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Published February 15th, 2023 by Yaniv Sazman

It’s no secret that a cybersecurity strategy is imperative for an organization to effectively protect its network and data from today’s sophisticated security threats. However, a recent study by Intel Security reports that having a security strategy isn’t the challenge facing organizations; it’s fully implementing the security strategy across the entire organization that is the major hurdle.

Bringing a security strategy from theory to practice is not a simple task. Not only do organizations have to contend with the “Tufin 5 Cs” – complexity, change, cybersecurity, connectivity, and compliance – but they are also up against time constraints as IT operation teams must deal with day-to-day business tasks and can’t find the time to implement their strategy. To add to this problem, they are also dealing with a lack of qualified security staff.

In addition, when implementing a security strategy in the cloud, security professionals realize that the policies they followed for an on-premise environment don’t always apply in the cloud; therefore, they need to rethink their strategy. But where can they begin to reevaluate their strategy when they don’t even have full visibility into the hybrid network? What is DevOps doing in terms of security? How can they define a cybersecurity strategy that will not be bypassed by DevOps? Will DevOps follow organizational best practices and policies? When it comes to cloud in particular, these are only a few of the questions that are often left unanswered. Combine these unanswered questions and challenges, and the result is a compromised security posture. In a worst-case scenario, the organization could suffer a cyberattack, which can lead to significant costs including reputation and share price, loss of customers, or even a liability lawsuit.

So how can an organization address these very real threats? The first step towards developing a security strategy is achieving full visibility into the network. After you’ve gained visibility, you can begin to design and enforce best practice policies, followed by the adoption of policy-driven automation to ensure that the strategy is consistent across the whole organization. Let’s take a closer look.

Many organizations and government agencies have a firewall change management process that covers some or all of the widely-recommended stages of maintaining a network security strategy. However, the change management process is usually manual, often documented by Microsoft Excel documents, and either out-of-date or worse, not completely implemented at all. The main reason organizations find themselves in this state is because maintaining and implementing the process requires cooperation between teams, tools, and other organizational policies. For example, firewall changes typically require the participation of different teams in network operations and IT security – two groups that may use completely different tools and information.

Ensuring that the streams of change requests will be addressed consistently, on time, and in a secure manner for all parts of the organization poses a major challenge for enterprise IT organizations. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Defining, implementing, and maintaining a cybersecurity strategy across the entire organization is feasible, and it can become a reality by adopting an automated approach.

Here are four key benefits to using an automated approach to define and implement a cybersecurity strategy:

Increase business agility while boosting security

Automating firewall change workflow can significantly help to implement and maintain the cybersecurity strategy in the organization and reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive and inefficient IT tasks, while at the same time reducing the risk of misconfigurations due to human error.

Achieve built-in proactive risk analysis

Proactive risk analysis can also help to implement and maintain the cybersecurity strategy by assessing the potential risk of a change as part of the workflow to achieve consistent and organized structure of the firewall change management.

Maintain continuous compliance with internal and external policies

With automation, changes and handoffs can be tracked and verified in a systematic way that supports audit needs, providing improved security and compliance with policies. The process also helps avoid communication headaches and time-consuming, emergency rework.

Gain visibility into cloud environments

When it comes to managing cloud environments, the first step for the security professional is to have full visibility into the network. Then they can start to implement best practices, followed by policy-driven automation to implement the cyber security strategy in the hybrid environment.

Don’t let security strategy implementation fall through the cracks. By adopting an automated approach, organizations can fully implement and maintain their security strategy across the entire organization, while saving valuable time and maintaining business agility. Learn more about how Tufin helps organizations streamline the cybersecurity strategy by using automation.

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