SecOps represents a collaboration between IT security and operations teams, attempting to improve and maintain security while maximizing operational efficiency. For this strategy to work, you need effective monitoring.
But why? And what steps can you take to incorporate more effective monitoring?
The Importance of SecOps Monitoring
SecOps monitoring and observability are both important if you want to improve the efficiency and security of your organization without spending excessive time, money, or effort on the process. Improving SecOps monitoring can help you in several ways, including:
- Potential threat prevention. Actively monitoring on a continuous basis means you have the potential to prevent and mitigate certain types of threats. If you catch a pattern of suspicious behavior, you might be able to intervene before you experience a data breach. Because data breaches and other cybersecurity threats are so expensive, even a single instance of preventative action could save your business a fortune.
- Alerts and threat responsiveness. If you’re unable to respond to a threat in time, or if the threat unfolds before you could possibly react to it, an active monitoring system can provide you with an alert that allows you to mobilize faster. Because you can respond to the threat as quickly as possible, you can minimize downtime, mitigate damage, and ultimately solve the problem fast.
- Long-term data analytics. If you employ consistent monitoring and keep tabs on data, you’ll eventually collect enough information that you can take advantage of long-term analytics. You can study patterns and trends throughout your organization and use that information to improve your SecOps and your IT department overall.
How to Improve SecOps Monitoring
So what steps can you take to improve SecOps monitoring in your organization?
- Keep compliance in mind. If you’re concerned about compliance, it should be one of your highest priorities. If you’re legally obligated to protect data in certain ways or comply with certain data security standards, you need to ensure that your monitoring processes are within the parameters established by law. You’ll also need to be able to prove the security standards you have in place, so be ready to provide reports and evidence if necessary.
- Make it continuous. Your monitoring should be continuous, running 24/7, as security threats can hit your business at any time of day and any day of the week. Accordingly, you should have security experts on standby constantly, so if your monitoring systems flag a threat, they’ll be able to intervene and mitigate the threat as quickly as possible. If you don’t employ continuous monitoring, you’ll increase the delay between noticing and attack and responding to it.
- Monitor for both internal and external threats. It’s tempting to think of the biggest security threats to your organization as being exclusively external, but you also need to think about potential internal threats. A sufficiently disgruntled or malicious employee can easily access data, steal assets, or cause damage to your infrastructure. In another use case, network monitoring and observability tools can help you identify configuration management issues that don’t follow your organization’s policies. Accordingly, your monitoring systems need to be prepared for all kinds of different threats, so you’re never blindsided by a threat you didn’t consider.
- Incorporate automation. One of the best ways to improve your SecOps monitoring is to incorporate more automation. Automated systems are more efficient than manual systems, since they don’t require manual time or effort spent by your employees. In the long run, they tend to be very inexpensive. Additionally, automated systems typically rely on programmatic inputs and algorithms, so they tend to be much more consistent and less likely to make mistakes than human employees.
- Set appropriate alerts. The faster you can respond to a security threat, the better. That’s why it’s important to set alerts for certain types of suspicious actions in your organization. Your top security experts should get immediate notifications whenever something looks off – and they should be prepared to step in immediately.
- Have an action plan. Similarly, it’s important to have an action plan. How are your top team members supposed to respond to the biggest threats facing your organization? What steps can they take to mitigate these threats? Are they educated and trained enough to be confident in handling them? Is there a checklist or set of straightforward steps they can follow?
- Conduct regular audits and improve. Conduct periodic audits of your SecOps systems to analyze your effectiveness and scan for weaknesses. Are there certain areas where your monitoring system underperforms? What steps can you take to improve your performance in this area?
In SecOps, monitoring is one of your most important tools. It equips you with the resources and transparency you need to proactively prevent certain threats and quickly respond to others. With the right strategies in place, you’ll stand a much better chance of keeping your company secure – all without exhausting your budget or overworking your employees.