May 19, 2021 | By Mike Mulligan
Specialized IT security teams solve for current recovery needs and future resilience
Security is everything. It affects every person, process and product in an enterprise—yet security has often been pushed to the background. Once a global pandemic scattered the workforce and expanded each company's security perimeter to home offices, even organizations with mature security operations had to rethink their approach to prioritizing IT security.
As the threat landscape has matured, IT security teams have struggled to keep pace. How can your company keep up with the momentum of digital transformation and volume of sophisticated cyberthreats? By building specialized IT security teams. Here are five key reasons to build talented, specialized IT security teams.
1. Your security team is stretched too thin
Many organizations depend on a select few individuals and teams to protect their global enterprise with thousands of employees. Security teams were already operating at capacity and outnumbered by bad actors before the pandemic. Facing a public health crisis, organizations focused on continued operations and business continuity by facilitating remote work. Organizations quickly deployed company assets, and, in many cases, employees used personal devices to access company data.
By focusing on business continuity, organizations prioritized agility. This exposed the enterprise to additional risk and created blind spots for security teams already straining to protect remote assets. Automation and new tools have stemmed the tide but also created new problems. Overburdened security teams have had to manage an expanded risk profile and need support and investment. Building a specialized security team can lighten the load.
2. There’s a cybersecurity talent shortage
The cybersecurity talent shortage isn’t new and will likely be an ongoing challenge. With the evolution of remote work, companies can now search outside their area for top cybersecurity talent—so can top candidates. This is an excellent development for the market for both employers and employees and a fantastic step in combating the cyber talent shortage. Instead of seeking cybersecurity professionals who have already mastered every skill, look for skilled talent who can learn. Look more for cultural fit, personality and motivation. Many of these skills may already exist inside of your organization.
Because cyberthreats change, build a team with strengths in problem-solving, innovation and collaboration. Your key innovators and collaborators likely need to come from core business operation areas like finance. These additions will help align solving business problems and moving the business forward with security. Round out your team by looking for foundational engineering skills, automation, AI and machine learning. Added team members from these disciplines bring a depth of expertise that equip your security team to better defend specific risk areas.
TEKsystems Tip:Build specialized teams. Focus on upskilling your current talent pool and working with partners to help bridge the gaps.
Our team suggests, “Teach what you can teach. Hire what you can’t.” Take the time to invest in the people on your security team. Bridge the remaining gaps by working with a risk management and cybersecurity services partner. This approach is more cost-effective than attempting to buy 24/7/365 cybersecurity support. It’s also more practical than relying on only one or two cybersecurity experts to fortify the enterprise.
3. Your current security operations are inefficient and full of redundancies
Many companies currently have redundancies across different layers of their security organization. Separate security teams with similar skills are performing similar tasks, and they aren’t working together. This leads to inadequate security measures in some areas and an overabundance of measures in others.
By building specialized security teams with existing talent, companies can reduce redundancies and provide relief to the existing security organization. What does this look like in practice? Let’s say a company has employees using tools to monitor applications. Those employees could monitor middleware or infrastructure as members of specialized security teams.
4. Specialized IT security teams break down silos
Breaking down existing silos can improve cyber hygiene, limit risk exposure and drive your business forward. Where can breaking down silos really benefit a business? Try integrating your security operations center (SOC) and network operations center (NOC) teams.
TEKsystems Tip:Break down the silos. Look for redundancies across your security teams and tear down the silos to generate synergies and efficiencies.
Use specialized security operations (SecOps) teams to ease the friction between siloed IT operations and IT security teams. The business continuity focus of IT operations often competes with the security operations focus of securing the business. SecOps fosters collaboration between IT security and IT operations teams to enable and secure the business at the same time. This partnership can support both speed and security of delivery and resolution.
5. Specialized IT security teams promote security culture and build resilience
Companies that strategically build specialized security teams foster visibility, communication and collaboration across larger disciplines. Give your security teams a chance to truly understand the business beyond just the technology and help the rest of your company cultivate a security-first mindset.
Because specialized security teams have a wider range of skills and expertise, the collective team is more adaptable to the ever-evolving threat landscape. These teams support cyber resilience by improving your company’s ability to minimize damage and keep the business running should a cyberattack or security incident occur.
Specialized teams can help companies align business strategy with security strategy. Consider a security-first approach to development: your security team working in concert with their product team counterparts to reduce risk exposure and get products to market faster.
Consider adding solutions like specialized IT security teams to your company's security strategy. These solutions will help your organization succeed in the “next normal.”
About the Author
Security executive Mike Mulligan has been in the tech industry for nearly 25 years and has vast experience overseeing market development and revenue growth strategies. In his current role, Mike oversees a growth-oriented segment focused on helping customers solve technology and business challenges within cybersecurity and risk areas. Prior to his current role, Mike worked in a variety of capacities at TEKsystems, starting as a technical recruiter, then growing into roles including senior account executive, where he was highly successful in solving customer problems for Fortune 100 customers in financial services, insurance, and pharmaceutical verticals. Mike has held many sales leadership and product executive roles with a primary and maniacal focus on increasing revenues and expanding market share.
Does your security strategy include building a culture where security is the cornerstone that enables your business? Read more about how to bring security to the forefront in TEKsystems’ Security issue of Version Next, Now.