Network security policy changes
Making network security policy changes is a complex, error-prone process that slows down business. Mistakes are common, and they lead to expensive revisions, compliance violations and application outages. These mistakes may also expose critical vulnerabilities that can only be addressed through additional change management processes.
To add to the complexity, the change process often involves multiple devices and teams, including security, networking and application delivery. All these people may have different objectives and communicate using different terminology. Getting team members and stakeholders on the same page is a major challenge for any change management program.
Information systems are not static – and neither is information security
Security leaders who want to take a proactive approach to risk management need to be able to update their security tech stacks in response to emerging threats and new risk models. Organizations with robust IT change management policies can adapt their IT infrastructure to meet these challenges quickly.
For example, effective change management is crucial to maintaining successful firewall configurations. Without a robust set of configuration management policies in place, organizations can easily end up spending resources protecting against yesterday’s threats – and ignoring today’s.
Organizations don’t have unlimited resources to commit to security risks and risk management. It can be tempting to treat security processes like firewall management as one-off processes, but this just leads to forced upgrading and emergency changes down the line. These types of changes are often more difficult and more expensive than the planned, standard changes that come from a well-organized change management plan.
Security policy changes must accommodate the organization’s unique IT security life cycle
Compliance is a major element of leaders’ security management and risk assessment responsibilities. Tech leaders and CISOs have good reason to prioritize compliance issues, but can’t allow themselves to get complacent once compliance is achieved.
Achieving compliance is vital for limiting liability and preventing costly violations. However, compliance does not offer any real guarantees against cyberattacks. It rarely accommodates the impact of changes to security performance metrics in ways that apply to the organization itself.
That’s because every organization is unique. Every organization has its own tech stack made up of a particular set of apps and operating systems. It has its own company culture, with leadership focused on specific strategies and goals, and a workforce made up of unique employees. The organization’s overall attack surface also includes things like publicly available employee data on LinkedIn.
However, compliance is uniform by nature. It provides core guidance for implementing information assurance and security policies to all organizations in a particular context. It isn’t designed to provide a robust change management system that takes an organization’s unique risk profile or incident response operations into account.
That’s the job of the security leader and the organization’s appointed change advisory board. To manage organizational change effectively, these stakeholders have to agree on what successful change control looks like for the organization, identify the relevant metrics, and implement those policies accordingly.
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Changing security policies comes with steep challenges
Security leaders understand the need to adapt policies to address emerging threats while mitigating risk. However, the process of changing those policies is rarely simple.
First, leaders must obtain buy-in from executives and other stakeholders. The plan will undergo scrutiny from every side before it is cleared. Multiple stages of planning, design, and risk analysis are the norm. It’s common for additional requirements and new levels of complexity to work their way into the project.
But the real challenges begin when it’s time to put those policy changes into motion. Security personnel don’t always have visibility into how current and planned policies interact at the level of individual devices and assets. This can lead to unnecessary, redundant changes being made to devices that were already compliant to begin with.
Similarly, manual errors can lead to painstaking policy revisions or lead to unknown vulnerabilities. Accountability errors can lead to complex problems during auditing, making it difficult to pinpoint and address security issues accurately.
These are challenges that face every organization in different ways. Every organization that processes security policy changes manually will commit significant time and resources to addressing them. However, algorithmic policy workflows can dramatically change the way change control works.
Process security policy changes in minutes not days
With AlgoSec you can accurately process security policy changes in minutes or hours, instead of days or weeks.
Using intelligent, highly customizable workflows AlgoSec streamlines and automates the entire security policy change process — from planning and design to proactive risk analysis, implementation on the device, validation and auditing.
As part of the process, AlgoSec closes any unnecessary change requests, such as ones that already work, which helps prevent up to 30% of redundant changes. Additionally, AlgoSec continuously monitors all policy changes and ensures that they correlate to a specific request – to detect and prevent unauthorized, rogue changes.
Every step of the change process is fully documented to track accountability and service-level agreements, as well as provide a complete audit trail for auditors. With AlgoSec, you will avoid guesswork and errors, reduce risk and complexity, enforce compliance, align teams and foster a collaborative approach to security policy management.
With AlgoSec you can
- Automate the entire change process
- Proactively assess the risk of every proposed change
- Intelligently design rule changes and validate correct implementation
- Push policy changes directly to the device
- Document changes and generate an audit trail
- Seamlessly integrate with existing ticketing systems
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The Business Impact
- Process network security policy changes in minutes not days
- Avoid errors, rework and application outages
- Ensure changes adhere to internal and regulatory standards
- Add network and security intelligence and automation to your existing ticketing systems
- Align various stakeholders for improved accuracy, accountability and governance