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What exactly is operational security, and why is it important?

In principle, protecting your firm from security incidents is simple, yet many businesses struggle to find the proper approach when it comes to cybersecurity.

Implementing safeguards to your firm’s important information will only become more critical for survival as the digital transformation takes hold of the modern corporate environment—and if you aren’t already, it’s time for your organization to take proactive protective steps.

To that end, many organizations, including some government agencies, are implementing operational security (OPSEC) – a security technique that supports addressing risk management through the eyes of a possible attacker in order to better safeguard information from becoming the target of a cyberattack.

In this post, we’ll look at operational security in further detail, including what it is, why it’s important, and how you can construct an OPSEC plan that works best for your company and its bottom line. With this knowledge, your company will be more prepared—and safer—on the road to worry-free cyber risk management.


What exactly is operational security?

OPSEC is a process as well as a strategy. As a strategy, OPSEC is intended to assist your IT and security managers in considering your organization’s business processes and systems through the eyes of a possible attacker. OPSEC, as a procedure, can assist your company in identifying actions that may disclose sensitive information to unauthorized parties.

Operational security, at its core, employs the risk management process to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities in your organization’s existing systems and processes, as well as the software and hardware it employs. OPSEC can also refer to a variety of analytical operations and processes such as behavior tracking, social media monitoring, and security best practices.

By viewing your systems and processes through the eyes of an attacker, you will be able to uncover flaws that were previously overlooked or neglected, allowing you to apply suitable countermeasures and keep your data secure.


How to make an operational security plan

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to risk management; it is a process that your business will most likely have to change several times before it truly works, and even then, a major disruption could require you to restart nearly immediately.

Fortunately, there are a variety of current risk management frameworks and approaches that can assist your firm in getting started. We propose that you start with some of the most prevalent risk management frameworks, such as NIST, COSO, ISO, and COBIT, before moving on to the next five phases. This stage is also critical for identifying whether your firm must meet compliance requirements or industry standards, and if so, what they are.

Furthermore, we propose that before you begin developing an OPSEC plan, you ensure that you have the correct personnel in place. As a best practice, employ dual control to ensure that the teams and persons in charge of establishing your security rules are separate from the teams and individuals in charge of managing the corporate network.

It’s time to get started on your OPSEC plan after you’ve consulted some of the current risk management frameworks, established compliance requirements, and assembled a team.