Security Architecture Series Guide

Security Architecture Series Guide: Navigating Security Architecture Strategy & Roadmap

The primary purpose of creating an enterprise security architecture is to ensure that business strategy and IT security are aligned. As such, enterprise security architecture allows traceability from the business strategy down to the underlying technology.

Security Architecture Series Guide

Business Value Proposition

A security architecture is a design document describing the security components that will protect the enterprise, and the ways they relate and interact with each other. It represents a strategic planning horizon and guide that defines the desired state of an organization’s infrastructure.

The architecture sets the context for planning, design, and implementation. It enables a company to evolve and to become agile, multi-functional, and competitive, allowing the seamless adoption of new capabilities and applications into a common infrastructure. Security architecture also facilitates budgeting for security solutions and personnel.

In summary, the security architecture provides:

  • A way to evaluate applicability of new technologies, products, and services
  • A framework for technology decision-making
  • A macro view of IT systems and components, from the security perspective
  • A statement of direction for IT
  • A way to reduce and manage risk in the most cost-effective manner
  • A way to facilitate compatibility and easier administration of systems
  • A blueprint for future network growth
  • A way to create and document consensus
  • A methodology to force consideration of all design factors
  • A guide for the creation of an enabling infrastructure for unforeseen new applications

This Security Architecture Series Guide blog provides an overview of the series to enable readers to facilitate navigation. The series includes the following detailed topics:

Security Architecture Series Guide

Think You’re Secure? Think Again.

Today, with the advent of APTs attackers are laser-focused on multi-pronged exploits that steal data or wreak havoc.  Security is horizontal … it covers all IT infrastructure. The result is that security infrastructure becomes much more complex and fragmented. Attackers don’t discriminate and will take advantage of any gap in protection to reach their end goal. The bad guys continually evolve and innovate. All potential threat vectors need to be examined and addressed.


The secret to success in security is typically simplicity, to have a well designed and organized infrastructure that provides the appropriate layer of controls while enabling users a consistent ‘policy managed’ experience regardless of location, transport or device. The challenge is in achieving that goal. Stay tuned for more information on lessons learned and experience from the field, success stories and, practical case studies.

Think You’re Secure? Think Again.

Security Architecture Primer

The primary purpose of creating an enterprise security architecture is to ensure that business strategy and IT security are aligned. As such, enterprise security architecture allows traceability from the business strategy down to the underlying technology.

Technology Foundation

However, many IT organizations have moved away from formal security architecture governance in favor of rapid deployment cycles and tactical changes which over time risk diverging into complexity and fragmentation – with unresolved security exceptions. Complexity not only leads to insecurity and the increasing potential for human error but also increased cost of operations.

Security Architecture Primer

Security Architecture Baseline

Once distributed roles and responsibilities are identified and established for the security architecture project team, the next important step is to add to that foundation with a security architecture project baseline.

This blog in the series will enable organizations to create that baseline by defining and reviewing applicable regulations, security policy and standards, identifying and classifying information assets and resources, and conducting a risk and threat analysis.

Security Architecture Baseline

Risk-Aware Security Architecture

We continue the series to develop an on-going threat analysis and risk management process – as key requirements to guide architectural direction and also design/implementation to support mitigation of risks/threats via compensating controls and/or countermeasures or, enable the transfer of risk to other parties, acceptance as a business risk (exception process) or, seek avoidance.

Risk ManagementProcess

Risk-Aware Security Architecture

Develop Security Architecture

The next step is to build the security architecture and migration strategy. This strategy lays the foundation for a successful deployment and the ongoing integration of additional applications and services. We cannot emphasize enough that the quality of up-front planning is one of the biggest factors determining the success and degree of payoff from a security project.

Security Services

This section enables organizations to assemble and align the pieces necessary to develop, update, or validate a modular and flexible security architecture.

Develop Security Architecture

Product and Solution Selection

The security architecture and migration strategy (which now embodies your approved and prioritized requirements) may recommend specific products, or it may recommend going through a competitive process to select products. In either case, partner selection isn’t final until costs and schedules are nailed down, funding approved, and contracts signed.

Vendor ComparisonThe architecture is an important foundation for selecting the right vendors, partners, and approaches. However, additional tools are required during product evaluation and procurement. Relatively informal Requests for Information (RFIs) can bring the team up to speed on the advantages and disadvantages of various products. Formal requests for proposals (RFPs) should form the final basis for vendor selection and tasking.

Product and Solution Selection

Security Architecture Implementation

The security architecture defines and justifies a number of solution implementation, integration and/or improvement projects each year, based on budget, resources and, priority. As such, a master project plan should be created that takes into account identified dependencies, integration points and any parallel tasks.

Security Plan

To plan implementation of a security solution, you must identify where project execution resources will come from, develop an implementation plan, obtain buy-in for the implementation plan, and create a detailed design for the configuration and deployment of the security infrastructure.

Security Architecture Implementation

Adaptive Security Lifecycle

Infrastructure and the environments in which they operate are dynamic and continually evolving over time, especially in our rapid deployment world. Many fast-tracked organizations start out with a well-designed, orchestrated and secure architecture but organically, like Firewall rules it devolves and diverges into increasing levels of complexity and fragmentation.

Adaptive Lifecycle

Applications and systems grow exponentially creating increasingly complex connectivity and relationships that result in a spiders web of interfaces across domains. Complexity leads to insecurity, increased risk of human error and, a substantial increase in the cost of operations and maintenance. The result dramatically impacts the organizations ability to deploy rapidly and efficiently and move forward with agility.

Security done right is a business enabler that dramatically reduces total cost of ownership (TCO)
providing a tangible Return on Security Investment (ROSI).

IT complexity and fragmentation replaced by an adaptive modular and flexible architecture enables agility and
improves your competitive edge — so the business can refocus quickly as new opportunities emerge.

Security is a process, not just a product or technology issue.”

Nigel P. Willson

Adaptive Security Lifecycle

Architecture Case Study – Part 1 & 2

In the Security Architecture Series of blogs we have shared all of the steps involved in requirements gathering, baseline, product and solution selection and, through to realizing the architecture. This blog presents an Architecture Case Study that uses those principles and recommendations as a practical example. The illustration provides a conceptual simplified view of the program use case.

Defense in Depth Part 1 takes the reader from Architecture development through to the Technical Recommendation then Part 2 takes the reader from Design to Deployment strategy with Implementation and Migration.

Architecture Case Study – Part 1

Architecture Case Study – Part 2

Thanks for your interest!

Nige the Security Guy.


About secureadvisor
Security Guy

5 Responses to Security Architecture Series Guide

  1. Pingback: NG-OPS Advanced Defense – Part 1 | Nige the Security Guy

  2. Tim says:

    Is it possible to use the following photo in an internal company meeting –

    THanks in advance

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