Building an Effective Security Program

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5 Steps to Getting a Security Program in Place

In order to build a sound and secure SaaS product, organizations have to create a thorough and scalable security program. This program will ensure your team has a clear understanding of your environment, how it aligns with your security policies and procedures as well as security framework and compliance requirements and the ability to manage your security operations everyday.

1) Document Your Data Flows

A data flow diagram (DFD) can simplifies the next few steps by essentially mapping out the landscape of where your tool is playing. This includes the machinery/servers you are leveraging for your application, your databases, APIs being used, middleware and programming languages. Your goal is to create a clear picture of the plumbing. Here is a good overview guide that can make it easier to document your data flows.

2) Conduct Risk Analysis

After you've made a blueprint of the pipes, move to spotting areas of potential leaks. Ways in and ways out are the obvious gaps but also understanding the permissions of the resources being used can impact your security posture. If you are using an API, you need to be thinking about how you can contain leaks from that data source. Investing the right amount of time here can dramatically impact the day to day life of maintaining your security operations.

3) Write out Policies & Procedures

Policies and procedures are designed to help teams and generations of hires to avoid stepping into a known risk. Policies and procedures can be really tedious, especially if you are trying to capture what is already happening in your environment, but they are essential for compliance and security certifications. As you progress up in your adoption in various security frameworks, processes to measure and maintain continuous compliance are also required.

4) Create Infrastructure & Security Architecture Diagrams

The next thing you need to do is diagram your environment and the security policies and procedures documented to ensure the security of your environment. Ultimately this is a combination of the steps you've taken previously but this serves as a resource as you go to the market to identify the tools, services and solutions you need to be able to maintain your security operations and compliance. Once you've outlined your architecture, it's time to implement controls.

5) Implementing Controls

As you assess the challenge of monitoring, managing and optimizing 100+ controls for ensuring the security and compliance of your cloud based resources, there are at least 14 specific solutions you need to implement.

  1. Users Training
  2. Asset Inventory & Tagging
  3. SSO + MFA
  4. Data Encryption
  5. Vulnerability Scanning
  6. Firewalls & Security Groups
  7. Product Change Management
  8. Vendor Risk Management
  9. Application Scanning & Pen Testing
  10. WAF & DDoS Protection
  11. Endpoint Malware Protection
  12. Endpoint Compliance Agents
  13. Configuration Audits
  14. Activity & Log Monitoring

Some of the requirements and controls are also going to be dictated by the security frameworks you choose to adopt or are required based on the industry your software is serving.

Managing the Complexity

Once you've gone through the process, you can see things quickly get very complex very quickly, specifically when it comes to managing and maintaining your digital environment. Collecting evidence for compliance and security certifications requires you to log into each solution and piece together a picture of your environment in the format recognized by auditors and assessors. That is very different than the day-to-day enforcing your security policies and procedures, which requires aligning your documentation with various concepts and terminology.

As you approach building (or rebuilding) you security program, prioritize simplicity. Focus on your ability to move and respond quickly while also thinking about solutions that enable proactive security operations when there is time.

JupiterOne: Built to Overcome Complexity & Save Time

We built JupiterOne to be a centralized hub of your security program, easily traversing your environment and navigating the changes and complexity. JupiterOne is your cloud-native solution for tracking changes and gaps across your entire environment, building and enforcing security policies and procedures and producing compliance evidence and tracking your compliance status. 

JupiterOne Team
JupiterOne Team

The JupiterOne Team is a diverse set of engineers and developers who are working on the next generation of cyber asset visibility and monitoring.

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