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ITIL® – How It Improves Information Security

The ITIL® framework provides Information Security guidelines that can affect Information Security personnel both directly and indirectly. The Security Management process guidelines are one way in which ITIL affects Information Security staff directly. Other ITIL guidelines ensure that the IT processes are being aligned with the overall business goals of the organization.

Once organizations properly implement the ITIL framework in their IT infrastructures, they can see huge improvements in their Information Security:

  • Keeps Information Security processes focused – As IT management is not as mature as say Financial Management, IT and especially Information Security is considered to be a money pit. Most of the IT budget of companies is spent on Information Security even though security measures are not up-to-date. With ITIL, all Information Security processes and overall Information Security goals are aligned.
  • Provides structure – Instead of having a haphazard process where Information Security personnel have no clear goals or working instructions and always take a defensive mode, ITIL ensures that Information Security staff take clear, well-defined steps and approaches.
  • Well-defined roles – The ITIL framework and documentation clearly define all the roles and responsibilities for all the Information Security processes. This is helpful during crisis situations and emergencies as the person who is responsible and the actions that need to be taken will be known to all.
  • Review is allowed – Many organizations do not have suitable IT infrastructures or the means to implement Information Security updates.  ITIL views Information Security as an iterative process; this is why reviews and updates are vital parts of ITIL. ITIL allows organizations to be protected from changing threats in a structured and efficient manner.
  • Common language – Often times, business personnel are not well-versed with IT concepts and do not understand the processes required for a sound Information Security system. As ITIL aligns IT and business goals, it provides a common language for IT personnel to communicate with their business counterparts.
  • Documentation standards – Process standards are of the utmost importance for any company, and these standards need to be rigorously implemented for internal and external audits. ITIL establishes documentation standards and best practices that can be easily monitored and audited. SLAs and OLAs that are essential for Information Security help the whole organization understand and comply with security regulations and guidelines.
  • Effective Change Management – ITIL also establishes best practices for Change Management, Incident Management and Configuration Management. It has been observed that most security vulnerabilities arise from the improper monitoring of Change Management. When this is properly implemented and monitored, Information Security improves drastically.
  • Process reporting – The ITIL framework states that all Information Security processes must be documented and delivered to senior management. This ensures that the organization’s top management is aware of all the Information Security processes and their statuses. It helps them make informed decisions to minimize risks and also helps them implement plans to make sure that their employees comply with security regulations.

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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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