Technology Not Enough

Risk mitigation requires an integrated security strategy.

Business today, including those in the financial sector, face such a broad range of security risks that only an integrated approach to risk management can guarantee the integrity of corporate data and transactions.

Unfortunately, while the theory of an integrated approach is fairly simple to understand, putting the security pieces in place can be a cumbersome process.

Part of the complexity of an integrated approach to security is that there is no definite point from which to expect an attack. Criminal forces external to a company are more sophisticated than ever and have access to powerful tools and devious techniques to gain entry even to a seemingly secure infrastructure.

But external forces are not the main threat facing companies.

"The great threat facing companies in the 21st century comes from within and the financial services arena is no different" says Hedley Hurwitz, managing director of Magix Integration. "Over 60% of data loss and fraud are committed from the inside by employees one is inclined to trust.

"What this means is that a company can not reduce its risk exposure by buying the latest and greatest security product. Effective risk management requires an integrated approach to discovering, mitigating and then monitoring risks via a comprehensive security strategy".

The process he recommends for the financial services industry is to start with a company-wide vulnerability audit. This audit will quickly determine which areas the company is at immediate risk.

Fast resolution of these problems will allow the organisation to continue operating in relative safety while moving on to the next step, which involves doing a more in-depth analysis of its business processes and operating methodologies.

The next step is to assess the broader environment the company operator in and the additional external risks to be managed.

Collating the data collected from the above steps provide the organisation with its full risk profile. With this profile in mind, the organisation is able to accurately determine the optimal security strategy to follow.

"Of course there is no such thing as a 100% secure company", notes Hurwitz. "A good security strategy is a balance between the organisation's need to be invulnerable and its operational requirements to provide access to anything at any time".

"The key to an effective strategy is to take an integrated approach.” An integrated approach empowers the business to make rational and effective decisions that will secure what needs to be secured without hampering the continued operation of the business".

For more information contact Magix Integration, +27 (0)11 258 4442,

Reference: Magix Integration, Security Focus.