Top 7 Challenges Facing SecOps

With cybercrime on the rise and attacks becoming more sophisticated, organizations of all sizes are recognizing the need to bridge the gap between security and operations to institutionalize security practices. Security Operations is that bridge.

SecOps is a new management approach that connects security and operations teams. Implementing SecOps can result in more efficient use of shared resources, greater visibility into vulnerabilities and ultimately result in a stronger security posture. However, any new initiative has its challenges. Here are the top seven challenges facing security teams as they undertake the shift to SecOps:

  1. Adequately covering the full IT surface area of the organization
    The continued trends of cloud adoption, BYOD, and IoT help with efficiency and productivity; however, they also introduce unique challenges when securing infrastructure. With the availability of these new applications and devices, there’s a good chance there are unknown assets creating security blind spots. Teams secure what they can but the lack of visibility into the full IT surface area opens the organization to more risk and potentially leaves them vulnerable.
  2. Sorting through mountains of data
    IT and security systems must analyze and triage a barrage of security alerts as well as continuously assess people and systems to ensure proper security measures are in place. On any given day, teams must sift through an avalanche of data from a multitude of sources and turn it into insightful and actionable information for different audiences. They must also correlate and interpret findings from configuration and vulnerability scanners, threat intelligence feeds, penetration tests, tabletop exercises, event forensics, and other sources. It’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming process with no end in sight.
  3. Adding context to security findings
    Another data-related challenge is putting security findings in the context of the business. SecOps must align with the business and security teams to understand how findings affect goals, operations, compliance status, and many other critical functions. Without context teams don’t know what’s really going on, making it difficult to produce educated and informed recommendations for a course of action.
  4. Thinking strategically about findings
    The primary goal of SecOps is to be proactive in operationalizing and hardening security throughout the software lifecycle. However, with the sheer volume of data and lack of context, security teams are unable to be strategic with their efforts, spending their time treating findings individually instead of holistically.
  5. Integrating with DevOps
    Development teams are under immense pressure to release new applications, integrations and updates faster which increases the risk of pushing poorly configured and vulnerable updates into production. The growing focus on security is broadening the SecOps scope to include development practices placing more strain on already burdened resources.
  6. Budget constraints
    SecOps require a lot of manpower, but the lack of business context around findings and program metrics hinders security teams from justifying budget increases or hiring additional staff. As the SecOps scope increases and data sources multiply, teams must be more efficient with the same or fewer resources.
  7. Keeping talent
    Information security and cybersecurity professionals are some of the most in-demand jobs in today’s market. With a significant skills gap in these industries, attracting and keeping qualified talent in a significant challenge. Companies are losing security talent at an unsustainable rate slowing down SecOps processes.

SecOps initiatives will continue to face many challenges. Employing the right technology can create several efficiencies while enabling teams to work more strategically.

Continuous security monitoring solutions empower teams to better protect critical assets. These platforms provide better visibility into the full IT surface area with real-time insights and context to security findings. Additionally, paring these solutions with a GRC or integrated risk management platform can bring additional automation to the data management processes, streamline data analysis and provide metrics for budget justification.

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