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Security Process Evolution: From Governance Afterthought to Strategic Imperative

Process is a critical cornerstone of strategic security governance

Gutsy Staff | March 14, 2024

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For decades, improving cybersecurity has been synonymous with the purchase and installation of protective tools like firewalls and antivirus software.

Consider this: more than two decades ago in his essay, "The Process of Security," American cryptographer and Gutsy advisor Bruce Schneier challenged this simplistic view when he wrote “Security is a process, not a product.”

(It was followed by the subheading “Will We Ever Learn?” but that’s a different article for a different day).

At the time, his declaration that security is about people and processes was a revolutionary way of thinking. Yet here we are in 2024, where security governance is all about the synchronization of teams and technologies across security products, services, and environments.

However, failed processes - which can easily be identified and remediated through process mining - still remain a major root cause of many cyber-related issues.

Schneier discusses the roadblocks preventing organizations and CISOs from implementing and following security processes

From Afterthought to Imperative

Process is a critical cornerstone of strategic security management. The recent addition of governance as a sixth key function in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework makes it abundantly clear that building, maintaining, and analyzing security governance processes can’t be an afterthought.

Credit: N. Hanacek/NIST
The sixth framework function, govern, under wraps the existing five pillars.

Security is a Process

Cloud services, managed solutions, and interconnected systems are the foundation of enterprise IT in this current era. It's no longer about the security tools you have; it's about how effectively you wield them within a structured and coherent framework.

Yet despite the growing recognition of the importance of security processes, their implementation remains challenging. Many organizations are caught in a perpetual cycle of crisis management, and struggle to find the resources to devote to the processes of security.

Balancing the urgent demands of day-to-day operations with the strategic imperative of process refinement is no easy feat.

Humans at the Heart

At the heart of effective security processes lies human awareness and adoption. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and organizational leaders play a pivotal role in advocating for, and building, a culture emphasizing the strategic value of robust processes.

Creating a mindset of proactive risk management empowers security teams to navigate the current state of cybersecurity, and future-proof the systems they already have in place - from whatever risks lay ahead.

Overcoming Resource Constraints, External Pressures

Many organizations grapple with limited manpower and financial resources. As discussed in our interview with Schneier, forcing functions —such as lawsuits or regulatory mandates— are the catalysts needed to spur an organization to invest and prioritize process implementation.

What those organizations may not know is prioritizing investment in process mining for cyber can enhance their ability to detect, respond to, and mitigate cyber threats effectively.

How Gutsy's Process Mining Helps

Download our free ebook to quickly understand how easy it is for your organization to embrace the transformative power of process mining for better cybersecurity governance.

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