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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Life Is “Ducky” For Chief Security Officers

Posted May 6, 2011    Peter McCalister

Ever see how a duck glides through water?  It looks effortless from the surface, but beneath the waterline is a different story. In reality the poor duck is paddling his web feet feverishly in order to move about.  Now you know what it’s like to be a Chief Security Officer managing today’s enterprise security requirements.

 

At face value the successful CSO projects an air of calm, cool and collected control over the enterprise governance, risk and compliance mitigation requirements.  Behind the scenes he/she is a whirling dervish of politician meets technician meets mind reader meets soothsayer all served up with one great big stress sandwich.

 

The successful CSO understands the need for:

  • Constant diligence against insider threats as well as attack from outsiders,
  • Relentless education on new technologies and techniques to control access to all information assets,
  • Ever present knowledge of industry and competitive breaches published in the press and on the internet,
  • Real-time change control for corporate policy enforcement at every IT endpoint,
  • On-demand entitlement and audit capabilities for when the CEO, CFO or auditor asks for specific reports.

The common pitfalls a CSO faces can include:

  • Focus only on outsider threats and over spend budgets on perimeter security,
  • Relies solely on trust and written corporate policies for employee use of information technology resources,
  • Remains blissfully ignorant of the impact felt by peer companies and competitors when insiders attack,
  • Uses policy changes as job security because his/her team is the only one with the knowledge of what needs to be done,
  • Takes 2-4 weeks for custom reporting when requested.

So, how does the successful CSO avoid the “ducky” lifestyle?  The answer is simple: implement a least privilege environment across physical (server and desktop), virtual and cloud environments.  Check out our latest whitepaper on privilege identity management for a roadmap to success.

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