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Today’s Information Security Landscape

The field of information security has changed dramatically in recent years. While network hacking continues to pose a threat, compliance has shifted attention to internal threats. As Charles Koloji, an analyst at IDC, noted, “Compliance has moved security management from monitoring external network activity to managing internal user activity at the application and database level.” Whether it’s the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) or other compliance issues, companies must be diligently managing information security risks. Ensuring the integrity of security information is becoming increasingly complex and requires valuable resources. Service-oriented architectures are accelerating the pace of application development. Networks consist of more applications and more distribution data, creating more access points to critical data. While real-time understanding of threats and vulnerabilities is needed, most organizations do not have the tools to transform information security data into effective analytics. Security Information Management Problems When developing and implementing an effective security information management system raises many challenges. In the wake of the recent explosion of privacy and information security laws, IT executives and teams are increasingly responsible for compliance with security requirements and compliance audits. A closer look at the company’s security position reveals previously minor or even unrecognized potential vulnerabilities, including:

The lack of communication between security programs and business processes. Information security programs are often under-integrated into business processes, resulting in process disruption and inefficiency.
Fragmented information, processes and security operations – information security is often decentralized. Individual databases and independent processes can be used for audits, intrusion detection efforts, and the use of antivirus technologies.

The lack of communication between security programs and business processes. Information security programs are often under-integrated into business processes, resulting in process disruption and inefficiency.
Fragmented information, processes and security operations – information security is often decentralized. Individual databases and independent processes can be used for audits, intrusion detection efforts, and the use of antivirus technologies.
Security performance measurement issues. Many organizations have difficulty measuring and managing performance, and developing a standardized approach to information security accountability can be challenging.
Correction processes have been interrupted or non-existent – in the past, organizations responsible for compliance with regulatory requirements and regulators only needed to collect and archive security-related information. The auditors are now requesting detailed documentation of the process. Identifying threats and eliminating risks are becoming increasingly important.
Abnormal user activity and data leaks. In accordance with today’s security requirements, organizations must quickly and efficiently add processes that help identify problems and detect abnormal behavior.
Decisions to support security decision-making today ensure compliance with information security requirements and risk management requires a new level of security awareness and support for decision-making. Organizations can use internal security expertise as well as outside consultants to implement security information. Integrating network operations centers with operational security centers helps identify and address security vulnerabilities in a timely manner. To successfully support security solutions, organizations must automate incident response processes. However, these automated processes must remain flexible and scalable. Risk management and compliance are dynamic, with constant adjustments, regular and complex security incidents and ongoing efforts to improve.

Establishing compliance as the primary driving force behind information security management projects has forced companies to refocus on protecting basic data critical to financial transactions, customers, and employees. Compliance is a challenge for organizations that need to track huge amounts of data and complex applications, as well as the increasing number of users who access these applications and data. Organizations need to have access to contextual information and understand network changes in real time, such as asset additions and the new vulnerabilities and threats they pose. The continuity of the business services continuity of the organization’s security management program is critical to successful risk management and compliance. Organizations need to be able to predict where most threats might occur and how they might affect the business. Data is constantly on the move and consumed by users and business applications all the time. Due to the increased use of service-oriented applications, the number of users with potential access to corporate data is increasing. Service-oriented applications have many moving parts, and monitoring at the application level is much more difficult than monitoring network activity.

Threats and Risk Management As businesses and networks grow, the organization focuses on security, moving from solving all security issues to setting security priorities. Larger and more complex organizations prefer to focus on the threats that cause the most damage, the threats with the greatest financial impact, and the security issues that can cause the greatest disruption to business processes. In the past, security services have focused on preventing threats outside of business. However, data breaches and inappropriate user activity in the organization often pose a greater threat because the potential hacker is much closer to the data. Today, organizations are forced to rethink their approach to managing internal risk.

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