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3 Ways to Use Change and Release Management for Security

03/13/2014 by: The SunView Team

Change Management

Data breaches can be incredibly damaging and they can be caused by a variety of factors. Having a good change and release management setup in place is one way to avoid the damages of a data breach. While this method will not protect against hackers who use the network to get inside firewalls, it will give IT teams the tools they need to ensure that human error and technology vulnerabilities do not lead to security risks.

Consider the Damages Caused by Data Breaches
Any data breach can lead to severe damages, particularly as a wide range of organization types handle sensitive data. For example, in 2013 Target suffered a major data breach that resulted in the staggering numbers that follow:

  • 40 million unique credit and debit cards stolen
  • $100 million - The amount of estimated money that Target is putting into upgrading their existing POS systems
  • $200 million - Estimated cost to credit unions and community banks for reissuing 21.8 million cards

Source: Krebs, Brian. "Krebs on Security." Krebs on Security RSS. 6 May 2014. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.

Using Change and Release Management to Avoid Data Breaches
Data breaches of this sort are not uncommon, as organizations can easily end up inadvertently publishing data when a small configuration change or programming alteration leads to problems with a database. Change and release management tools are key in overcoming these issues and there are a few key reasons why:

1. Eliminating Human Error
Release and change management solutions automate repeatable process in a variety of IT operations. Because of this, they eliminate human error in many functions. This is particularly important as operations teams often face a significant number of monotonous manual operations, and tedium is a natural recipe for errors. Automating processes eliminates many opportunities for human error and helps eliminate risk.

2. Take Strain from Developers
Sometimes flaws in a program are a cause for vulnerabilities, but those flaws exist because developers are forced to skimp on testing or rush solutions to ensure a rapid time to market. Getting solutions into production is vital for value creation, but a rushed solution can lead to problems. Change and release management solutions ease the actual deployment process, giving developers more freedom to put time into crafting the right solution.

3. Create an Audit Trail
Sometimes the biggest issue is figuring out what caused a problem that led to a data breach. Was a line of code faulty, or was a change handled incorrectly? Change and release management solutions create a built-in audit trail, eliminating this uncertainty.

Data breaches can be extremely damaging, but investments in change and release management solutions can make it easier to avoid these issues in the first place.