Once again, it’s time to plan your security budget for the next year. In our last post, we discussed planning and implementing as the first two steps of planning your 2016 security budget. Now, let’s look at the final two steps: execution and analysis.
Successful execution of a security plan involves detecting new risks and monitoring the enforcement of security policies. Is your system configured to enforce the policies you put in place during steps one and two? Ideally, your system should allow you to identify, understand and address any potential threats on a daily basis.
The people in your organization are a great asset in the fight against security risks, but they can also be your biggest risk. Even the most advanced technology and carefully designed security controls rely on some amount of human interpretation and execution. In order to make the most of the time and money you have spent implementing security processes, you need to educate your team so that they are able to manage and maintain the secure environment you have created, both now and as the business grows.
Note that sometimes a new application or “automated” process can reduce time, but often the application still requires the same amount of time or staffing to execute. Make sure you understand the full input needed to get the desired result!
When allocating funds for monitoring security processes, consider the following security concerns:
- Unused, generic, default, or shared user profiles
- Programs that don’t match known updates
- Suspicious activity on company networks, possibly indicating an intrusion attempt (ex. remote access or administrator/maintenance accounts)
Always look for opportunities to educate your customers and clients and consider whether you need to bring in external audit or security consulting services as your business grows.
Feedback and Analysis
Finally, you need to make sure that your security policies are actually working in the way you intended. Comparing the security enforcement that occurs in your organization to that laid out in your security policies is a key stage in IT risk management.
Internal testing and inspecting can help to check how accurately security practices in your organization match those defined in your policy. External audits are also useful, as they can take an objective view of your organization and the people working within it.
If you have an upcoming security audit, you will need to set aside part of your budget to prepare for and conduct the audit, as well as some extra money to respond to the audit findings. Remember to plan this into your 2016 budget so that you aren’t left with a shortfall.
If you’re left still trying to justify expanding your IT or security budget, the example of health or life insurance comes to mind. As your grow older or more mature, the realization of the impact to your personal or family life becomes more important. So the need to add or increase those services becomes more valuable than the potential cost of not taking any action. With the continued integration and reliance of technology that makes our lives easier, it also continues to increase the magnitude of negative impact.
If you need to consult a network security specialist to help you execute and evaluate the enforcement of your security policies, get in touch with Garland Heart today. Our expert network security specialist teams can help you to ensure that your organization is following good security practices that can help keep your systems safe.