A Straightforward Workflow to Define Your Cloud Security Strategy

Security is a big concern for organizations of pretty much every size and shape. Once you have organization-wide agreement that security is a priority (for most companies today, this is a no-brainer), it’s time to get to work.

So where do you start? Of course, you’ll need an individual or an interdisciplinary group to lead your security initiatives, but beyond that, it’s a matter of focusing on the right things at the right time to get your security program up and running as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Getting it done right should always be an objective, and getting it done quickly is also highly desirable — especially if you have a legal or customer requirement to become more secure.

In our latest webinar, “Automating Security and Compliance for Your Cloud Deployment,” Chris Gervais, Threat Stack’s VP of Engineering, and Katie Paugh, G2 Technology Group’s Security Architect discussed a simple workflow that every company can follow to successfully implement an effective security plan. Watch the full recording or read the main points below. Read more “A Straightforward Workflow to Define Your Cloud Security Strategy”

5 Security Blogs Your CFO Needs to Read

5 Security Blogs Your CFO Needs to Read

Before I started working at Threat Stack, security was not always at the top of my priority list. Now, as the CFO of a leading cloud security company, I’ve learned to take a more holistic view of security: I still view it as a necessity that ensures the safety of an organization’s data and systems, of course, but I also understand that it can be a powerful business enabler and business driver.

Put another way, I no longer view security as just an expense (a “necessary evil”?), and see it as an investment that adds ongoing value throughout the organization and beyond as it not only provides foundational security, but also bolsters corporate reputation, adds confidence to customer relations, streamlines sales cycles, reassures board members and investors, helps with achieving compliance, and so on.

In spite of the huge value it adds, security can still be something of a hard sell — especially in companies where resources, including budget, are limited. With that in mind, I want to use this post to share some of the things I’ve learned as CFO at Threat Stack. Read more “5 Security Blogs Your CFO Needs to Read”

When It’s Time To Put An Engine In Your Cloud Security Lifeboat

Oftentimes companies wait until they grow to a certain size or have a full technology stack before they begin thinking seriously about security. The problem with this is that, statistically, it’s a matter of when you will have a security problem, not if.

So our observation is: If you wait until your company reaches some arbitrary milestone before implementing mature security practices, you may already be late to the game. (If you’ll pardon the obvious, it’s not a great practice to put your life jacket on after your boat gets in trouble; it’s much better to put it on at the very start — i.e., as soon as you board the boat.)

Security maturity actually has nothing to do with the size of your operations — and a great deal to do with how you manage the risk that is inherent in any environment. Even in the smallest companies, security can have a major impact. And we’re not just talking about implementing two-factor authentication or using VPNs (although these are, of course, important). We’re talking about the importance of starting to use a comprehensive approach to monitoring and protecting your infrastructure (on-prem, cloud, or hybrid) as early as possible.

The good news is, today you don’t need dozens of security tools or a major budget to start building end-to-end protection. But you do need to be smart about when and how you implement security. If you haven’t integrated security into your operations from Day 1, this post reviews four transformative events (planned or otherwise) that signal when it’s time to get serious about your organization’s cloud security maturity. Read more “When It’s Time To Put An Engine In Your Cloud Security Lifeboat”

How to Adapt Your Risk Management Strategy for the Cloud

Security has always been about accepting and managing risk. It’s not about becoming the most secure company; its goal is to protect against likely threats to your unique organization. But how do you know when a new risk crops up? And how can you stay on top of this in a rapidly changing cloud environment with more endpoints to monitor?

Fortunately, the cloud doesn’t just introduce new risks. It also offers new opportunities for successful risk management. And while managing risk in the cloud may seem overwhelming, it can actually become a lot more streamlined if you do it right. In this post, we’ll explain how risk management is different in the cloud and how you can adapt with a few simple shifts to your current approach. Read more “How to Adapt Your Risk Management Strategy for the Cloud”

5 Cloud Security Tips for Emerging Tech Companies

True or false: Companies born in the cloud naturally understand security.

