Vishnu K Prasad
January 3, 2024

What you need to know about Security Architecture Review

Ask yourself this: How secure is my organization? No. I mean really ask yourself, how secure is your organization against advanced and meticulous cyber threats? Cyber threats that ruin reputation, customer trust, and cause massive financial damages.

In 2023 alone, the information security landscape has witnessed an increase in sophisticated threats, from ransomware attacks costing an average of $1.83 million to the exploitation of public-facing applications and remote services. In the presence of such intricate threats,Security Architecture Reviews (SAR) become critical to identifying and mitigating potential security risks becomes 

In today's blog, we'll look at SAR beyond the surface level. So, if you're a CTO, security architect, or simply someone keen to understand security architecture, then keep on reading!

Table of Contents

  1. Security Architecture in a nutshell
  2. Why Conduct a Security Architecture Review?
  3. How to Conduct a Security Architecture Review?
  4. Security Architecture Review with we45

Security Architecture in a nutshell

Security Architecture is a strategic framework that defines how an organization protects its information technology systems and data. This is not just about choosing the right security tools and technologies; it's a holistic approach that integrates policies, standards, and controls to defend against cyber threats and ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data.

An excellent Security Architecture not only determines the critical security controls but also anticipates potential cyber threats. This proactive stance involves developing and installing appropriate security controls, which can range from hardware appliances and software solutions to security policies. The role of Security Architecture is multifaceted:

  1. Protection of Information and Systems. Security architecture is primarily concerned with safeguarding an organization's digital assets, such as implementing efforts to protect sensitive data and securing network infrastructure.
  2. Strategic Risk Management. Architecture reviews help identify vulnerabilities and threats to manage security risks strategically so that organizations can focus their security efforts effectively and efficiently.
  3. Compliance with Regulations. With increasing data protection laws like GDPR and HIPAA, a robust security architecture is important for compliance as it ensures that the necessary security controls and procedures are in place to meet regulatory requirements.
  4. Enabling Business Operations. Good security architecture supports and enables business operations so that organizations can confidently pursue digital transformation initiatives, adopt cloud computing, and integrate new technologies while ensuring data security.
  5. Frameworks and Standards. The development and implementation of security architecture are guided by various frameworks and standards, including the NIST Framework, TOGAF, SABSA, and OSA. Each provides specific methodologies and principles for designing effective security architectures.

Why Conduct a Security Architecture Review?

Conducting a Security Architecture Review (SAR) is an essential practice for any organization looking to strengthen its cybersecurity measures. The process involves a thorough examination of the security architecture to identify and address potential vulnerabilities, ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, and improve the overall security posture. Here are the reasons why an SAR is crucial:

Identifying potential vulnerabilities

One of the primary objectives of an SAR is to uncover weaknesses in the security infrastructure. This dynamic approach involves scrutinizing various aspects of the security setup, including policies, hardware, software, network configurations, and access controls. Identifying these vulnerabilities helps organizations take preemptive measures to patch them before they are exploited by malicious actors.

Ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations

In an increasingly regulated world, compliance with industry standards and legal requirements is very important. A Security Architecture Review helps ensure that an organization’s security architecture aligns with relevant standards such as ISO 27001, NIST, GDPR, HIPAA, and others. This alignment is not only crucial for legal compliance but also helps in maintaining customer trust and avoiding potential legal and financial penalties.

Improving overall security posture

The Security Architecture Review process doesn't just identify vulnerabilities; it also provides insights into the overall effectiveness of the existing security measures. Because of this, organizations became aware of their current security posture and made informed decisions about where to allocate resources for improvement. Regularly conducting SARs helps in continually adapting and strengthening their security architecture to keep pace with the evolving cyber threat landscape.

Strategic risk management

Beyond immediate technical fixes, SAR provides a strategic view of the security risks facing an organization. It helps in understanding how these risks align with the broader business objectives and the potential impact they could have. This is essential for senior management and decision-makers to allocate resources effectively and manage risks in a way that supports the organization's long-term goals.

Facilitating informed decision-making

The insights gained from a Security Architecture Review enable organizations to make informed decisions about their cybersecurity strategies. It guides investment in new technologies, training, and process improvements. The review's findings can help justify the need for additional resources and provide a roadmap for future security initiatives.

How to Conduct a Security Architecture Review?

Conducting a Security Architecture Review (SAR) is a systematic process that involves several fundamental steps, from initial planning to the final reporting. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

Planning and preparation

  • Define what aspects of the security architecture will be reviewed, including hardware, software, policies, and procedures.
  • Identify the resources needed for the review, including personnel and tools.
  • Determine what data is required, how it will be collected, and the tools and methods for data collection.


  • Examine existing security policies, architecture diagrams, and compliance reports.
  • Conduct a technical analysis of the security infrastructure, including network configurations, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security controls.
  • Perform vulnerability scans and assessments to identify weaknesses in the system.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of current security controls in place.
  • Assess the potential risks associated with identified vulnerabilities and control weaknesses.


  • Document all findings from the review, including vulnerabilities, risks, and control weaknesses.
  • Develop recommendations for addressing the identified issues. These recommendations should be practical and aligned with the organization’s objectives and capabilities.
  • Present the findings and recommendations to key stakeholders, including management and the IT team.
  • Work with relevant teams to develop an action plan for implementing the recommendations.

Follow Up

  • Monitor the implementation of the recommendations.
  • Periodically review and update the security architecture based on changing technologies, threats, and business objectives.

Security Architecture Review with we45

You live in a neighborhood known for burglary, would you leave your door open?

The Security Architecture Review process, when executed effectively, serves as a diagnostic tool that offers a comprehensive view of your organization’s security health. Regularly conducting SAR isn't just a good idea – it's a critical determinant of an organization's resilience and success as a business.

we45's Security Architecture Review (SAR) solutions offer a comprehensive approach to enhancing an organization's application security posture. Our services are designed to evaluate and strengthen the security framework of a business, ensuring that it is robust, resilient, and capable of withstanding the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

What sets we45's SAR solutions apart is our thorough and customized approach. We delve deep into our client's security architecture, assessing all critical aspects from network design, data flow, and access controls to policy enforcement and compliance adherence.

For more detailed information on we45's SAR solutions and how we can benefit your organization, you can visit our page to request a review.