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How to Improve Security in an Organization

May 24, 2023
Security

In today's digital age, organizations face numerous threats, both from cyberspace and physical environments. Ensuring the security of an organization is a multi-faceted task that requires constant vigilance and effort. This comprehensive guide will outline how to improve security in an organization, covering both digital and physical aspects.

Operations security, or OPSEC, is a vital process that involves protecting critical information that can be used against an organization. In addition to safeguarding classified data, OPSEC also encompasses the protection of unclassified information. The following tips will help improve your organisation's access control and overall digital security.

Implement Malicious and Mobile Code Protection

To defend against malware, detection, prevention, and recovery controls should be in place. Authorized mobile code should be installed only after proper authorization and configuration. Security technologies, such as anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware software, should be updated regularly. Periodic reviews and scans of installed software are essential to identify and remove any unauthorized software or code.

Provide Backups of Information and Configuration

Regular backups of information, software, and system configurations should be performed. Test backups to ensure their usability in case of a system failure or database corruption. Having functional backups may be the only option for data recovery after a catastrophic event.

Ensure Technical Vulnerability Management

Perform vulnerability scans of information systems and infrastructure devices at least monthly. These scans should also be conducted when new vulnerabilities with potentially immediate impact (e.g., "zero-day" vulnerabilities) are identified or reported. Maintain up-to-date information on software vendors, version numbers, and deployment states to support vulnerability management.

Ensure that access to data is limited to only those that need it on a day to day basis. The most vunerable part of your business is human error. Provide continous security training to your employees on data security, cyber threats and how to identify potential security breaches.

Conduct Regular Audit Logging

To ensure you are maintaining optimal data protection generate audit logs that record user activities, exceptions, and security events. Specify auditable event types and the frequency of auditing for each identified event. Systems that process sensitive information should create secure audit records each time a user accesses, creates, updates, or archives the data. Review and analyze audit records regularly for indications of inappropriate or unusual activity and report findings to appropriate security personnel.

Set Protection of Logging Information

Restrict access to audit logs and auditing tools to those with a job-related need. Protect logging systems and audit log information against tampering and unauthorized access. Record both authorized and unauthorized access attempts to auditing tools and log information. Security and IT personnel should receive automated alerts in the event of a failed access attempt or audit log processing failure.

Offer Flaw Correction and Fault Logging

Identify, report, and correct system flaws in a timely manner. Examine software and firmware updates for errors. Ensure they function properly and do not create any problems when used in the production environment.

Use automated mechanisms to determine the operational state of system components whenever possible. Review corrective measures for fault logs to ensure that security controls have not been compromised due to system flaws or faults.

Install Cyber Security Controls

Consistently oversee and maintain technical security measures to safeguard and strengthen the reliability of information systems, including vital applications and infrastructure devices. Monitor information systems to detect attacks and indicators of potential attacks. Investigate any identified anomalous activity to understand the potential impact of detected events.

Perform Regular Penetration Testing

Implement a documented process for penetration testing, including a full scope of testing for network infrastructure, wireless access points, information system-based, and web application attacks. Conduct external and internal penetration tests at least annually to identify vulnerabilities and attack vectors. Remediate any findings based on their criticality.

Utilize Boundary Defense Solutions

Protect your organization from data infiltration or exfiltration by deploying boundary defense solutions. These controls help protect against sabotage, espionage, data leakage, and insider threats. Limit access to trusted and necessary IP address ranges at each network boundary. Decrypt encrypted network traffic at the boundary proxy for content analysis, using whitelists of allowed sites when appropriate.

Physical Security

While digital security is crucial, the importance of physical security cannot be understated. Physical security involves protecting personnel, hardware, software, networks, and data from physical actions and events that could cause significant loss or damage. The following tips will help improve organizational physical security.

Establish Physical Security Perimeters

Use walls, card-controlled entry doors, and staffed reception desks to protect organization facilities, especially areas containing sensitive information or information systems. Implement additional access controls for data centers or other high-risk areas. Ensure that doors and windows in rooms containing information systems are locked when unattended.

Ensure Physical Entry Controls are in Place

Secure areas should have appropriate entry controls to allow access only to authorized personnel. Monitor physical access to facilities using intrusion alarms and surveillance equipment. Review physical access logs regularly and when potential events are identified. Implement video cameras or other access control mechanisms to monitor individual access to sensitive areas.

Implement External and Environmental Threat Protection

Protect your organization from damage caused by fires, floods, earthquakes, explosions, civil unrest, and other environmental or human-made disasters. Install fire detectors, alarms, and fire suppression systems in facilities and secure areas containing information systems. Use water or moisture detection devices to detect leaks or potential flooding. Ensure master shutoff valves are installed, accessible, and functioning properly.

Provide Safe Equipment Placement and Protection

Locate information systems and devices in secure areas. Protect equipment from environmental threats and hazards, and secure it to reduce opportunities for unauthorized access. Assess supporting utilities before installing new infrastructure devices, servers, or systems to ensure they can support the new hardware. Restrict physical access to wireless access points, gateways, network hardware, communications hardware, and telecommunication lines.

Manage Supporting Utilities

Ensure that supporting utilities, such as electricity, natural gas, water supplies, sewage, and HVAC, are adequate for the systems and personnel they support. Implement an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for equipment that supports critical business operations. Test emergency lighting regularly to ensure its proper function in case of a power failure.

Provide Security for Power and Telecommunications Cabling

Protect power and telecommunications cabling from interception, interference, or damage. Use clearly identifiable cable markings to minimize handling errors. Control physical access to information system distribution and transmission lines within an organisation's facilities. Organize cables neatly and label them to prevent unintentional errors.

Secure Information Assets while Off-Premises

Do not allow computers, peripherals, paperwork, reports, software, or other information assets to be taken offsite without prior authorization. Deploy full-disk encryption on all laptops. Train personnel on the proper use of information assets off-premises and hold them accountable for their actions. If you have data breaches or breaches of physical assets ensure you have a written and accessible incident response plan.

Protect Physical Media in Transit

Safeguard media containing information from unauthorized access, misuse, and corruption during transportation beyond the organisation's physical boundaries. Encrypt media before moving it offsite. Maintain an inventory of physical media transferred outside of the organization. Require offsite archiving or long-term storage providers to submit an inventory of organizational media and test their security controls annually.

Create a security program with the support of everyone involved. This will help improve security in your organization. Follow these suggestions to make it effective.

Conclusion

Employing both digital and physical security measures will effectively shield your organization from various threats, ensuring its ongoing prosperity. If you require assistance in identifying potential risks to your organization, reach out to Rock Security Solutions today. Our experienced security teams have safeguarded renowned brands around the world.

Take your security to the next level and get in touch with us at Rock Security Solutions.
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