Situational Awareness in Cyber Security

Situational awareness originated as a military term, with the United States Army Field Manual defining “Situational Awareness” as “Knowledge and understanding of the current situation which promotes the timely, relevant, and accurate assessment of friendly, enemy, and other operations within the battle space in order to facilitate decision making.” More and more, however, the military and civilian business worlds are applying this idea to cybersecurity.

What is situational awareness in cybersecurity?

The idea is to apply the militaristic definition of situational awareness to your organization’s security posture. This approach helps your business gain insight into what is happening around you in the digital world, enabling better decision making for how best to defend your organization. Situationalawareness is a defense strategy that allows you to proactively assess and mitigate cybersecurity threats based on early warning factors.

How does cybersecurity situational awareness benefit your organization?

Staff who are able to apply situational awareness methodologies are better able to assess current vulnerabilities and determine the need for action. This agility enables companies to mitigate potential attacks and eliminate vulnerabilities before they negatively affect the company.

What are examples of the situational awareness methodologies?

Companies are applying situational awareness to cybersecurity through the implementation of hardware sensors and “smart” computer programs. More important, forward-thinking organizations are turning to the application of methodologies such as the OODA loop, which enables agile observance of what’s occurring and applies this awareness to quick but informed decision-making. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act and was developed by a U.S. Air Force military strategist to direct a soldier’s energies to best enable survival.

It is easy to see how this method translates to the world of cyberwarfare and cybersecurity, where an organization’s survival depends on the ability to quickly size up and deal with threats and risks. Cybersecurity situational awareness and methodologies such as the OODA loop not only keep your organization safer but also make you more agile and capable of informed decision-making in all aspects of your business.