Thought leadership. Threat analysis. Cybersecurity news and alerts.
Why is Segregation of Duties Between IT and Cybersecurity Critical for Your Business?
Neglecting your cybersecurity means neglecting your business’s future.
It’s that simple. Every company has to take effective action to minimize its risk of a data breach, leveraging the latest, most effective measures to combat hackers. Software specialists Citrix is just one of the latest brands to come under attack: it’s believed as much as 10TB may have been stolen.
Furthermore, the criminals are said to have gained access to the system through ‘password spraying’, or simply guessing weak, common passwords.
It’s paramount to ensure your business is protected and prepared to deal with any serious cyberattack sent your way. One key aspect of safeguarding your company is Segregation of Duties between IT and cybersecurity. What does that mean and how do you do it?
Segregation of Duties (or SoD) revolves around keeping multiple people involved with achieving a specific goal, whatever the task at hand may be. Though it started as a process to minimize the danger of mistakes or fraudulent activities, SoD has evolved into an important security issue.
All tasks covered require authorization from two parties to prove integrity and defend against breaches. All individuals involved in undertaking a process of any size would have to be in agreement before the task can be completed.
Segregation of Duties is so important because it takes absolute power out of the hands of any one person within your company, offering greater peace of mind and caution. SoD spreads the privileges for everyone’s benefit and makes cybercriminals’ ‘work’ a little harder
Key Benefits of Segregation of Duties
Segregation of Duties offers businesses numerous compelling benefits, including the following:
Reduce the risk of inside attacks
You trust your employees to work with your system every day. You expect them to be respectful, careful and loyal. You put your faith in them to help steer your company toward success.
And yet, inside attacks are a sad reality of cybersecurity breaches. Not only can an issue caused from the inside be more difficult to detect until it’s too late, but it can be particularly devastating on an emotional level if the attack was intentional.
Dealing with a mistake is one thing. But knowing that an employee you paid and supported facilitated an attack can leave you, and their colleagues, struggling to trust others in the future.
Oversights may cause accidental inside attacks too. This may be down to an employee downloading an attachment from a suspicious email, failing to follow standard practice when making company payments or something equally minor.
Segregation of Duties takes care of all this. For example, if one worker is preparing to download a new tool but requires another’s agreement first, they may discover a security risk before any harm is done.
This reduces the danger of genuine accidents caused by ignorance and acts as a deterrent for insiders looking to sabotage the business.
Should any attacks take place, it’s far easier to determine which party must have been responsible just by addressing those individuals with access. This is much more difficult when everyone in the company uses every aspect of the system without restraint.
Less power is up for grabs
Imagine if a hacker manages to gain access to your system by cracking an employee’s login details. Imagine if said employee has full access to every tool, every database, every service — a criminal could basically take control of your business and cause monumental damage before they’re shut down.
With Segregation of Duties, you can minimize the power any hacker would wield should they find a way into your network. Accounts are shared between a small group of people and only they have authorized entry. Any sign of unexpected activity within those accounts would indicate a potential issue.
Furthermore, all aspects of your company which require a different set of credentials to enter would be secure. This allows you to focus your attention on the problem areas rather than addressing the entire company.
Accounts and credentials are easier to manage
Businesses implementing SoD can manage access and credentials more easily in the event of a crisis.
Specifically, creating new logins for a compromised account is much easier with just two people to update. It’s a convenient, faster process with less room for error.
Segregation of Duties Between IT and Cybersecurity
Segregation of Duties between your IT department and cybersecurity specialists is vital for increasing your reinforcing business’s defense against hackers.
Your IT team may be experienced, well-trained and qualified, but they have to make sure they’re up-to-date on the latest risks, techniques and solutions in cybersecurity. Without this knowledge, they’re more likely to make mistakes when updating systems, maintaining your network or working with vendors.
Again, SoD means making sure your IT specialists are accountable and have to run their intentions by someone else. The smallest oversight could end up causing massive disruptions and effectively shut your business down on a temporary (or possibly permanent) basis.
Segregation of Duties demands a responsible approach: keep track of which individuals have access to specific accounts and which are authorized to perform certain tasks. Make sure to limit any crossover that could cause problems, such as putting the same person in two or three teams. This may lead to a conflict of interest and questionable choices.
Working with experienced cybersecurity experts is crucial for companies of all sizes, across all industries. Businesses have to take charge of their own protection and implement strategies designed to limit the damage a single attack is capable of.
All companies must stay organized and plan ahead when implementing a SoD strategy. Cybersecurity professionals can advise you on the major threats your business faces and how best to protect against them.
Cybersecurity experts will help you understand what that involves, how to implement Segregation of Duties and combat even the most creative cybercriminals.
Want to learn what The Driz Group can do for your company? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated teamnow.
Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP