Lost patience with IT risks creating lost opportunities in security

Businesses are losing patience with IT at the worst possible time: just when companies are becoming more aware of enterprise risk.

Rob Livingston, a private IT consultant addressing the NetIQ Agile Security breakfast in Sydney, told delegates that if IT is having trouble convincing enterprises of the need to deal with security, it's the sector's own fault.

“The IT industry hasn't exactly showered itself with glory when it comes to significant enterprise IT projects,” he said.

Businesses, he said, are demanding that IT comply with the “eternal love triangle” of simplifying projects, accelerating them, and cutting cost – and their lack of faith in IT means these combine to create a pressure that is “already trumping good governance and project management, good application development, and good audit.”

Enterprises are finding it difficult to identify systemic risks – even when risk management is at the core of the business (such as how the finance industry found itself unable to identify the systemic risks that ultimately led to the GFC).

Technical risk, Livingstone said, is much easier to identify – partly because our technologies still tend to align with the business silos that can make it harder to identify systemic risks.

The addition of cloud computing into an already-vulnerable environment is highly volatile, Livingstone noted. A managerial demand for a move to the cloud – because this is seen as simpler and cheaper – can become a crisis when the cloud provider announces on Tuesday that it is implementing a major version change on the coming weekend.

Having made its business and applications dependent on a cloud provider – having embedded the cloud software's API calls deeply into different business applications, for example – the customer will find itself scrambling to comply with the upgrade, and probably fail.

Livingstone offered five guidelines to achieving an agile security policy:

  • An over-reliance on standard methodologies is self-limiting

  • CIOs need to manage the conflicting messages that business is receiving about security

  • Companies need to find a way to both manage and embrace the “shadow IT” BYOD world

  • Businesses need to identify the systemic risks that exist in their IT environments

  • It's dangerous to gloss over complexity just to make your pills easier for managers to swallow.

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about AgileLivingstonNetIQNetIQ

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Richard Chirgwin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place