Definition

Enterprise security consists of the strategies and procedures an organisation uses to defend itself from bad actors. Bad actors might be external hackers, or they could be internal employees and contractors. Both small and large businesses should use enterprise-level security best practices and cybersecurity defences to stop attackers from exploiting their unknown vulnerabilities and stealing their data.

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What Is Meant by Enterprise Security?

Planning is the most challenging part of enterprise security project. In the planning phase, you identify strategies for deploying security systems that will address the most significant risks on your network. This phase can take months. It entails identifying every vulnerable resource and weakness across an environment and choosing the right equipment to solve these problems.

When companies already have a cybersecurity strategy, they still need to review every component regularly to ensure that each one remains effective. Most plans are reviewed annually to improve on current cybersecurity defences. During these reviews, any cybersecurity component that needs to be retired, replaced, patched or updated is identified and dealt with.

Continual reviews of enterprise security strategies are essential because cyber criminals constantly change their tactics. What keeps an organisation safe today may not be effective in a matter of months. Every cybersecurity plan should be reviewed and improved to meet current requirements. Any lessons learned after a cyber incident should be incorporated into a new strategy.

Why Is Enterprise Security Important?

Most organisations know that they need some level of cybersecurity to protect their data from attackers. However, they don’t know how to plan and implement it. All planning, deployment, maintenance and improvement should be delegated to an expert to avoid mistakes in the process. The sustainability and scalability of enterprise security depend on expert-level planning and deployment.

The more extensive the network, the more critical enterprise security is to its data integrity. As entry points, remote access protocols and user accounts increase, so too does an organisation’s attack surface. Every access point, including remote users and their network permissions, provides attackers with another potential way into the environment. For this reason, enterprise security should be a top priority.

Cloud computing has made high end technology more affordable for businesses. But it also makes cybersecurity strategies more difficult. Both hybrid and public clouds give attackers additional avenues of attack. Misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure have led to several significant data breaches with little effort from attackers. Several basic vulnerabilities discovered in internet of things (IoT) technology have led to major data breaches.

Cyber threats don’t always come from outside. Insider threats are also a real issue for organisations. Although employees require trust, cybersecurity strategies are based on not trusting users. Aggregated permissions, unnecessarily high-level permissions and terminated users with active accounts all leave organisations vulnerable to phishing or social engineering attacks. To reduce risks from insider threats, organisations should use enterprise security strategies like least privilege access, updating and revoking permissions when an employee changes jobs, and deactivating accounts of terminated employees.

Enterprise security is important because it helps organisations prevent data loss and protect their brand. Depending on the organisation’s industry, compliance with state and federal regulations is also important. Attackers place a high value on financial and healthcare data, which require several compliance standards when organisations store and transfer this data. Sensitive data that is not adequately secured can cost an organisation millions of dollars in fines and significant brand damage, so any strategy should include a plan to meet compliance requirements.

What Is Enterprise Security Risk Management?

Along with creating strategies to secure data, organisations should also plan to manage risk. Enterprise risk management is distinctly different from enterprise security. However, it falls under the same umbrella of services. Enterprise risk management is about identifying every resource that could be source of risks so that the organisation can avoid and mitigate any threats.

Threat mitigation is vital for stopping current risks, but risk management focuses on reducing the organisation’s overall risks related to its technology. Compliance is also important in risk management. However, most regulatory standards focus on ways to mitigate threats and stop data from being accessed. Risk management helps businesses realise their threat surface and identify ways to reduce the chance of a successful attack.

Just like enterprise security, effective risk management also requires considerable planning and strategic implementation. The first step is to map risks so that they can be visualised and realised. A heat map of risks is often used to determine the priority for each area of the network that contains the biggest risk factors.

After risk factors are determined, an action plan is established to determine the technology and methods that will be deployed. If it costs more to mitigate a risk than it would be if it were exploited, an organisation might choose to leave it vulnerable or leave it as a low priority. Organisations often focus on the most expensive vulnerabilities first.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is commonly a part of new risk management systems. AI makes cybersecurity much more effective at detecting risk and ongoing threats, especially with advanced persistent threats and complex state-sponsored attacks. Even with AI systems, detection requires an analyst to review the notifications and identify false positives. As attackers write more complex malware and use more advanced attacks, AI has increasingly become a basic requirement that can find threats more quickly and stop them before they become a large, expensive data breach.

Both enterprise security and risk management focus on the protection of corporate data and other digital assets. They’re both critical for enterprise integrity and business continuity. As such, it’s important that they’re implemented by experts. Poorly projects could mean overlooked vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats, leading to a significant data breach and possible data loss.