Building a Resilient World:

Welcome to the official blog of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA).

This blog covers topics on automation cybersecurity such as risk assessment, compliance, educational resources, and how to leverage the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISAGCA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the cybersecurity community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

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Why Collaboration Is Essential for Cybersecurity Teams

Today’s cybersecurity workforce faces seemingly insurmountable workloads and increasing pressure to manage them quickly. At the same time, workflows often happen in siloes, especially between departments. That needs to change.

Collaboration is essential for effective organization-wide security, yet teams overlook its importance far too often. Security leaders today must address this issue to ensure a safer, more productive future.

Security Benefits of Collaboration

Fostering collaboration between security teams and other departments begins with understanding why it’s important. Company-wide collaboration requires buy-in from the top, so it’s important to stress the business case for these working relationships.

1. More Comprehensive Security

The biggest reason why cybersecurity must be a collaborative effort is because siloes breed vulnerabilities. You can’t secure what you can’t see, yet 60% of security software users analyze less than 40% of their log data. Closer collaboration between departments will boost network visibility, enabling more effective defenses.

It’s also worth noting how fresh perspectives can make finding potential risks and solutions easier. Involving a more diverse range of workers in security discussions will lead to strategies that consider the entire organization.

2. Fewer Mistakes

Collaboration also addresses the most persistent cybersecurity threat — human error. The best way to achieve compliance with security protocols is to make these guidelines easy to follow. To do that, you must understand the day-to-day issues other departments encounter.

Take shadow IT, for example. The use of unauthorized apps often stems from frustration with the company-approved system. Working closely with other departments will let you understand what they need. You can then craft a security system that doesn’t sacrifice what’s convenient for others, making dangerous behaviors or mistakes less likely.

3. Faster Responses

Finally, cross-organization collaboration reduces security teams’ workloads. When everyone understands their role in security, non-IT personnel are less likely to need support from IT staff. In turn, the alert fatigue that creates turnover in 62% of organizations will dwindle.

Alerts aside, collaboration brings more attention to security issues and enables faster communication. As a result, you can get more eyes across the organization on potential breaches to find and respond to threats faster.

How Security Teams Can Foster Collaboration

Recognizing the need for collaboration is just the first step. Already, 75% of employees say teamwork is essential, but 39% say their company can improve on it. Here’s how security teams can close this gap.

1. Involve All Stakeholders Early

Cybersecurity leaders can begin by involving more stakeholders in security decisions in the planning phase. Create a panel of representatives from each department to discuss security strategies together. Be sure to allow everyone to voice their unique concerns and questions.

Sending polls and questionnaires about common security and IT workflow-related issues to the entire workforce can help, too. These surveys will give you a baseline of how you should address security concerns for everyone’s day-to-day operations.

2. Emphasize Communication

Consistent and clear communication is another key to more collaborative cybersecurity. Encourage employees in all departments to voice suggestions or ask questions. Consider creating an electronic form submission system to consolidate and streamline this input.

It’s important to determine which communications require real-time alerts and which should be asynchronous. Considering 75% of employees today say they feel increased digital overload from email and instant messaging, use asynchronous messaging and forms for suggestions and non-emergency communication. Set up real-time alerts for mission-critical events like potential breaches.

3. Remove Workflow Silos

Siloed workflows are another common barrier to collaboration to address. You can remove these silos by using common tools. Different departments should use the same platforms to manage their workflows or at least use interoperable systems to foster faster communication and data sharing.

Some of these barriers may be organizational, not technical. Setting up regular meetings where stakeholders from different departments can collaborate and requiring input from multiple parts of the business can help.

4. Capitalize on Automation

Collaboration is also easiest when everyone has less on their individual plates. Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of the most effective solutions here.

Roughly 58% of IT teams spend five hours or more weekly on repetitive, easily automatable tasks. Other knowledge workers waste similar amounts of time on administrative work. Automating as much as possible leaves everyone with more time and attention to focus on collaborative security efforts.

5. Take a Top-Down Approach

Remember, teamwork requires buy-in at all levels to work. You can encourage that by leading by example. Department heads should reach out to other employees and talk to other teams first to set the standard for communication and teamwork.

It will take time for everyone to get used to a collaborative approach to cybersecurity. Starting by fostering these relationships in management will prove most effective. Teamwork will trickle down naturally if leaders start emphasizing collaboration in their workflows first.

Security Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Vulnerabilities can stem from everywhere, so cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. On the flip side, that means that improvement can come from anywhere.

Organization-wide collaboration may be the missing piece to many businesses’ cybersecurity puzzle. Following these guidelines to foster more teamwork between teams will spread out workloads, enable faster responses and help create a security strategy that’s both safe and convenient for everyone.

Zac Amos
Zac Amos
Zac Amos is the Features Editor at ReHack, where he covers trending tech news in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. For more of his work, follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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