Whether an organization is small with a relatively straightforward data environment or a larger entity with a data infrastructure that's far-reaching and complex, it's a good idea to identify and protect against security risks by establishing a security architecture program and the associated processes to implement it.
What Is a Security Architecture Program?
A security architecture program is a unified set of processes that help identify potential security risks, address vulnerabilities, and lays out a plan of action should a risk turn into an actual security threat. To create an enterprise security architecture program, it's essential to map out all informational assets within an organization. Creation of the program also involves selecting and managing which safeguards will be put into place, as well as constantly assessing and retooling those safeguards as the need arises.
Security Architecture Common Processes
There are specific processes that are typically found in an enterprise security architecture program. Let's discuss those processes and what they entail.
Data and Asset Map Management
In order to protect your organization's data, you have to first understand what needs to be protected. This process involves mapping out where all of your data lives within your organization. It also defines and manages specific categories of data so that specific safeguards can be put into effect to manage certain types of information.
Documentation of Security Architecture
In addition to understanding what data needs to be protected, it's essential to understand how and where it's being protected. This is a visual presentation of the preventive and detective safeguards that have been put in place within your security architecture.
Global Safeguards Responsibilities
This process involves managing the enterprise security architecture across multiple geographic locations - including across multiple countries. Some of the larger groups of security safeguards that are deployed from the security architecture function (due to their global nature) are things such as identity management, application development, and logging and monitoring.
Measurement of Security Architecture Effectiveness
An effective security architecture should have processes that are repeatable and measurable. This helps ensure the effectiveness of the safeguards that have been implemented throughout the environment.
Security Architecture Communication and Consulting
In order for a security architecture to be successful, it has to be consistently implemented across the entire organization. This function helps ensure proper communication, training, and interaction between the security architecture team, other employees, and third parties to ensure that everyone understands the security architecture policies and is effectively implementing the standards that have been put in place.
Development and Management of Security Architecture Roadmap
Cybersecurity threats are constantly changing, as is your organization. As your organization evolves, so should its security architecture. That's why constantly managing and developing new strategies is essential.
Security Risk Management Functions
These functions involve identifying security risks, as well as assessing them and prioritizing them in order to determine the best course of action. Security architecture-related processes should be integrated into your organization's security risk management functions.
Management of Roles and Responsibilities
Roles and responsibilities within the security architecture are managed by the security architect - an individual who is not only tasked with directing the security architecture team but is also responsible for communicating with and reporting to the entire information technology architecture group.