Why Security Teams Are Important
Cybersecurity is more than just technology that keeps your data protected and private—it’s also the people behind it. While more tedious tasks can (and should) be automated, there’s no replacement for the human logic, intelligence, and industry expertise that comes along with a dedicated security team. Read on to learn why security teams are essential.
Why are security teams irreplaceable?
The unfortunate reality is that data breaches are on the rise, and it’s unlikely they’ll slow down any time soon. Hackers are getting sneakier and more efficient, meaning it’s more important than ever to have security practices in place to combat them.
With hackers constantly changing their tactics, relying on a simple plug-and-play security solution isn’t enough. Instead, you need a dedicated team that can build a security strategy tailored to your organization for the short and long term. Security teams not only have the technical expertise to vet, configure, and deploy tools for employees to use, but they also have the internal knowledge of exactly what your organization's security needs are. Other crucial responsibilities security teams might have include:
- Making sure the organization is compliant with their industry and has the certifications they need.
- Conducting internal phishing tests, managing bug bounty programs, running security audits, and stress-testing the organization's perimeter for weaknesses before a hacker can find and exploit them.
- Helping dev teams design secure features and avoid vulnerabilities in the product's code base (an additional responsibility at SaaS companies like Dashlane).
Ultimately, security teams combine a birds-eye view of all company IT assets and resources with boots-on-the-ground knowledge of culture and how employees work. In this way, they can build a security strategy and, as internal experts who are directly part of the company culture, make sure employees are properly using tools and following best security practices.
People plus passwords: How humans enter the equation
If you have a security team, they already know that employees can be one of the best lines of defense against cyberattacks but, ironically, also one of the weakest links. People aren’t perfect, and neither are the ways we access and secure important tools and data. Passwords remain one of the most common authentication methods today, which makes them a key target for hackers and bad actors. Unfortunately, people constantly reuse passwords across accounts, and even the most tech-savvy employees can be susceptible to phishing, which puts the entire organization at risk. Breaches cost time and money, not to mention reputational damage with clients and customers.
That’s why it’s recommended that organizations of all sizes use a password or credential manager. Many credential managers, including Dashlane, offer additional tools to help security teams evaluate their organization’s overall security posture.
While having dedicated security experts is the ideal situation, any organization can take steps toward better data protection, starting with introducing a credential manager that’s easy for everyone to use. (In fact, the more people who can advocate for security at your organization, from the tech-savviest experts to the least knowledgeable beginners, the better.) The easier a solution is to use, the more likely that employees will actually integrate it into their workflows.
As organizations grow, building an internal culture of cybersecurity is often one of the security team’s key goals. This is another reason security teams are so important—technology alone can’t create a security culture within an organization. People do.
Meet security superheroes: Chances are, you’ve been at an organization where the IT team is doing a lot more behind the scenes than you realize. While getting employees up and running is important (as we all need the right access to tech and tools to do our jobs), IT teams also keep entire organizations protected. We’ve put together a post highlighting some of these cybersecurity superheroes, what they’ve learned over the years, and what they focus on to build cultures of security at their companies.
What should your security team look like?
Now that you know just how important security teams are, how do you determine what yours should look like? No two organizations are alike, which means no two security teams will be identical. However, there are some questions to ask yourself to help figure out what will best suit your organization’s needs.
Consider these questions:
- What are your organization's security goals and needs? If you’re just starting to build your security team, it's always a good idea to take a step back to ask yourself this question. As you begin to hire experts, they'll be able to assess your organization and help answer this question more thoroughly, but it's always useful to have a starting point.
- What are the biggest threats and challenges in your industry? An organization that deals with financial compliance will have different security needs than a restaurant chain, for example. Consider your specific needs, threats, and compliance requirements, including what you'd need for incident response plans.
- Is your workforce in the office, remote, or hybrid? This will help you determine where your security team members should be located. Depending on the size of your organization, it can help to have team members in different time zones to avoid delays in answering questions and increase how quickly the team can respond to a security incident.
- Are you building a tool or software that has its own security needs? If your organization is working on a software product, that comes with its own host of considerations. Chances are, you're going to need a more robust security team since they'll need to consider the security of both the organization and the product you're creating to offer to others.
- What’s your budget? Does it align with your goals and industry needs? You may not be able to hire the size security team you want right away. But being honest with your budget will help you prioritize who to hire first and what needs to be addressed immediately. You might consider a hybrid approach where, while you get buy-in to hire internal experts, you outsource certain responsibilities. In the meantime, you can rank the skills you want to hire for in order of priority and necessity and go from there. And don't forget that the budget includes headcount and security tools.
- What is the team's reporting structure? Does it allow for future growth? Logistically, you'll want to consider how a security team fits into your organization's overall structure. Consider what this means for career paths and development. You want to set your security team up to track their successes, expand their scope appropriately, and grow as your organization grows.
As your security team expands, empowering them with access to learning and development opportunities will promote individual career growth and keep your organization up-to-date and protected against evolving threats. An engaged security team will be able to more easily (and impactfully) influence your internal security culture. Ultimately, by being considerate of how you build your security team, you're more likely to set them—and your organization as a whole—up for success.
As we head into the final stretch of the year, there’s no better time to start preparing for 2024. Consider your security plan for next year, and make sure your budget aligns with your goals. Are there gaps in your security team that need to be filled? Or are you starting with your first IT hire? Building a robust, dedicated security team will prepare your organization for next year and beyond so everyone stays protected and productive.
Whether your security team is expanding or just starting out, Dashlane is here to help admins monitor, manage, and improve your organization’s security.
There’s a lot to consider when creating a security budget. Get data-driven insights into how to make the best decisions for your organization and how a password manager fits in.
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