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A Fundamental Guide To The Basics Of Operational Security and Why It Could Be Important To You

Introduction

Operational security is also called "procedural security" in some circles. It allows the person to view things from an enemy's perspective.

"You have to know how the dark side works if you want to defeat it."

It also helps you from allowing information to fall into the wrong hands. There are a lot of ruthless hackers on the internet. They can come in many shapes and forms. That is why you have to take steps to protect your information, particularly your most sensitive information.

Did you know that operational security started as a military thing?

Now, it has found its way to other platforms, especially social media. There are a lot of benefits to using social media. However, there is also a lot of disadvantages too. Being prone to hackers and other people who might steal your data is one of those disadvantages.

Operational security is also useful for employers who have employees who want to share data through online exchanges like texting and emails. You never know what an employee is up to. Sometimes a person can shroud their real identity in the form of a nice exterior. There are a lot of fake people out there. That is why it makes operational security so brilliant. It has a way of stopping things before they start.

What Are The Five Stages?

You need to understand the five stages( or steps) if you are going to use operational security in the right way.

1) The Sensitive Data

Those documents include everything from your financial statements and security to your property research. That also includes your product research. These are some of the more sensitive documents you might have on file. Those documents are the ones you want to protect above everything else.

Anyone who has access to your product research could get in there and claim it as theirs, especially if you are still in the production stage. Someone could get the information and maybe sell it to the highest bidder. That happens a lot with product research and development.

There are a lot of competitive people. You never know what someone will do if the price is high enough.

2) Identifying Threats

Every file you have gets placed into its category. That being said, there are different levels for your data, and some present more challenges than others.

Third parties are a good place to start. Once again, there is a lot of competition. You also need to keep a close eye on your employees. Some of them could have grievances with management that you do not know about.

Others could be guilty of negligent behavior and are forced to resign. Those are the people with nothing to lose. It happens a lot more than you realize. You never know what someone will do if they are placed in that situation. They could appear to be the nicest person on the outside. However, on the inside, they could have a score to settle.

Disgruntled employees are known to work for the highest bidder. It is their way of "getting even" for what they perceive as "workplace grievances." They go in. They strike. You never knew they were there until it is too late.

The point is, you need to keep an eye on anyone that might loop suspicious. The signs are not always wide open. Some of them are very subtle. That is where operations security can help.

3) Holes In Security

You might have a security issue you do not know about. One small hole in your computer infrastructure will cause a lot of weaknesses and vulnerabilities. That allows third parties to come in and exploit your weak spots.

That is why operational security is important. It can counter those threats before they start.

4) Risk Levels Associated With Vulnerabilities

Every vulnerability or weak spot has its risk. Some are going to be riskier than others. Your goal is to assess with level pose the most risk. You also have to assess the extent of the damage that the risk will cause and recovery time.

Some levels and information are going to require more protection.

5) Counter The Attack

You need to counter the attack in some way. The final levels involved coming up with a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. The number of plans you need depends on the level of protection and your information.

The last thing you want is to wait until something has happened before you do anything about the problem. They are waiting until the last second could also result in more issues. Hackers can steal anything they want once your defenses are down. That is not a position you want to be in either.

Waiting until something has happened is giving the other side an open invitation to steal whatever they want.

Another part of this final stage is training. You need to train all associates, so they know what to do if something happens. The last thing you want is to have someone sitting there who has no idea what to do next.

Place the training materials in some kind of file. Storing it online could be a problem if the hackers have already gained access to your online details.

The point is, everyone in the office should know what to do and when. They should not have to require extra training. That should be taken care of in the beginning.

The Principle of Least Privilege

No one should have access to information that is above their pay level. Information should be given out on a "need to know" basis. Those who require access to highly-sensitive information should go through the proper protocol. That will reduce the amount of information falling into the wrong hands.