Operations

The Cyber Angels and The IT Mission

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The IT Mission

Considering the increasing cyber threats, our Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) asked our IT manager to elevate the IT security systems of our business unit by a notch above its current state. He had a week to come up with a plan for the same.

The IT manager left for the day with the same thought as it was already late for his kid’s birthday party. He tiredly hit the bed with a book in hand and swirling thoughts about the day’s happenings.

Mission Planning

The IT manager summoned the 3 Cyber Angels who had won their last battle with the Cyber Demons.

Protection

The first angel came flying, took out her wand, and started the magic.

This was the Protector Angel, and her virtue was to set the protection controls in the IT systems. She went around the IT rooms to take stock of what all needed protection. She restricted the physical and logical access to critical infrastructure rooms and critical repositories. Then she checked the firewall for protective patches and set the firewall rules as per organization and project needs. Next, she thought about access to all IT assets and appropriately restricted the administrator rights and installation rights to the authorized members. She ensured that the organization and IT assets were properly hardened with multi-factor authentication, anti-virus, port disabling, system idle locking, VPN access. Suddenly it struck her that she must have a backup for critical services to keep the protective systems running. She ensured redundancy for critical infrastructures like power, internet services, firewall, and switch.

Detection

The protector angel called in the second angel and asked her to keep an eye on the IT systems operation.

The second angel is the Detector Angel, and her virtue was to detect the operation of the protection systems. She swished her wand, enumerating the detection needs. She set the firewall’s Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool. Then, she set the monitoring for the software packages, OS patches, and AV patches for the IT assets and configured to gather all the necessary system logs. While leaving the IT room, she saw the physical perimeter setting access units. She set the access units under monitoring and the CCTV units already monitoring the physical movement. She synchronized the access and CCTV units’ clocks for proper monitoring.

Reaction

Now it was the turn of the detector angel to pull in the cute Reactor Elf.

The reactor elf used her magic sprinkle to initiate reactions/responses to the anomalies detected in the IT protection system. She set the boundaries for the normal operation of the IT systems and set the anomaly notification triggers to authorized members. She smartly ensured that the notifications were strictly timed to ensure immediate action.

All the 3 cyber angels went to the IT manager and woke him up to get his praises.

Our IT manager woke up startled with Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons in hand. How he wished he could have the Cyber Angels in his team. It was all a dream.

Mission Accomplished

Our IT manager had visualized his high-level plan to configure the IT security systems. He had to configure the protection systems first, then the detection systems, and finally the reaction systems. We could hear him happily whistling as he put his plan to execution the next day. Do you hear him?

Thoughts on “The Cyber Angels and The IT Mission”

  1. Vishnu Aditya Ashok

    Love the story, Gayathri! Too bad the cyber angels were a dream- but I suppose that’s where we come in!

  2. Tatiana Osorio

    Great, colleague, the history was amazing, a good analogy to understand how Cyber Security should work

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Gayathri Narayanan, SQA Manager

Have a hybrid background of engineering academics, technical writing and software process quality assurance for about 15+ years. Other than work, interested in art, writing, music.

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