Operations security (opsec), is a process of assessing and protecting public data by adequately analyzing and grouping data by a clear adversary. It is a military origin discipline which has become very vital for the government and non-government organizations these days.
The purpose of opsec is to identify, protect, and control sensitive uncategorized data about an operation or activity and deny the ability to compromise the mission or service.
As opsec was originated from the U.S. military, they have been using these five-step process to access organization data and infrastructure and draw up to protect it.
- Assess opsec critical information. An organization should start by determining what data can cause harm to their organization after begin acquired by an adversary. The data can be client information, financial records, and intellectual property.
- Determine types of opsec threats. After determining the opsec critical data, an organization should identify their adversaries. Criminal hackers or business competitor can target an organization data.
- Opsec analysis of vulnerabilities. An organization should perform a complete security audit to make known its weak points in the infrastructure or security system.
- Opsec assessment of risk. This step is linked with all the above steps. In this step, the threat level is determined that how vulnerabilities revealed in step 3 can expose critical data identified in step 1 to threat actor identified in step 2. In this step, it is figured out that how much damage someone can cause organizations by exploiting external vulnerabilities.
- Making an opsec plan. The last step is to create a proper strategy to deal with vulnerabilities and ways to keep your data secured.
Operations security measures
After completing the opsec process, it is time to take some serious steps to implement the opsec plan to ensure cybersecurity.
An organization should implement change in the management process, restrict the access of devices to the network, the employees should be provided the minimum necessary access, and the principle of least privilege should be applied, and should plan for incident response and recovery from incidents.
It is vital to train the employees about encrypting data and devices, how to monitor the transfer of data and limiting the access to specific data. The employees should be aware of the use of social media during office hours. A person with the most interest and ability should be charged for the opsec in an organization.