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Security Architecture

IT Security Architectures

in a complex and dynamic world

Certificates:

Prince2 (classic & agil)

Scrum Product Owner

Scrum Master

ITIL4

CISSP

Business Analysis

Requirements Engineering

With our extensive expertise in the development and testing of security architectures, we deliver significant added value to our clients and provide reliable guidance in the dynamic world of cyber security. 

Our approach is to deliver customized security solutions that are precisely tailored to the individual needs and risk profiles of our clients to ensure maximum effectiveness.

When developing specific security concepts, we consistently follow renowned standards such as from NIST, BSI and industry-specific guidelines such as VDA TISAX. This enables us to align our recommendations transparently and in line with internationally recognized best practices. At the same time, we always keep an eye on cost-effectiveness: We ensure that investments in security measures are in balance with the financial benefits they bring by minimizing risks.
 

Integrated security architecture: a key to comprehensive security

An effective security architecture requires a seamless interplay between technical measures and organizational and procedural strategies. This integrated approach is critical to minimizing security gaps and establishing a robust line of defense against ever-evolving cyber threats.

  • Technical controls such as firewalls, encryption techniques and intrusion detection systems form the foundation to ward off attacks and keep data secure.

  • Organizational controls include policies and procedures to ensure that security practices are consistently applied and adhered to.

  • Process measures include regular security audits and assessments to review and adjust the effectiveness of implemented security strategies.

The challenge lies in effectively integrating these elements and continuously adapting them to the dynamic landscape of cyber threats. A holistic view of the security architecture allows us to proactively respond to new risks and ensure that our security measures are always up to date.

Fundamental security principles in the dynamic IT landscape

In the world of IT security, new trends and approaches regularly come into focus with the aim of ensuring a high level of security. Despite the changes in trends and focal points, one constant remains: the fundamental design principles of a robust security architecture, which are based on two central considerations:

  • Assume Breach: This principle assumes that at any point in time, a component in the system - be it a server, a control module, an administrator or a supplier - could be compromised. It does not focus exclusively on preventing a compromise, but on limiting the consequences of a security incident. Modern security strategies such as Zero Trust and Layered Security Design offer conceptual solutions by enabling effective risk mitigation through layered security measures and the principle of minimum trust.

  • Avoid Complexity: Complexity is often seen as one of the biggest enemies of security. As complexity increases, so does the risk of overlooked security vulnerabilities or unforeseen behaviors in crisis situations, which can have serious security consequences. Although complexity cannot always be completely avoided due to various conflicting objectives, it is all the more important to counteract it with clear structures and transparency. Approaches to reducing complexity include the simplification of systems and processes, clear documentation and the application of principles such as modularization to improve system maintenance and security.

Day-to-day implementation: In order to comply with these principles, it is advisable to conduct regular reviews of the security architecture to monitor and proactively address complexity.

Equally important is the continuous training of staff to create a deep understanding of the importance of security practices and the risks posed by complexity.

Applying these basic security principles requires continuous adaptation and updating of security strategies to keep pace with the rapidly changing threat landscape. By integrating "Assume Breach" and "Avoid Complexity" into security planning, organizations can build a resilient security posture that both flexibly responds to threats and preemptively mitigates risk.

 

Useful to Know
Useful to know:

01.

More than 90% of successful cyberattacks start with a phishing email, CISA 

Phishing, especially spear phishing, continues to be the weapon of choice. IBM reports that 62% of phishing attempts are made with an attachment and 33% with a link, and 58% of phishing kits attempt to compromise passwords. 

With AI like ChatGPT, the cyber attacker gets a powerful accomplice. By perfecting the creation of individually tailored and personalized emails in the victims' native language, phishing emails appear even more genuine. The embedding of deep fakes in video calls or scam calls is also on the rise.

02.

50% of IT executives believe that passwords are too weak a security measure,

Ping Identity

The IT industry agrees that passwords are fundamentally flawed. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is on the rise, but passwords are still part of the process for many solutions.

03.

In companies with a zero-trust approach, the average cost of security breaches was 1.76 million less than in companies without this approach, IBM

The first step in security management is to adopt a Zero Trust approach. Several studies show that between 40% and 90% of organizations have adopted zero-trust security solutions. However, adopting a zero-trust approach does not guarantee security due to vulnerabilities.

04.

45% of organizations experienced one or more attacks that exploited vulnerabilities in their VPN servers, zscaler

A quick search of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database reveals over 750 available vulnerability reports. Of course, these are only the publicly reported vulnerabilities. Some of these are minor, while others are critical and expose your network to immediate attack.

05.

The average cost of a ransomware attack amounted to

5.13 million USD, IBM

Ransomware is even more expensive than a data breach (average cost of $4.45 million) and accounts for almost a quarter of attacks. Interestingly, the cost of a ransom not paid was 5.17 million and the cost of a ransom paid was 5.06 million. However, the cost of the ransom does not reflect the total cost of an attack.

06.

Recovery from a ransomware attack costs companies an average of USD 1.82 million, SOPHOS

Another study shows that the cost of recovering from an attack is also significant. Sometimes these costs are lost revenue due to

  • downtime,

  • damage to reputation leading to loss of business,

  • installation of new systems to prevent future attacks or

  • replacement of systems affected by the hack.

Another issue that increasingly plays a role in recovery from a hack is dealing with fines.

07.

45% of security spending is driven by compliance requirements, Foundry

Many organizations are trying to implement security solutions for their network that will make them compliant. As this statistic shows, compliance is responsible for nearly half of all security spending, and in some industries that number is even higher. However, the real goal of any OT manager is to keep the business running.

Our Services

IT Security
Project Management

Security Requirements Engineering & Management

IT security measures are characterized by a high level of complexity and dynamics with many stakeholders. It is necessary that the PM framework can respond flexibly to this and still offer a controlled environment and governance. Prince2 is such a framework and also offers management by phases and exceptions. Prince2 also has a strong focus on risk management and incident management. Careful documentation, quality assurance and stakeholder management are also part of this framework.

Design and Architecture Development

  • Technology selection: Selecting the technologies and solutions that are best suited to meet the identified security requirements.

  • Architecture design: Designing a security architecture that takes into account both the current IT infrastructure and future expansions.

  • Analysis of the IT strategy and existing business processes, plus risk assessment.

  • Risk assessments: Assessment and evaluation of existing or new IT security architectures.

  • Elicitation and definition of requirements for the IT security architecture, functional and non-functional requirements such as EU regulations and compliance in highly regulated industries, NIS2, TISAX)

  • Definition of the objectives of the future security architecture, CSFs/KPIs.

  • IT security requirements management.

Implementation

We are responsible for the creation of plans and documentation as part of the project management for the implementation of the security architecture.

  • Phasing plan: Develop a detailed implementation plan that defines the sequence and methodology for the implementation of the security solutions.

  • Plan the necessary testing procedures to ensure that the security solutions work as intended and do not have a negative impact on existing systems.

  • Creation of an incident response plan

  • Disaster recovery planning

  • Creation of plans for monitoring and maintenance

  • Compliance reviews: Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with internal security policies and external regulatory requirements.

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