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Strategic imperatives of a cybersecurity strategy every CISO must address | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


By Mohan Kumar T L

 

With the rapid evolution of the cybersecurity landscape, complex threat environments prevail where CISOs are confronted with several challenges.  Cyber threats such as malware, phishing attacks, data breaches, and ransomware incidents continue to grow in sophistication and frequency. Solutions that may have once been effective for organizations are proving to be either ineffective or inadequate today. CISOs bear the responsibility of protecting the organization from new and emerging threats by staying abreast of the latest cybersecurity trends and technologies.

In light of these challenges, it is imperative for every CISO to carefully consider key aspects when building a robust cybersecurity strategy while maintaining fluid business operations.

 

Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

VPN, or virtual private network, has long been a staple in many network security plans, operating under the assumption that everything within the network perimeter can be trusted. However, as organizations increasingly rely on cloud services, embrace remote work cultures, and adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, this traditional perimeter-based security approach is no longer sufficient. It’s time for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to pivot from reliance on traditional VPNs, firewalls, and gateways—often loaded with vulnerabilities—to embrace Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to effectively address the evolving threat landscape and protect the infrastructure. This approach assumes that no entity, whether inside or outside the network should be trusted and every user and device attempting to connect to the network should be verified before providing access. ZTNA approach, which works on the principle of least privilege, verifies the identity of users and devices and enforces granular access controls. It also enables continuous monitoring of user behavior and network traffic for anomalies. By incorporating the ZTNA solution into the cybersecurity strategies, CISOs can strengthen their organization’s defenses

 

New Generation Security Operations Center (NG-SOC)

Traditional SOC platforms with siloed technologies suffer from limited visibility, slower response times, higher costs, and hindered collaboration, emphasizing the need for integrated approaches.  It is increasingly vital for organizations – government, large enterprises, and SMEs, to invest in a next-generation Security Operations Center (NG-SOC) to ensure real-time threat detection and response. NG-SOCs offer an open architecture and layered Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM), User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR), and Network Detection and Response (NDR) capabilities. Presently, NG-SOCs leverage AI and machine learning-based tools to bolster investigations and improve threat detection and response. This enables swift identification of anomalous behavior and automated incident response. Such an agile, automated, and integrated SOC empowers CISOs to proactively address cybersecurity and operational challenges while maintaining a focus on continuous improvement.

 

DC/DR WAN Optimization

As organizations adopt remote work models and multi-cloud strategies, they must transition from traditional networks to agile, scalable solutions like Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN). This transition optimizes data transfer efficiency across WANs, linking data centers and remote locations. CISOs play a crucial role in optimizing Data Center/Disaster Recovery WAN (DC/DR WAN) connectivity to bolster cybersecurity resilience, mitigate cyber risks, protect critical infrastructure, and ensure uninterrupted business operations. Improved backup and replication efficiency in disaster recovery efforts reduces downtime and costs, enhancing business continuity. Optimizing DC/DR WAN not only protects sensitive data but also maintains operational efficiency, instilling further trust among stakeholders. SD-WAN serves as a foundation for next-gen security measures.

 

DevSecOps

DevSecOps integrates security practices into the software development lifecycle from the outset, combining development, security, and operations. This collaborative approach, known as “shift-left,” enables proactive identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities. CISOs must advocate for DevSecOps adoption organization-wide, facilitating timely threat responses and minimizing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.  They should ensure security is not an afterthought but an integral part of the development process. By embracing DevSecOps, organizations can swiftly address security threats, reducing damage and downtime, while also ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements to avoid hefty fines.

 

(The author is Mohan Kumar T L, Director, Netpoleon India, and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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