SC Total Security Conference: Develop key partnerships with MSSPs and vendors for strategic security

Creating key partnerships with external services is a key factor to securing the business.

Speaking at the SC Magazine Total Security Conference in London, John Taylor, global head of IT security and service continuity for British American Tobacco, said that along with patches, malware and users, one of the things that is changing is what the business is expecting security to be.

He said: “We are not just running username and password resets for access, we are now adding multi-domain access to roles and to the environment.

“The organisation is expecting us to know everything, to be the business and to be technical support and 'geeky'. This is why having a team is so important, and partners with the right support, to help you meet your end goals.”

Taylor said that with a network that supplies into 196 countries, having an managed security service provider (MSSP) was very important.

He said that at British American Tobacco an 18-month project on partner relations and demands had revealed that a managed resource was needed, while a managed toolset with the right abilities to manage staff was also key, as was a shared interface.

Taylor said: “The provider does the strategy and innovation so we bring them to the table and on board to come with ideas and to do face-to-face meetings to discuss the threat environment and what is happening in the industry.

“Tools are very nice to help security layer integration over the top, but what we are trying to do is drive a culture where innovation comes too. We are trying to find tools to identify problems and say what we are going to be looking at in the next two years. We find partners to work up the value chain and threat environment.”

Taylor concluded his presentation by saying that strategies need to be "joined up and creative" and security teams need to move to a "truly integrated environment" and for British American Tobacco the MSSP was offering this capability.

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