What are the Best Practices for Operational Security?

Follow these best practices to implement a robust, comprehensive operational security program:

  • Implement precise change management processes that your employees should follow when network changes are performed. All changes should be logged and controlled so they can be monitored and audited.

  • Restrict access to network devices using AAA authentication. In the military and other government entities, a “need-to-know” basis is often used as a rule of thumb regarding access and sharing of information.

  • Give your employees the minimum access necessary to perform their jobs. Practice the principle of least privilege.

  • Implement dual control. Make sure that those who work on your network are not the same people in charge of security.

  • Automate tasks to reduce the need for human intervention. Humans are the weakest link in any organization’s operational security initiatives because they make mistakes, overlook details, forget things, and bypass processes.

  • Incident response and disaster recovery planning are always crucial components of a sound security posture. Even when operational security measures are robust, you must have a plan to identify risks, respond to them, and mitigate potential damages.

Risk management involves being able to identify threats and vulnerabilities before they become problems. Operational security forces managers to dive deeply into their operations and figure out where their information can be easily breached. Looking at operations from a malicious third-party’s perspective allows managers to spot vulnerabilities they may have otherwise missed so that they can implement the proper countermeasures to protect sensitive data.