CISO : strengthening cybersecurity in an ever-changing threat landscape

Guest column by Pascal Fortier Beaulieu, CISO, WALLIX.

August 2022

CISOs are constantly on their toes for many reasons: malicious actors’ tactics and techniques are evolving, skill sources and qualified experts are sorely lacking, and the “the Great Resignation” – which notably participated in the accidental leak of sensitive data -, are all factors that keep CISOs up at night.

Digital transformation has, in turn, triggered new disruptions. In this context, CISOs must not only be concerned about the security of the company they work for, but also that of any of their vendors or third parties. Exhausted, this poses a new major challenge for security professionals.

Cybersecurity is not a luxury, but a necessity, a must-have for any company embarking on a digital transformation journey. The most logical approach for businesses would be to simplify cybersecurity for CISOs with accessible security tools and processes that allow them to address the threat landscape while remaining compliant. One such solution is Privilege Access Management (PAM), an effective security method that IT managers can combine with network separation to ensure security and compliance in one operation.

In recent years, organizations have struggled to stay ahead of ever-changing threats. In addition, they’ve made numerous efforts to comply with stringent security regulations. Specific cyber threats consistently make the list of CISO’s top 5 concerns, alongside the cyber skills shortage and the rising energy costs – and it doesn’t stop there. Even though more than half of executives believe cyber threats are a growing concern for business growth, CISOs need to ensure that other members of the executive committee understand how to effectively address them, and that they see the importance and urgency of updating the company’s security processes and tools to keep pace with threat actors.

CISOs manage many moving parts on a daily basis and need to waste as little time as possible. PAM solutions, which lighten the technical burden of security, can help. As the entry point to a filtered network, PAM is, by definition, a solution that controls user access. Knowing that organizations face not only external threats – but also internal threats – having the ability to monitor and control user access is a smart way to protect vulnerable networks. Another benefit of PAM solutions is that they are also known to enable compliance with data protection regulations. In addition, by tracking all sessions, IT security managers can present an access history to management to help executives provide proof of compliance to regulatory agencies.

Session and access histories can also be leveraged to improve overall cybersecurity hygiene. In the event of a breach or attack, it is possible to replay the session, and thus know the path of the attack. It can also be used as evidence to prove that regulatory safeguards were used and followed at the time of the breach.

It’s difficult to predict the evolution of cyberattacks. What CISOs can be sure of is that in today’s threat landscape, everyone on the board must be prepared for new security challenges. Equipped with effective security processes and solutions such as MAP, CISOs can keep cyber risks at bay and have confidence that their systems are protected from external and internal threats, while remaining compliant.