter new threats and evolve with the needs of the organization. Here are a few elements upon which the continuous improvement of your team should be based on.

  • Organize and Plan: Develop security architecture, conduct risk assessments and obtain approval of management.
  • Implementation: Create and enforce security policies, standards, protocols, and procedures. Implement data security programs to comply with the security policies of the firm. Oversee monitoring and auditing for all programs. Establish metrics to measure the performance of the program.
  • Operation and maintenance: Following security program tasks and procedures. Perform external and internal security audits. As needed, manage service-level agreements of your program.
  • Monitor and evaluate: Conduct audits and measure metrics and review results and logs for every program. Assess project milestones and check if they meet the set goals. Create steps to further improve your security procedure and integrate it into the security plan and phases.

Your data security team is the key department of your company. Follow the recommendations discussed above to ensure your cybersecurity team is at the top of their game, performing the right functions and managing the overall security of your organization. Also, certification such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and CompTIA Security+ will help key information security professionals equip themselves with all the tools of the data security trade.

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