Security is NOT an IT Problem - It’s a Business Resilience Problem

July 6, 2016  |  Kristina Moyer

Security is NOT an IT problem…it’s a business resilience problem.”

Tim Foley
Sr. Manager of Information Security
and Strategic Consulting at Dataprise

That was the theme at Dataprise’s Information Security Symposium on June 16th at the Dataprise Corporate Office and Technology Center in Rockville, MD. Over 50 business leaders joined this intimate event eager to discover more about the latest best practices and proactive risk management approaches related to Information Security. Below are a few highlights from the event:

security is business resilience problem
Charles Ames, the State of Maryland’s Chief Information Security Officer, Delivering Keynote Speech at Dataprise’s Information Security Symposium

The evening kicked off with the State of Maryland’s Chief Information Security Officer, Charles Ames, delivering a keynote speech focusing on the question of how much security is enough and the aftermath of a security attack to a business. He spoke to the audience about the importance of understanding who your users are, what devices they are using, and fully comprehending administrative rights on your network. He also shared with attendees the eye-opening fact found in Verizon’s 2016 Breach Incident Report that 97% of breaches used legitimate third-party access to attack. Ames ended his keynote discussing what his team is working on within their Security Program to establish a Cyber Secure Maryland, including policy, baselining, centralizing security controls, threat identification and continuous diagnosis and mitigation.

The Weakest Link

Following the insight from Charles Ames, a panel discussion moderated by Tim Foley, Senior Manager of Information Security & Strategic Consulting at Dataprise, then began featuring Ames and the following panelists:

  • Joe Schreiber, Director of Solutions Architecture at AlienVault,
  • Sean Ferrrara, Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) at Dataprise

The discussion focused on key security topics such as the biggest trends, threats and the shift in how organizations are viewing security. But one of the most discussed points concentrated on the weakest link in every business’ security: employees.

panel on security trends
Discussion Panel at Dataprise’s Information Security Symposium

“The weakest link in any organization is our people. They are our most valuable asset and are also our most vulnerable asset,” stated Ferrara. The discussion continued on, focusing on employee training, policy alignment with business culture, and the importance of executive buy-in.

The panel also highlighted the importance of having an established security program and ensuring it aligns with overall business goals and objectives. “Tools have outputs, programs have outcomes and when we’re putting together an information security program, the business needs and the needs of the organization are going to drive what we would like the outcome to be,” stated Foley.

The discussion also dove into ways businesses can prevent attacks and protect themselves from attacks happening in the first place. “Complacency is the enemy of vigilance, which is the key factor of any security operations center,” stated Schreiber in reference to the downside of using tools such as machine-learning, “and we want to keep that intact no matter the tool that’s used.”

Assess, Protect, Detect, Respond


The third segment of the symposium was a series of workshops discussing Dataprise’s Cybersecurity Intelligence Lifecycle (CSIL).

“If you don’t know where you are, how will you know where you are going or when you will get there,” presenter Sean Ferrara informed the audience regarding the Assess phase and highlighted the necessity of identifying critical business assets and associated risks in conjunction with understanding the threat landscape. Ferrara shared a variety of assessment solutions such as security gap assessments and PCI baseline analysis that aide organizations in achieving this goal.

Tim Foley introduced the Protect phase by engaging the audience with layered defenses aka “Defense in Depth,” which include elements such as anti-virus, offsite backups, security awareness training, phishing campaigns, and application whitelisting. He emphasized the need to protect critical assets with network security solutions and covered some of the differences in priorities of a CIO versus a CISO.

Tim Foley on protect phase
Tim Foley, Manager of Information Security and Strategic Consulting at Dataprise, discussing the Protect phase of the CSIL Wheel.

Joe Schreiber and Dataprise SOC Lead Lee Thomas Hagen led the way in discussing the importance of the Detect phase within the CSIL wheel. Schreiber and Hagen drove home that collecting data through firewalls, servers, routers, databases and more is critical for compliance requirements, increased speed of mind, and environmental awareness. Solutions such as Unified Security Management (USM) and periodic security log review help business’ identify threats and vulnerabilities and allow for enhanced transparency to drive better business decisions.

“You’re going to be hacked. Have a plan,” was the quote from the FBI Cyber Division Director that Tim Foley started off the final presentation with in the Respond phase. He covered key items such as overall business impact of breaches, the need to respond, remediate, and recover, and solutions to aid organizations with security planning, such as managed remote backups, incident response programs, and business continuity planning.

The discussion and questions continued after the final presentation with a cocktail hour and networking session.

Overall, the event was a success for Dataprise and left audience members with a new point-of-view on security. “I enjoyed the contrast of perspectives from folks with different experience,” stated a Director of IT who attended the event. “Mr. Ames offered a great executive viewpoint, Mr. Schreiber had a bit more technical detail and perspective, and Mr. Foley and Mr. Ferrara could blend the business and the technical together.”

To view resources from our event, please visit us.

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