Story image

How business leaders must prioritise cyber risk - Palo Alto Networks

13 Mar 2019

Article by Palo Alto Networks CIO Naveen Zutshi

With today’s SecOps teams continually confronted with new cyber threats, cyber risk prioritisation is becoming more fundamental to successful protection.

Here are some of the things cyber and business leaders need to do to make this a reality.

Too many alerts?

Those responsible for securing their organisation’s networks must process a huge volume of security alerts every day.

Often these are generated by multiple cybersecurity tools and systems, complicating how teams can assess and derive actionable insights from the data.

Although it is vital teams are notified of vulnerabilities and threats, there is a considerable risk of alert overload.

Put simply, too many alerts of minor problems can affect an enterprise’s ability to quickly and easily prioritise and respond to what’s most significant.

Prioritising threats ensures organisations are taking a logical approach to cybersecurity, focusing their time and money on the most pressing dangers.

Deciding what not to do

Organisational heads are paid not only for the decisions they take on what to do, but they also have a responsibility in deciding what not to do.

Departments must compete against each other for the best cyber protections and resources.

While it’s hard to argue any department doesn’t deserve anything less than watertight defences, assigning everything with the same level of top priority is not viable.

For leaders to determine different priorities, there needs to be a large-scale cybersecurity cost-benefit analysis, free of bias from any one individual or team.

C-level employees should carefully assess the potential damage of each cyber attack scenario to establish Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three priorities.

Priorities within each tier also need to be agreed and communicated organisation-wide so there is no mistake about where additional resources are required for the overall health of the company.

Data on employees and customers are the crown jewels of any organisation and so must come first.

If those are compromised, an organisation may not recover.

Once an agreement is reached, don’t set this the list in stone.

The threat landscape is constantly changing and adaptation is key to business survival.

While a business’s overall strategy isn’t likely to change very often, the techniques of its hackers often do, so business and cyber leaders must be ready to revisit their list of priorities in light of new threats and make changes to their defence systems where necessary.

Trust your cybersecurity team

The C-suite should trust their cybersecurity personnel fully in their abilities until they give them a reason not to.

Everyone should be held accountable for their actions, but organisational heads should make sure they are all on the same page with regards to what is expected of them, through clear and regular communication.

It is not just the health of organisations that depend on prioritisation, it is also the health of employees who are working on the frontline of cybersecurity prevention and risk management. Avoid loading up employees with too many work-in-progress items – make sure everyone is on the same page about what’s most important.

It’s not realistic for every task to marked as urgent and critical.

In fact, it can become demotivating for staff in achieving their goals for the organisation.

If staff are juggling too many things and not finishing the tasks that are actually the most important, their productivity will erode and their work satisfaction will, too.

Kiwis know security is important, but they're not doing much about it
Only 49% of respondents use antivirus software and even fewer – just 19% -  change their passwords regularly.
Instagram: The next big thing in online shopping?
This week Instagram announced a new feature called checkout, which allows users to buy products they find on Instagram.
Apple's AirPods now come with 'Hey Siri' functionality
The new AirPods come with a standard case or a Wireless Charging Case that holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.
NZ investment funds throw weight against social media giants
A consortium of NZ funds managing assets worth more than $90m are appealing against Facebook, Twitter, and Google following the Christchurch terror attacks.
Poly appoints new A/NZ managing director, Andy Hurt
“We’re excited to be bringing together two established pioneers in audio and video technology to be moving forward and one business – Poly."
Unity and NVIDIA announce real-time ray tracing across industries
For situations that demand maximum photorealism and the highest visual fidelity, ray tracing provides reflections and accurate dynamic computations for global lighting.
NVIDIA announces Jetson Nano: A US$99 tiny, yet mighty AI computer 
“Jetson Nano makes AI more accessible to everyone, and is supported by the same underlying architecture and software that powers the world's supercomputers.”
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.