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Driving A Security-First Mindset In Your IT Ops Team

With more companies moving to fully remote or hybrid work schedules, businesses of all sizes should be thinking about what security measures they have in place to mitigate the impact of cyber threats. The dangerous combination of bad actors leveraging malware and human error demonstrates the need for a security-first mindset to be ingrained across every aspect of your organization. Here are some tips to integrate a security mindset in your IT ops team.

Start at the Top

A security mindset should start at the top, with company leadership taking an active role in supporting cyber security programs and incorporating them into their existing organizational practices. Executives should work directly with the IT Ops team and emphasize accountability across-the-board. Whether it is your CISO or a security partner, like a vCISO, cyber security best practices and concerns should be factored into all company initiatives, in the case of operational, financial, or technical decisions.

Employee Awareness

Employees are one of the first lines of defense against a cyber security attack, so it is crucial to provide routine training to minimize instances of human error that lead to breaches. Your IT Ops team must educate employees on their individual role in your organization’s cyber security and encourage everyone to follow best practices, like logging into a secure VPN or using multifactor authentication (MFA), to support protecting files, passwords, and other corporate assets.

In order for cyber security awareness training to be effective, training completion needs to be encouraged and monitored. Employees at your organization need to understand that a part of their job is protecting the organization from risk. They must be held just as accountable for maintaining the cyber safety of their organization as they are for creating a respectful and safe working environment for their colleagues.

Continuously Analyze Your Footprint

To drive a security mindset, it’s crucial to understand the extent of your security footprint. The shift to remote work has changed the landscape that IT professionals are now operating in. Environments that were once primarily on-premises now include public clouds, IoT devices, and mobile users who may be located anywhere in the world. External devices and increased employee endpoints pose major security risks. Solutions like managed detection and response (MDR) can help give your IT team better visibility into your organization’s ever-expanding environment.

Err on The Side of Caution

Adopt a cautious approach and investigate every alert and issue, even if they seem minor or turn out to be a false positive. This goes along with adopting a Zero Trust model: “never trust, always verify.” The model requires all devices and users to be authenticated, authorized, and regularly validated before being granted access. This approach is central to a security mindset, improving network defenses while providing peace of mind to both business and IT leaders.

Communicate with Transparency

Build trust with your clients by emphasizing your organization’s commitment to security. Never present your business as impenetrable. This could not only attract the attention of bad actors, but it is also impossible to achieve and would make your organization look naive. Rather, focus on explaining that cyber security is central to your operations and demonstrate how you’re able to protect your customers’ sensitive data and privacy.

Integrating a security-first mindset across your entire organization will help strengthen your networks and reduce the risk of data breaches. Security should be prioritized as an important business asset. Encourage your IT Ops team to meet with employees across the organization and explain the role that cyber security plays within the business, what their responsibility is and, more importantly, how everyone can benefit.  

Entara: Your Partner For IT And Cyber Security Solutions

Entara offers complete, integrated IT and cyber security solutions tailored to your company’s unique needs and challenges. We employ a range of security integrations and technology services to better protect your system, network, and data. Connect with us to learn more about how we can support your organization.

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