Security professionals seen as ‘no-men’

Information security professionals are often unfairly seen as barriers to transformation within government, according to new research.

The claim emerged in the latest Report on the Future of Information Security in Government and Public Services, published today by Intel Security and the Digital Government Security Forum (DGSF).

It said that digital and security teams need to work closely to help organisations understand the risks and benefits of particular digital technologies.

The report said: “As one of our interviewees put it, information security professionals are sometimes unfairly characterised as the ‘no-men’, the women and men who block modernisation, with those championing the digital agenda, equally unfairly characterised as naïve or risk takers.”

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GSF said that balancing the conflict between giving easy access to information and the protection of corporate data and personal information should be a shared responsibility between security and digital professionals.

“Security needs to be seen as an ‘enabler’ and not a barrier,” the report said.

The report calls for a change of mind-set from ‘incident response’ to ‘continuous detection and response’, from ‘fire brigade’ to ‘detectives’.

Information security is currently very fragmented, the report also found, because it has been developed tactically to respond to new developments and threats, rather than strategically.

As a result, gaps between different silos can create opportunities for hackers to exploit, it said.

John Thornton, secretary to the DGSF, said: “We need to be thinking now about the security and data sharing implications of the ways that we will work in the future. 

“This includes not just near term issues like cloud computing and social media, but also longer term developments such as automated systems for enquiry handling and even driverless vehicles.”

Colin Marrs

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