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Online security breaches make big news all too often. These unfortunate incidents expose should-be confidential data to a plethora of compromises. However, ransomware scammers and data thieves are not the culprits behind most of these hacks. Instead, most online security issues arise due to antiquated security monitoring protocols. It is imperative that businesses develop and maintain security systems that stay apace with new technologies. Here are essential action points for developing a robust security program.

Collaborate with Product and Engineering
The security team often learns of architectural updates and new developments when security issues result from those changes. Security should have the opportunity to review proposed significant changes to determine which best security practices to implement. Company leaders should create a reproducible roadmap planning strategy — including security as an integral component — so that organizations can forge productive partnerships among security, engineering, and product teams.

Assess Team Skills and Seek Needed Talent
The CSO needs to survey the technical prowess of the security team to ensure that team members have the necessary knowledge of how the technology functions, the proper security settings, and common exploits and misconfigurations. The CSO may find it necessary to hire additional security team members to augment the current team’s talent pool. All security team members should stay current with changes and security practices.

Construct a Threat Model
The security team must build a threat model for new architecture and pinpoint attack vectors and appropriate countermeasures. Security and engineering should collaborate to develop the threat model. During this phase, the teams need to construct a comprehensive view of the architecture, singling out sensitive assets and services, trust levels, entry points, and data flows.

Apply Security Tools for the Updated Technology
While traditional defense in depth principles may still be implemented, technological updates may call for new tools. Security monitoring must encompass an exhaustive inventory of services, anticipated communication paths, and interdependencies. It should be equipped to provide alerts when unexpected communication is detected.

Dedicate Resources to Security Research
Reacting after incidents is inefficient and ineffective. The CSO must be proactive concerning potential threats and adjust the company’s security program to alleviate the risk of a security breach. A strong security program must be adaptable to deal with risks that come with new technologies.

Effective CSOs are forward-thinking leaders who cultivate close working relationships with product management and engineering. They stay abreast of technological advancements and keep a pulse on the skill level of their teams. CSOs are sentinels that should be empowered and knowledgeable to help protect their organizations from compromises in security.