Five Tips For Developing And Deploying A Cyber Security Strategy
Modern-day business owners and managers must keep their business's information and digital assets safe from prying eyes.
23:27 03 November 2021
Protecting customer and employee information should be the topmost priority of every CIO and CISO out there. So, how these professionals manage security threats will ultimately decide whether they leave a lasting dent on their business's reputation or not. However, no business owner or IT professional wants to be in a situation where a cyber security plan comes as an afterthought of a significant data loss or breach.
While cyber security threats and attacks continue to evolve, it is a no-brainer that your security measures should too. Meaning, your cyber security strategy should stretch beyond the traditional, in-house infrastructure while considering remote endpoints. Furthermore, instead of focusing on threat prevention alone, also give some thought to detection and response. After all, what good will a plan-of-action do for your business if it doesn't involve detection and response initiatives? That said, let us look at a few tips for developing and rolling out an effective cyber security strategy.
Learn as much as possible about cyber security
Suppose you're a cyber security professional looking to develop an effective strategy for your employer. In that case, you need to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the latest trends and threats. Not to mention, being up-to-date with the latest info will allow you to know about the viruses and techniques cybercriminals use these days to steal company data.
That said, an easy way to increase your know-how is by acquiring formal education. You can enroll in an online cyber security degree to save time and money as you skill up. Furthermore, higher education will help you plan and implement strategies to strengthen the protection of information, systems, and assets while reducing the risks of theft in the process.
Assess your business's current cyber security environment
It might sound like an obvious thing to do. However, you have no idea how many cyber security professionals develop and implement a security strategy without reviewing strategies that are already in place. Hence, it is vital to assess existing cyber security strategies, their effectiveness, and why your company chose to drop them in the first place. Then, ask a few critical questions. Were there issues with the implementation of the strategy? Or was it dropped because of management's negligence or a lack of resources?
After obtaining answers to these questions, the next step is to assess the existing state of the security environment. For example, do you have unattended systems that require essential infrastructure work? Has it been maintained properly? Is your workforce aware of threats and risks? So, consider using Gantt charts, timelines, risk registers, and other documents to set the objectives, keep accurate evaluations, and track progress.
Collaborate with stakeholders and coworkers
It is always wise to be open to suggestions from other employees. Chances are they might've noticed discrepancies in existing cyber security strategies that you previously overlooked and can now iron out in your new one.
So, utilize this level of experience and skills your coworkers and other people offer you. While you're at it, don't forget to support their training. So, consider building a close-knit team of highly skilled cyber security professionals and incorporate the changes and updates you want to see in your business.
Incorporate security measures and control
After identifying all the vulnerabilities and risks that might affect your security infrastructure, now is the time to seek the best solutions to contain them. Detection, response, and prevention are three vital components of an effective cyber security strategy. So, if a cyber-attack occurs, experts must have an adequate response strategy to counter it.
CIOs and CISOs are responsible for keeping employee, customers, and user data safe. Hence, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the latest security measures and legislation and go one step further. As suggested before, utilize spreadsheets and trackers to keep yourself notified of any threats or attacks. While meeting basic requirements will allow you to maintain compliance, taking things to the next level will offer you the benefit of preserving data integrity. And, if a breach occurs, at least you will have a robust prevention mechanism to fall back to!
Review your budget
While you can think of every possible strategy, don't forget that money is a deciding factor when developing and deploying a plan. For example, whereas encrypting documents and changing passwords doesn't incur any costs, purchasing the proper hardware will probably cost thousands of dollars. Furthermore, anti-virus and anti-malware are crucial for every business out there. However, SIM (Security Information Management) might be a costly investment for small businesses. So, consider being realistic about the things you can afford. After all, a massive budget isn't an end-all-be-all requirement to have an effective cyber security strategy.
Businesses should never forget that a cyber security strategy alone won't be enough to protect their data and reputation. However, when you create and implement one, ensure that you cover all your bases and have an adequate response plan to tackle any issues if they arise. Furthermore, consider the tips mentioned in this article to create the best cyber security strategy that your skills and budget allow!