In today’s rapidly changing threat landscape, legacy approaches to cybersecurity fall short. To adapt, many organizations are establishing a holistic approach that includes teams dedicated to IT, digital systems, and security. But this strategy comes with its own challenges that can prevent a real understanding of the cyber landscape.
Spreading cybersecurity efforts across several teams can lead to organizational silos and over-purchasing vendor products and tools. In addition, the overwhelming amount of information coming in from the systems used by each group can drown analysts in data without providing clear insight into what’s valuable and actionable. To address these challenges, look to a different organizational approach: cyber fusion centers.
The Rise of Cyber Fusion
Cyber fusion centers (CFC) establish collaboration across all the teams involved in cybersecurity, resulting in better intelligence, faster response times, reduced costs, and increased productivity. Unlike traditional security operations centers, a CFC brings together staff from various departments to work under one umbrella. They can include departments like fraud, loss prevention, cyber, IT, physical security, and product development.
The concept of a cyber fusion center isn’t new. It dates back nearly 30 years, originating in the intelligence community as a way for agencies to form a more complete picture of the threat landscape. The same benefits translate to the business world today. But, as savvy organizations have discovered, it takes more than co-location to build an effective cyber fusion center. Success lies in how well a company can integrate its people, processes, and technology to address its distinct threat environment.
There are three key areas to address when establishing a cyber fusion center within your organization:
1. Consider how to best affect change within your organization
More than anything else, a cyber fusion center is a change management program. Existing systems are typically overseen by different groups within the organization, which means you will need to resolve competing priorities to achieve successful cyber fusion. The culture of every organization is different, so understanding your culture and making change happen in line with your unique environment is key.
2. Identify redundancies and streamline your systems
While integrating your existing systems into a cyber fusion center, you will discover that many perform the same functions. Identifying and eliminating these redundancies will help reduce costs and increase efficiency by allowing you to make the most of your tools, processes, and human capital.
3. Connect the dots for actionable intelligence
Before you build your cyber fusion center, configure a system to identify new patterns of adversary behavior and create actionable intelligence. Co-locating these functions will allow analysts to see patterns of malicious behavior across multiple information domains that may not have been readily visible in the past or that required out-of-band communications to identify. Modeling these intel processes in advance will allow for optimization and help identify ways to tailor intel and make it actionable.
By building cybersecurity into your business and committing to managing risk in a holistic way, you can step ahead of competitors and position your organization for success in any environment.
Need more help setting up your cyber fusion center? Booz Allen can help. Learn more about our approach to cyber fusion centers.