Top 10 Security Priorities For Spring and Summer 2016

When it comes to information security, there’s a lot of free advice out there, especially at large security shows. We’ve all learned the lessons of free advice over the years: Some must be avoided, but there are valuable lessons to be learned. Sifting through all the messages from the keynotes, breakout sessions and trainings from the past few months’ security conferences, what is it that these people are trying to tell us?

10 Security Priorities for Spring and Summer

Here is a list of the top takeaways from this year’s early security conferences. These are areas you need to have on your radar this spring and summer to ensure that you’re keeping up with the times while running your information security program.

Understand Your Data

  1. Know your data and what it’s trying to tell you. Security event correlation and analytics have been mainstream for over a decade, yet we still cannot seem to get a grasp on what’s happening and what can be learned from repeating trends.
  2. Implement the proper protective measures against malware. New-school tactics against advanced malware at the endpoint and network levels are proving much more beneficial than old-school antivirus that’s still pervasive in the enterprise.
  3. Understand the compliance regulations and what they’re trying to tell you about how you’re (mis)handling sensitive information. Are new regulations needed to get more businesses to comply? I think not, but I suspect it’s coming.

Understand Technology

  1. Get to know your network, especially all those undocumented IoT devices that are taking network complexity in the wrong direction.
  2. Learn how your cloud services are being used. Data is going out to places that you probably aren’t even aware of, often against internal policy, contractual requirements or government regulations.
  3. Work on your mobile management implementation. This is essential because it relates to protecting data on the devices and dealing with the slew of mobile apps that are creating untold risks across your user base.
  4. Understand how you’re dealing with encryption, including how your standards meet existing regulatory requirements. You should also outline forthcoming approaches to lock things down.

Focus on the People Involved

  1. Respond — don’t just react — to security incidents and confirmed breaches. There’s both an art and a science to the incident response process that very few have yet to master.
  2. Transfer the security message to the C-suite. You must find ways to make it stick. This could include having conversations around business liability and redirecting risks to others.
  3. Deal with privacy as it relates to customers, employees and the business at large. You’ll be forced to navigate current regulations and approaches as they fail, while expectations for increased privacy grow at the same time.

Staying on Top of Security

You don’t need to attend the latest security shows or even read all the headlines to understand what’s going on in and around information security today. It’s more of the same with periodic tweaks to accommodate for the nuances of doing business in the modern world. Where do you stand? Where do you want to be? What are your lawyers willing to defend?

Determine what’s important and ask the tough questions. Drastic improvements can be made if the will is there.

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Kevin Beaver

Independent Information Security Consultant

Kevin Beaver is an information security consultant, writer, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC. With over 29 years of experience in IT and 23 years specializing in security, Kevin performs independent security assessments and consulting to help businesses uncheck the boxes that keep creating a false sense of security. He has authored/co-authored 12 books on information security, including the best-selling "Hacking For Dummies" and "The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance." In addition, Kevin is the creator of the Security On Wheels information security audiobooks and blog providing security learning for IT professionals on the go. You can learn more and link to Kevin's articles, blog posts, videos and more at his website,