It's Time to Go on the Attack in Cyber-Security Battle

1 - It's Time to Go on the Attack in Cyber-Security Battle
2 - CIO = the Head Coach
3 - Sensitive Corporate/Employee/Customer Data = the Football
4 - Line-of-Business Manager = the Quarterback
5 - Information Security/Malware Analysts = the Center
6 - Application Security Manager = the Running Back
7 - Security Engineer = the Tight End
8 - Network or Operations Manager = the Offensive Line
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It's Time to Go on the Attack in Cyber-Security Battle

In football, it's often said that the best defense is a good offense. That same could be said about an organization's approach to cyber-security. Here's what businesses could learn from football teams.

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CIO = the Head Coach

CIOs call the plays and determine the strategic direction of their company's IT infrastructure and applications, ensuring the entire organization can securely deliver the apps and data employees and executives need while making sure the organization complies with all security and regulatory requirements. The support from the coach will not only create visibility for specific security needs, but also empower other team players and business units to drive new revenue streams and operate more efficiently. And by shifting IT infrastructure and apps to the cloud, the CIO/coach can accelerate the offense, much like the West Coast offense makes new scoring opportunities possible.

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Sensitive Corporate/Employee/Customer Data = the Football

For an enterprise organization, protecting sensitive corporate, employee and customer data and applications is a top priority. Just like in the game of football, at the end of the day, it's all about protecting the ball. While the quarterback is often closest to the data, he passes on the responsibility of getting it into the end zone to other team members, each with specialized skills.

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Line-of-Business Manager = the Quarterback

Line-of-business managers are responsible for the smooth operations and success of a particular function, business unit or process within an organization. As the quarterbacks, they execute on the IT strategies identified by the coach and coordinate closely with the rest of their team to make sure security needs are clearly communicated and implemented in a way that maximizes efficiency within organization policies. The quarterbacks also need the ability to call an audible, and roll out new applications to take advantage of emerging opportunities and move the offense, without losing the ball. Which means the CIO/coach needs a way to give quarterbacks more flexibility to enable them to score.

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Information Security/Malware Analysts = the Center

Today's cyber-criminals are smart, ruthless and relentless. Information security or malware analysts constantly must assess weaknesses and make judgments about how to better protect their systems against hackers. Just like the center position in football handles the ball at the beginning of the play and starts the ball in motion, analysts must understand how to maintain data protection in all stages, including at rest and in transit, so the quarterback and the rest of the offense are not blindsided.

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Application Security Manager = the Running Back

Application security managers are in charge of ensuring that any applications produced or used by their organization meet security and privacy standards to protect the ball as the business moves forward. As agile development continues to accelerate the pace of app development and deployment, just like running backs must be tuned into the play and watching for tacklers, AppSec managers must have visibility into the organization's next play. And, as applications continue to reside across different environments including public, private and hybrid clouds, AppSec managers must be able to have a full view of how applications move in the playing field as they run full speed ahead.

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Security Engineer = the Tight End

Tight ends are constantly keeping their eyes on the ball in case the quarterback throws a pass, and must create openings that allow the ball to move forward safely. Similarly, security engineers are tasked with many responsibilities and must plan for any interference to enterprise systems. Depending on the organization, security engineers may be responsible for everything from unified communications to hardware, and while policies and programs may change, security engineers must keep their eye on the data at all times while ensuring passes are complete so the business can continue to advance and score.

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Network or Operations Manager = the Offensive Line

Because network issues can take the entire organization offline, network managers must monitor, diagnose and fix network issues to ensure the secure delivery of the apps and data people need to work. Rather than developing strategies for reacting to a cyber-attack after it's already happened, they can take a proactive approach by monitoring networks for abnormal behavior—much like the offensive line must protect the quarterback and running backs from rushing tacklers, so a defensive player (or an adversary) can't break up the plays as the offensive team advances toward the end zone.

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