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The Value of an Outside Perspective on Your IT Department and Approach

11/17/2017  |  By: Mark Burnette, CPA, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, CGEIT, ITIL, QSA, Shareholder, Practice Leader of Risk Services

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Even the most well-meaning employees can make mistakes, but when it comes to data security, an unintended error can lead to a significant security breach.

Sometimes, when a person is so close to a job, he or she can become near-sighted. The day-to-day responsibilities and the keen familiarity with one’s duties can make it easy to sleepwalk through certain tasks or take things for granted, and, in so doing, miss potential threats and opportunities.

Further, because of all of the responsibilities on their plate, an IT employee might miss that a security specification has evolved—and rendered the company’s current measures out-of-date. For those reasons, it is good to periodically partner with third party organizations for cybersecurity assistance. Here are three specific ways an outside perspective can be beneficial when it comes to managing your IT security program:

1. It provides an objective evaluation of your IT environment.

Information security has become increasingly complicated and continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Whether it’s conducting an independent evaluation of your IT systems or helping you create up-to-date policies and procedures to protect your data, a third-party security assessment provides a level of assurance for stakeholders that you’re doing everything you can to protect your business. The third party’s objective perspective on the entity’s security posture often lends additional credibility to the information being presented to stakeholders as well.

Real-world example: LBMC recently worked with Wilson Bank, a Tennessee-based, nationally top-rated financial institution, who shows great growth and commitment to providing stability, leading products, innovation and technology, and earnings. This commitment led them to seek an outside perspective on the security of their networks. Check out their case study here.

2. It ensures you’re identifying all the potential risks and maintaining full compliance.

Most internal IT teams know the compliance regulations for their specific business or industry. But, in many cases, adherence to those rules isn’t always enough, and there can be confusion when trying to interpret the requirements. When performing penetration tests, our team adopts a hacker’s perspective and attempts a network intrusion, giving the client a true picture of its susceptibility to the current attack tactics in use by attackers.

And, when conducting a risk assessment, our team ensures that the evaluation is comprehensive and covers all the bases, giving the client the “full picture” of its security posture. A key goal of an outside assessment is to expose points of vulnerability that you might not have known existed and identify all the potential cybersecurity risks facing your organization so they can be prioritized and managed.

Real-world example: LBMC has partnered with Change Healthcare to assist with their required assessments and ensure they are compliant with current regulations in the least onerous way.

3. It makes remediation of issues simpler.

Because cybersecurity risks are constantly evolving, many organizations get caught up in the routine of piecing various systems and procedures together in order to ensure compliance. However, deploying disparate solutions over time in response to threats and risks as they arise often makes it difficult to know how to address specific issues. A third-party partner that is familiar with how other organizations tackle similar situations can share relevant insights from those experiences and, in so doing, can help you untangle the processes and systems you use and provide direction for the clearest and simplest approach to remedying your IT security issues.

Real-world example: LBMC has partnered with RCCH Healthcare partners to eliminate the guesswork around identifying and remedying potential information security threats. Read their case study here.

In the same way that a doctor can help a patient identify potential threats to his or her health, a third-party cybersecurity partner can help a company get a clear and objective perspective on its security posture and provide the reinforcement needed to protect the organization against the ever-evolving threats of a cyberattack.

Want to learn more about how LBMC Information Security can provide an outside perspective on your IT approach? Click here to learn more.

Posted in: Security Consulting