A brief end of year review: How to recalibrate your security strategy to fit new business realities

You’ve reached the end of the year. Things have begun to calm down. You can finally take a pause to:

  • Review what’s changed over the last year. 
  • Identify where your security  and IT strategy has not caught up to those changes.
  • Begin to recalibrate your strategy to realign with your new reality.

This end-of-year exercise is always useful, but in 2020 it’s absolutely critical. Here’s a simple framework you can follow to get started.

Don’t Drown in the Details: Focus on Your Big Changes

In 2020, so much has changed that it can be hard to know where to start.

You were forced to compress years’ worth of digital transformation activities into just a few months — without the chance to plan, prepare and ease into your new reality.

“All the plans you had in place in some cases run counter to what you have to do now to drive the team, deliver to the business, and support our customers.” – Ralph Loura, Lumentum, Chief Information Officer

If you try to recalibrate your strategy to every little thing you have changed over the last year, you will quickly drown in the details.

Instead, to start, just focus on the biggest changes you made in 2020. 

  •  You moved the majority of your workforce out of the office and into their homes, flooding your environment with new, remote, unmanaged devices.
  • You adopted a wealth of new cloud-based applications and infrastructure, and now must operate with new levels of agility, scalability and visibility.
  • You dissolved your hardened perimeter, removing many of your security controls and reducing your ability to protect your users, devices and data.

As you take stock of 2020, first make sure you have caught up to these changes.

Identify where you have already evolved to accommodate them and where you still must recalibrate your strategy to realign to your new reality.

Here’s a simple way to do just that.

Answer a Few Questions to Find the Gaps in Your Strategy

Take a brief moment, and ask yourself the following questions. Each “no” will identify a gap where your strategy has not caught up to your reality.

How Well Have We Adapted to Increased WFH?

  • Can we identify all remote devices and applications?
  • Can we patch, update, configure and control them?
  • Can we perform these actions without big bandwidth consumption?

How Well Have We Adapted to Cloud-First Operations?

  • Can we easily spin up new capabilities?
  • Can we see all new cloud applications our users have adopted?

How Well Have We Adapted to Our New Security Landscape?

  • Can we set and enforce new security policies at scale?
  • Can we apply all of our on-premises controls to WFH environments?
  • Can we maintain fundamental IT hygiene on all of our remote endpoints?

Once you answer these questions, your next steps are simple. Take each question that you answered “no” and begin to list out the people, processes and tooling you will need to turn your answers into “yes”.

With this simple list, you will begin to define a clear, practical picture of how to recalibrate your strategy in 2021 to realign to your new reality.

To learn more, download this Minding the IT Gaps whitepaper which discusses how a unified approach to IT management closes major gaps in business resilience, visibility and accountability.

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