By Vladimir Ramos
Network security has always been considered a part of the information technology or helpdesk department of an organization.
However, with recent changes in the technology such as going global, borderless (cloud services), mobile, and becoming extremely complex, there?s clearly a need to revamp the IT department we have nowadays.
It also includes the need to overhaul and completely separate the network security into a new department. The massive breaches that happen to networks and organizations almost every week are enough reasons to consider this. Still not convinced?
Here are three reasons that will verify why cyber security should be a separate IT business priority.
1. Network security professionals need to adapt a different mindset from IT professionals.
Most IT departments have a primarily service-oriented mindset, which ensures that infrastructure and technology will continue serving users in their organization, whereas majority of IT professionals wait for issues to arise by means of tickets before resolving certain concerns.
Network security shouldn?t function this way. It needs to operate with a post-breach mindset, where they shouldn?t wait for issues to crop up or get reported, as hackers may get into the networks due to unsuspicious activities.
Network security professionals need to be pro-active, be vigilant, and always be on their toes for any activities in the system that can become a potential attack.
They should also inspect the infrastructure, technology, human resources, as well as the procedures for potential weaknesses in the network ? as these can be the grant hackers the permission to break through and attack.
2. Network security needs to be considered and be referred to experts when it comes to important business matters and decision-making at all levels.
Corporate and department level executives need to consult with network security professionals first before carrying out a process, a new technology or a new security procedure.
Contemplate on how each employee in the organization ? from the CEO to the data encoder needs and uses technology in carrying out their daily tasks.
Considering that the network houses the most valuable and confidential data, safeguarding whatever technology or procedure deployed is necessary for network security, as a single breach can bring about a massive loss of customer trust and revenue.
3. Network security professionals aren?t service professionals, but risk managers and strategists.
Network security these days no longer involve a simple activity of watching over an organization?s network. In this day and age, it requires a tactical planning among various departments in the organization, risk assessment procedures, and systematic management in conjunction with information technology infrastructure building and process-planning.
In an ideal setup, network security professionals need to be alongside those that come up and review business risks before presenting it to the top-level executives.
For instance, once business executives decide to take on a new venture, technology or strategy, they need to understand how this would affect every aspect of the organization such as their technology (infrastructure and software technology) and all things related to it.
However, the organization doesn?t have any or even little control over the cloud service providers, business partners, and customers ? determining that network security is a part of that aspect.
Network security is essential as it measures the risk, devises a plan to lessen the risk or eliminate it, and even formulating a plan in the event of a breach.
Network security should be a priority
In this generation where technology is ingrained in every aspect of an organization and the wealth of information has gone digital, the need to secure one?s network and protect its data should be on top of every organization?s priority.
Network security deserves a seat on the table, and once it becomes a priority, the subsequent threat to breaches and potential loss of revenue and public trust will decrease significantly.
The author is the general manager of AIM Corporate Solutions. He has been in the IT industry for more than 22 years and has set his focus on IT security awareness in the Philippines. He is a certified information security professional, a certified ethical hacker and forensics investigator, and a certified information systems auditor.