What is Enterprise Security?

Definition

Enterprise security consists of the overall strategies and procedures used to defend an organization from bad actors. These bad actors could be external hackers or internal employees and contractors. Small and large businesses should incorporate enterprise-level security to define the best practices and cybersecurity defenses to protect them from a data breach and stop attackers from exploiting unknown vulnerabilities.

What is Meant by Enterprise Security?

The most challenging part about approaching enterprise security is the planning. Planning requires the identification of strategies that will be used to deploy security systems to address the most significant risks on the network. The right strategies are critical to the success of cybersecurity, and the planning part of cybersecurity can take months to identify every vulnerable resource, weaknesses across the network, and the right equipment that can solve problems.

For corporations that already have a cybersecurity strategy, every component must be reviewed annually to ensure that they are still effective. Most plans are reviewed regularly to improve on current cybersecurity defenses, especially if the organization suffered from a recent data breach. Regular reviews identify if a cybersecurity component needs to be retired and replaced, or it just needs to be patched and updated.

Continual reviews of current enterprise security strategies are essential as cyber-criminals always change their techniques. What could be sufficient cybersecurity now may be vulnerable within a matter of months, so any cybersecurity plan should be reviewed and improved to meet current requirements and lessons-learned strategies after a cyber-incident.

Why is Enterprise Security Important?

Most organizations know that they need some level of cybersecurity to protect data from attackers, but 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 enterprise network, the more critical enterprise security is to its data integrity as more entry points, remote access protocols, and additional user accounts increase the corporation’s attack surface. Every access point, including remote users and their network permissions, is an opportunity for an attacker to explore. For this reason, enterprise security must be a top priority for administrators.

Cloud computing has made it cheaper for businesses to incorporate high-end technology, but it also makes cybersecurity strategies more difficult. Whether it’s a hybrid or public cloud, attackers have another avenue of attack by focusing on the cloud provider. Misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure have led to several significant data breaches with little effort from attackers. Add IoT to standard technology, and the attack surface increases even more. Several basic vulnerabilities discovered in IoT technology have led to major data breaches.

Cyber-threats don’t always come from outside attackers. Insider threats are a real issue for organizations as well. Although employees require trust, cybersecurity strategies are based on not trusting users. Aggregated permissions, unnecessary high-level permissions, and terminated users with active accounts are issues that could lead to a data breach from phishing or social engineering. Strategies involving standards of least privilege, updating and revoking permissions when an employee changes jobs within the organization, and deactivating accounts of terminated employees should be a part of enterprise security implementations. These strategies reduce risks from insider threats.

The overall importance of enterprise security is protecting data, data loss prevention, and providing a good reputation for the organization’s brand. Compliance is also a factor, depending on the organization’s industry. Attackers place a high value on financial and healthcare data, which require several compliance standards when organizations store and transfer this data. Sensitive data that is not adequately secured can cost an organization millions in fines and brand reputation damage, so any strategy should include compliance requirements.

What is Enterprise Security Risk Management?

Along with the right strategies to secure data, organizations must also have standards for risk management. Enterprise risk management distinctly differs from enterprise security, but it falls under the same umbrella of services. Enterprise risk management is the process of avoiding and mitigating threats by identifying every resource that could be a target for attackers.

Threat mitigation is vital for stopping current risks, but risk management focuses on reducing the overall risks of technology. Compliance is also important in risk management, but most regulatory standards focus on threat mitigation and the strategies to stop data from being accessed. Risk management helps businesses realize their threat surface and find 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 visualized and realized. A heat map of risks is often used to determine 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 organization might choose to leave it vulnerable or leave it as a low priority. By organizing and prioritizing risk, the organization can 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 stealthy attacks, AI has increasingly become a basic requirement that will more quickly find threats and stop them before the attack becomes a large, expensive data breach.

Both enterprise security and risk management focus on the protection of corporate data and other digital assets. It’s critical for enterprise integrity and business continuity, but it’s just as critical that it’s done by an expert who knows how to manage the procedures from start to finish. Poorly executed enterprise security could mean overlooked vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats, leading to a significant data breach and possible data loss.