Operations & Security: The Cost of Misalignment

  • Team Omega
  • September 1, 2022

Cyber attacks and threats have grown in frequency over recent years and have resulted in organizations spending more on security than ever before. However, while businesses have worked to align with cybersecurity efforts, many security teams have had trouble with aligning their own objectives with that of operations. The disconnect between operational leadership and security departments is prevalent across industries, and this is often because of the difference in language and thinking between the teams. If the value of the technology or efforts aren’t quantified in financial terms by cybersecurity leaders, then operational leaders are left in the dark and strategies are misaligned.

The Consequences & Costs of Misalignment

With conflicting priorities between security and operations teams, the consequences can be any number of things, including slower incident response, unknown endpoints, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the most common results of misalignment and how they affect your objectives and bottom line.

Unknown Endpoints

As a security leader, you’ve probably been asked to answer the question “how secure are we?” by operational leaders in your organization. When you’re misaligned, you’re likely to have unknown endpoints, as 94% of IT decision-makers discovered in 2022, making it impossible to confidently answer that question. The result of these unknown endpoints is an insecure system full of gaps and holes for hackers to exploit. By properly aligning operations and security objectives, you’ll get a better understanding of your growing attack surface and create a streamlined approach to endpoint management that will help you avoid being part of the 69% of organizations who have experienced breaches through their unknown endpoints.

Unknown or Inactive Users

When a company prioritizes growth over their cybersecurity initiatives, they often add users without consulting their security professionals or neglect to inform their security teams when user credentials need to be removed. As with unknown endpoints, these unknown and inactive users offer hackers gaps and holes they can leverage to their advantage. Operations that have operations and security teams aligned must have a cohesive user management strategy that ensures only active, known users are able to access company systems and assets to mitigate any additional risk.

Slow Incident Response & Containment

At the end of 2021, Accenture released a report on the subject of cyber resilience depending upon the strength of an organization’s alignment. When the study analyzed how the different kinds of organizations performed, they found that the more vulnerable groups had difficulty in every area, including finding and fixing breaches faster and reducing breach impact where possible. If operations and security teams aren’t on the same page and prioritizing the same goals, they’re affected more by attacks and stand to see more losses because of it.

Unnecessary Data Storage

With the expected growth of interconnected devices to grow by 6.25x by 2030, the endless growth in the amount of data the average organization creates and captures is immense. However, that points to a vast amount of data being unnecessarily stored by organizations who aren’t properly aligning their operational and cybersecurity goals. When both departments are aligned, security teams gain the visibility they need into their data storage and attack surface, giving them the ability to strategize according to the security needs of the business and, ultimately, revenue.

How Can You Align Your Cybersecurity Efforts with Your Operations?

As varied as this approach can be from one environment to another, you can first start by creating an open line of communication between your security and operations teams. With this, both departments will come to understand each other’s language and how to align on joint objectives. Once you have this established, you need to create a unified and secure endpoint management strategy that helps you enable full alignment between operations and security teams.

With this, you’ll see an in-depth defense that raises a hacker’s cost of intrusion to a breaking point and closes visibility gaps across your attack surface. With this, security teams and operational leaders are able to work on cyber resilience strategies that both mitigate the average loss of a breach and decrease risk in the first place.

As more companies face the changing cybersecurity landscape, investments in their security will keep rising, with some coming from proper security-operations understanding. Once an organization aligns its cybersecurity objectives with their overall operational strategy, they can expect better overall results and have the advantage over their competition with increased cyber resilience when they need it most. If you need help bringing together your IT and security operations teams, contact Omega to learn more about how we can help.