Menu
INSIGHT: Enable the business? Why sometimes security must say ‘NO’

INSIGHT: Enable the business? Why sometimes security must say ‘NO’

"What is the next best option, apart from your current position of 'NO, do NOT do this'?"

Business: Saying NO is not an option. Security must enable the business. What is the next best option, apart from your current position of “NO, do NOT do this”?

Security: There are no good options here; we did the analysis several times, consultants and Gartner GTP analysts confirmed our findings.

Business: Remember that bit about “enabling the digital business”? You cannot say “no” – you must deliver us the next best option to enable us.

Security: Well, you can try doing X or Y, with additional safeguards of Z and U implemented.

Business: OK, that’s better. What are the known consequences of using this approach that you are suggesting?

Security: A huge meteor swarm hits Earth, everybody dies.

Business: Uh, OK. Business has the right to accept the risks, right? Risk accepted.

BOOM. Everybody dies. Then, 5000 years pass by.

An alien spaceship finds the now-defunct Earth, lands, and alien archeologists - in a bout of deeply alien curiosity - decide to figure out “what killed Earth?”

They find a record of the above conversation on a miraculously survived tablet device and an argument starts between the aliens: who killed everybody on Earth, SECURITY or BUSINESS?

So, who do you think did? Essentially, there are two camps of, ahem, aliens arguing:

  1. Security is at fault – they did not communicate the risks well enough, or
  2. Business [government agency] is at fault - they were stupidly negligent and didn’t listen to clear and precise communication, backed up by facts and external experts.

Which one sounds closer to the truth, if there is such a thing here?

Of course, this is not a post about the OPM breach. It is a parable about the fine line we have to tread in our daily jobs. As a security technologist you may be asked to do the impossible.

While I think optimism is a great belief system, sometimes the impossible is not just very difficult; it is actually frigging’ IMPOSSIBLE. And so-called “next best option” is that you all friggin’ die.

For example:

  • An enterprise-grade “APT-ready” SOC at $0 - no good options
  • An in-house run SIEM with no personnel dedicated to it - no good options
  • Patch as fast as possible – with no automation and fragile legacy systems - no good options
  • Processing super-secret data on an employee-owned PC on public wifi - no good options

Conclusion: Sometimes, “NO” is the right answer! Well, that and digging a deep enough bunker or moving to a space station before the meteor swarm hits.

By Anton Chuvakin - Research Analyst, Gartner


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityGartner

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments