If at any time we intend to build an organization, a company or simply an SME, the main objective is that it be successful, both for us, the owners and for future clients. A fundamental part of this success has to be based on protecting the information or data that exists for both parties, both in transactions, the creation of user accounts or some other alternative that exists for storing important data.
To meet this objective, it is necessary to have some protection against possible external or internal attackers, which must be born from plans or policies established after verifying each of our organization’s assets. We will then talk about how to implement or devise a security architecture for the company, commenting on its different stages, the parts that must be composed and its importance for all those interested.
What is a computer security architecture?
A computer security architecture is a framework or framework that offers a basic work structure for the effective development of a computer security project, considering the policies, standards, organizational structure and functional behaviour of a network of Information Technologies. Information.
If you want to develop a product or system, instructions or ideas to follow are also provided to fully complement the proper functioning and protection of what you want to design, to maintain the critical attributes of all future institutional assets such as confidentiality, integrity and availability.
When implementing an idea this way, it is necessary to inform the design principles, documenting from the simplest to the most macro object and keeping a complete record of what has been worked on. Along with this, we can realize that the main advantage of implementing this type is its standardization, which makes it affordable and profitable due to the reuse of various already established procedures.
This implementation must also converge with good architecture and network design since computer security today is not the only perimeter as it was believed in the past, emulating medieval forces who believed that with only a solid and large enough wall, they could stop the invaders from protecting their sacred realm. In general, companies have relied on a robust Firewall device to protect themselves from external attacks from the outside. Still, there can always be a good investigation and verification of an error in the system or protection that gives easy access to the internal network, so It is necessary to have a better contingency plan, add one or another security device and make the person who uses our services aware.
Above all, speaking of personnel, who have to update their knowledge, for example, cybersecurity specialists now try to apply strategies based on defensive layers to combat the various threats that try to take advantage of some vulnerability every day. Black hat hackers continue to advance their various attack methodologies, taking exclusive advantage of users and their weaknesses and extensive research into applications that are enabled globally. Companies should consider whether or not to implement multiple defense strategies to counteract emerging attack routes and ultimately lead to the final connection to a Server Room or Equipment Room.
In the following sections, we will describe the essential components as well as the application phases of a computer security architecture, thus providing an acceptable level of protection where customers and users of an organization can trust it and not have that fear regarding a leak of sensitive data that significantly compromises themselves.
What is computer security?
We have to have some more than clear concepts, first about computer security or cybersecurity; it is in charge of executing everything necessary to protect the information, thus avoiding manipulation and processes by unauthorized persons. Organizations that use this digital world to establish communications must seek appropriate mechanisms to guarantee, in one way or another, the security of their data and their clients.
A fairly similar concept that tends to be mistakenly associated with the previous one is that of information security, which covers all areas of data protection, regardless of the environment in which we work.
Essential components within a computer security architecture
There are three fundamental concepts to begin to understand the operation of a good implementation of a computer security architecture:
- People: Generally called the weakest link in the security chain, they will also be the ones who are going to propose the ideas and execute them once all the members of the organization accept them.
- Processes: Sequence of actions that, after being conceived and put into operation by people, should execute the main parts within the computer security architecture, thus generating the following concept to be described.
- Tools: Series of results obtained and managed to establish various security policies within the organization, always bearing in mind that they must be reviewed and updated as time progresses.
The purpose of all computer security architecture is to protect the organization’s data, relevant or not; the clients themselves will define it; what should interest us is that these information assets are protected, available and complete. To achieve this, the creation of a very good security policy must be taken into account, which must fully establish what will be protected, how it will be protected and how it will be implemented over the days.
Phases to create a good computer security architecture
Within every organization, some risks must be more than clear, just as they will never be 100% protected or 100% free of risks, so the general idea of this stage is to identify the assets and verify everything around them. It could cause some activity, either of a malicious or benign nature, for the data.
First, all the information assets in the company must be identified, which can be software, hardware, digital documentation, communication channels and human resources. Once we obtain this data, we must define all kinds of threats to which we could be exposed, investigate and define the vulnerabilities that exist within our systems and finally, of course, a good system of controls to implement, which could also be defined in the following phases of this computer security architecture.
Communicate the risks found
Within the different technical processes that must be carried out, it is also necessary to have a dose of communication with the staff, explaining clearly with a language of normal tone why most of these risks occur. What will be done to treat them? to mitigate them? This awareness phase is essential because, as we said in previous lines, the user is the weakest link in the chain, whether internal or external.
Identify and describe safety standards to follow.
Suppose you want some international certification or to follow the instructions dictated by any standard of this nature. In that case, it is important to study it and follow it to the letter as much as possible. It is difficult at first to understand how they are organized or the definitions given to some parts of the organization, taking into account that generally, all these organizations are different, and we may have to omit certain parts or rules since they do not apply where we are at the moment.
Identify and describe the security controls to be implemented
To mitigate the respective risks or vulnerabilities, it is necessary to describe and implement various security controls, which must last over time, be flexible and capable of growth in the face of new possible threats that arise with the passing of days.
These controls must faithfully obey the previous phases found and investigated. Within the Risk Analysis, we flagrantly discover what we may face in the future and what we must protect. After exhaustive investigation and testing, implementing this security must be effective and efficient.
To verify compliance with the implemented security controls, we must establish a monitoring system that actively informs us about the changes produced by a new vulnerability or a violation of the controls executed in previous phases.
We can implement various types of software that inform us about intrusions or threat alerts, as well as others that detect if any of our systems changes in status or simply if the service is down or not. For this, it is important to use protocols for constantly reviewing logs or files that leave their administrator users’ traces of use within the systems.
Identify and describe a good disaster recovery plan
Already finishing our project and managing to mitigate the risks involved, it may be that at some point, for some reason, we have not initially identified one of our systems to be compromised, so we must also think about a Recovery Plan for most of our assets, whether backup or operational, our organization does not lose its activity and does not lose its reputation before its competitors or allies.
IT Security Architecture Testing
Periodically, performance tests must be established for everything applied to date, taking into account the knowledge of the people involved in the company, verifying the security controls established in the systems, performing penetration tests on the different active services in the At the moment, tests of sending phishing emails to users and even running controlled ethical hacking laboratories, checking the level of security achieved to date. If you are interested in learning more about these procedures, I recommend the cybersecurity courses you will find in OpenWebinars.
Importance of computer security in the company
To finish all these applications well, it is essential to know your organization’s business idea very well; success in decision-making and operation aligned with the company’s purpose depends greatly on it.
Along with this, good management and review of the security architecture allow a continuous improvement of all the elements that compose it, executing the activities in an orderly manner and at their respective times so that nothing is random.
Good feedback from all the people who make up the organization, both internal and external, and an excellent review of the logs or messages left by the respective services in operation helps considerably to make improvements over time. In addition, it is necessary to review and receive messages from external entities that report new vulnerabilities or attacks that are the object of updating the protections and software used.
To conclude, we can say that a project of this magnitude has to have the support of the entire organization, including senior management or headquarters, that intervenes with information assets, thus achieving a correct implementation within all corners of the company. Including the business idea, its continuity must also be present, recharged by the mission, objectives, structure, and users of the systems and services deployed in the company.
The proposed model of computer security architecture guarantees in a good way the good practices within information security, certifies the quality that it must have and, of course, the continuous improvement of all postponed activities responding to the needs of a standard company, which include several phases of compliance and monitoring, guaranteeing the main objective of a project in an organization.