Young and tech-savvy companies running in the cloud often deal with the same cloud security issues as larger organizations that are moving to the cloud from legacy or on-prem solutions. In fact, the unique requirements of tech companies — like continuous development cycles and cutting-edge, rapidly evolving processes — can sometimes add even more complexity to security. If you fall into this camp, you may find this blog useful. In it, we’ve rounded up some of our best advice so you can learn how to strengthen your cloud security posture and start building out a cloud security strategy starting now, without a big drain on your budget and resources. Read more “5 Cloud Security Tips for Emerging Tech Companies”

The Three Pillars of Continuous Security Improvement

Security should never be a one-and-done proposition: It requires a continuous improvement mindset to keep you on top of security initiatives and to accommodate new issues as you detect them. Once your security program is up and running, you need to measure, evaluate, and modify it on an ongoing basis to maintain or improve your results. This doesn’t necessarily require a ton of time and effort; it simply requires a strategy.

So today, we want to take a look at what it takes to build an effective security program with continuous improvement at its core. In our view, there are three key pillars to continuous security improvement, and if you have been following along with our Starting Your Cloud Security Journey blog post series, then you’ll be well-acquainted with these concepts. Read more “The Three Pillars of Continuous Security Improvement”

How to Answer Your Board’s Tough Security Questions

Picture the scene: You’re at the monthly board of directors meeting when someone asks, “So, what are you guys doing about security?”

Even two years ago, a CSA survey found that security was a board-level concern at 61% of companies.  Why?

High-profile breaches have certainly made everyone conscious of cyber security issues, and as awareness and knowledge have grown, boards have begun to take a direct interest in the security of the companies they have invested in. Given that there are very real monetary and reputational consequences to a security breach,  board members want to know what steps you are taking to prevent one. Read more “How to Answer Your Board’s Tough Security Questions”

Don’t Make Perfect Security the Enemy of Good Security

We’ve written before about what it means to meet compliance standards without going completely overboard. Today, we want to talk about how that applies to cloud security as well. Some teams mistakenly believe that their security posture needs to be absolutely perfect. That’s not only overwhelming — it’s impossible.

More to the point, the reality of today’s security landscape is that cybercriminals are always looking for the path of least resistance. If company A has reasonably good security safeguards in place and company B does not, criminals aren’t going to waste resources poking at company A until they find a weakness. They’ll go after company B.

This is why we tell organizations that, when it comes to security, perfect can often be the enemy of good. Rather than trying to make your organization perfectly airtight, it’s time to focus on making your company as unappealing an attack target as possible. Here’s how. Read more “Don’t Make Perfect Security the Enemy of Good Security”

Planning Your Cloud Security Program

As we stated in the introduction to this blog post series, our purpose is to give you insight into the issues you should address when you are at the early stages of establishing a cloud security program.

If your organization is just starting out on its cloud security journey — whether it’s a rapidly growing startup or a more established company — it’s important to develop a strategic security roadmap that’s suited to its early-stage maturity level. You should not reasonably expect to go from no security or rudimentary security to a full-blown, encompassing program in one step. It’s far better to take a graduated approach by defining objectives that will give you reasonable protection now, that won’t drain your budget and resources (and possibly divert critical resources and attention away from your company’s primary business goals) — and that will also serve as a rock solid platform to build on when you want to move up to the next level of maturity on the cloud security ladder.

What you need is an end-to-end roadmap that will get you started in cloud security monitoring, address your first round of security concerns, and noticeably and measurably improve your security stance, all in a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable expenditure of money and resources.  

And that’s exactly what we’ll do in this post: walk through five steps that will help you develop a strategic action plan that includes defined goals and is targeted at your organization’s specific maturity level, needs, and resources. Read more “Planning Your Cloud Security Program”

Why You Can’t Wait Until a Security Person is Hired

Organizations wait to implement security solutions for a variety of reasons. One that we often hear is that they’re looking to land that cloud service security expert to help them make all the right product selections and correctly implement and maintain the solutions they choose.

This would be great in a perfect world: these organizations would make that hire, buy those products, and start improving security.

Unfortunately there’s a big gap between the ideal world and the one we actually operate in. Read more “Why You Can’t Wait Until a Security Person is Hired”