It is undeniable that organizations require robust security measures against cyber threats. A cyber-breach can result in huge expenses to your organization. So what can we do to help prevent these breaches?  This is the purpose of a strong security architecture that can reduce these cyber security threats and the expenses that might result from them. 

A security architecture is a set of models, methods, and security principles that align with your objectives, keeping your organization safe from cyber threats. Through security architecture, a business’ requirements are translated to executable security requirements. Just like architecture in construction where there is an examination of the property in such factors as climate, soil type, topography, and client preference, so must a security architect understand the network, firewalls, defences, detection systems, and many other factors.

Elements of Security Architecture

Each organization is different, meaning every security architecture framework is uniquely designed to meet the needs of a specific organization. However, the methods and guidelines used to meet those needs are largely the same from architect to architect.

Security Architecture Frameworks Examples

Security architects have guidelines (frameworks) to work with. A security architecture framework is a set of consistent guidelines and principles for implementing different levels of business’ security architecture. Companies may opt to devise their frameworks by combining international standard frameworks, such as:

  • TOGAF
  • SABSA
  • OSA

TOGAF Framework

TOGAF, or The Open Group Architecture Framework, helps determine which problems need to be solved within the security infrastructure in a business. Its primary focus is on the organization’s goal and scope, as well as the preliminary phases of security architecture. TOGAF does not, however, give specific guidance on ways to address security issues. 

SABSA Framework

SABSA, or the Sherwood Applied Business Security Architecture, is a policy-driven framework. It helps define the critical questions that security architecture can only answer:  what, why, when, and who. The goal of SABSA is to ensure that after the design of security services, they are then delivered and supported as an integral part of the enterprise’s IT management. One downside, however, is that SABSA doesn’t get into specifics regarding technical implementation. 

OSA Framework

On the other hand, the Open Security Architecture (OSA) is a framework related to technical and functional security controls. OSA offers a comprehensive overview of crucial security components, principles, issues, and concepts that underlie architectural decisions involved in designing effective security architectures. However, OSA can only be used if the security architecture has already been designed.

Benefits of Security Architecture

Strong security architecture leads to fewer security breaches

With modern technology, an organization is required to have a security architecture framework to protect vital information. This drastically reduces the threats associated with an attacker successfully breaching an organization’s systems.  Among the many benefits of security architecture is that it can translate each unique requirement into executable strategies and develop a risk-free environment for a business while aligning with the latest security standards and business needs.  Of course, the  “holy grail” is that security architecture helps organizations demonstrate their integrity and confidentiality to potential partners. A strong security architecture, first and foremost, upholds the three pillars of the CIA Triad:  Confidentiality, Integrity, and Accessibility.  In so doing, consumers and business partners will be much more likely to work with and trust an organization.

Proactive security measures save money

Mitigating cybersecurity threats is expensive. Some of the possible ramifications of security breaches can include the halt of production processes, product recalls, embarrassing press conferences and, as a result, damaged reputations and severe monetary loss. The cost of fixing an error when detected in the early coding stages can cost up to 300%. However, if the same error is detected in the post-releases or the production stages, it costs up to 3,000% more. To avoid or reduce the chances of errors slipping through during product development, it is advisable to integrate security at each production level. All products should be developed within a security context, minimizing zero-day attacks and rushed (therefore expensive) patches. 

Mitigate disciplinary measures in the event of a breach

Although cyber breach legislation consequences differ around the globe, it is common knowledge that the more an organization tries to prevent risks and reduce vulnerabilities, the higher the chances of favourable outcomes in the event of an attack.  Working within regulations can help prevent punitive measures, which will, of course, further damage a company’s reputation and finances.  With the introduction of GDPR, regulations have gotten stricter, and businesses are working to keep their technology within these new regulations.  At the same time, technology is also advancing quickly, meaning that the legislative landscape is also working tirelessly to catch up with technology. In other words, both sides of the equation are constantly changing and tightening their regulations and practices. 

Therefore, as a business, having a robust security architecture and using the necessary processes and tools to integrate the development cycle to detect errors is the best way to comply with the relevant authorities and regulations, as well as further defend your company against cyber threats. 

Conclusion

As we conclude, it is important to mention that these types of issues must be handled by a specialist. IT – specifically cyber security – is a sensitive field. Having an expert to walk you through this process is vital to ensure that your security is being handled correctly. Moving forward, well-planned and effective security architecture will greatly help in consistently managing risks by allowing departments to make quick and better decisions and leveraging industry best practices.