ITSM Best Practices: Aligning Cybersecurity and ITSM Processes

IT has become an integral part of modern organizations, enabling them to perform their operations efficiently and effectively. However, with the increasing reliance on technology, the risk of cyber-attacks has also increased. This is why IT Service Management and cybersecurity are essential components of any organization’s IT strategy.

In this blog, we will discuss the intersection of IT Service Management and cybersecurity, and how IT leaders can ensure that their IT Service Management processes are aligned with cybersecurity best practices to minimize risks and protect their organizations from cyber threats.

IT Service Management (ITSM) refers to the management of IT services to ensure that they meet the needs of the organization and its customers. ITSM processes include incident management, problem management, change management and service level management, among others. The goal of ITSM is to ensure that IT services are delivered efficiently, effectively and consistently, in line with the organization’s objectives.

Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is the practice of protecting information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction. Cyber threats can come from a range of sources, including cybercriminals, hacktivists, nation-states and even insiders. Cybersecurity is essential to safeguard an organization’s sensitive information, such as customer data, financial information, intellectual property and trade secrets.

The intersection of ITSM and cybersecurity lies in the fact that IT services are often delivered through information systems, which can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore, IT leaders must ensure that their ITSM processes are aligned with cybersecurity best practices to minimize the risk of cyber-attacks and protect the organization’s sensitive information.

Cybersecurity Best Practices for ITSM

Here are some ways IT leaders can align ITSM processes with cybersecurity best practices:

  1. Incorporate cybersecurity into ITSM processes: IT leaders should ensure that their ITSM processes include cybersecurity as a core component. This means that cybersecurity considerations should be incorporated into incident management, problem management, change management and other ITSM processes. For example, ITSM processes should include steps to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks before implementing changes to IT systems.
  2. Implement cybersecurity controls: IT leaders should implement appropriate cybersecurity controls to protect the organization’s information systems. This includes implementing firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, antivirus software and other cybersecurity tools to prevent cyber-attacks. IT leaders should also ensure that these controls are regularly updated to keep up with emerging cyber threats.
  3. Train employees on cybersecurity best practices: Employees are often the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. IT leaders should ensure that employees are trained on cybersecurity best practices, such as creating strong passwords, identifying phishing emails and reporting suspicious activity. This will help reduce the risk of cyber-attacks caused by human error.
  4. Conduct regular cybersecurity audits: IT leaders should conduct regular cybersecurity audits to identify vulnerabilities in the organization’s information systems. These audits should be conducted by independent third-party auditors to ensure objectivity and thoroughness. The results of these audits should be used to improve the organization’s cybersecurity posture.

Gaining Better Security and Governance with iPaaS

A recent market study found that when it comes to automation within organizations:

  • 53% of IT teams manage 100 or more applications across their organizations.
  • 30% of IT teams task 50 or more system admins to support all of these applications.
  • 78% of system admins are building integrations across their application portfolios.
  • 69% of system admins are building workflow and automation on top of this application infrastructure.
  • 60% of teams spend 10 or more hours per week (a whole financial quarter of people-hours) working on internally developed scripts to manage IT systems and processes.

So, while all of this automation is great, when it’s done ad hoc by IT teams building their own scripts or home-grown solutions using a variety of APIs, it can cause more issues.

In fact, according to the study, more than four in 10 respondents to the survey said they spend at least five hours a week developing home-grown scripts for automation between and within applications and writing scripts for workflow and automation. That means that IT workers are spending more than six weeks a year tending to the care and feeding of internally built automations.

This works well in limited situations, but at scale, the DIY mentality quickly creates its own IT administrative headaches within organizations.

The study also found that:

  • 70% of respondents believe that their scripts and APIs are not well documented and lack controls.
  • 47% of respondents say their scripts and APIs don’t adhere to security standards and an additional 19% report they don’t know whether they do.
  • 28% of organizations have more than a six-month backlog on automation work requests.
  • 25% of organizations have more than a 6-month backlog to fulfill integration work requests.

As the survey shows, system integrations are being built over and over again by all of these different system administrators, often with little governance over the process and no documentation. And a lack of governance means that IT administrators are not ensuring that APIs, integrations and automated workflows across applications are securely built. Nor is the process orchestrated to limit the amount of redundant effort put into these tasks by various IT admins, who might be working in different groups and not closely collaborating.

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