Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses from all industries. It’s a difficult subject to approach, but it’s important to do so thoughtfully. In today’s world, it requires modern cybersecurity programs to weave technology and processes together to overcome the web of complicated external regulatory requirements and market expectations.
A cybersecurity program helps organizations coordinate a plan to address all types of cyber risks. There are many aspects to the overall security of a business, both administrative and technological. In this article, we will highlight the key components of an effective cybersecurity program that will contribute to business success.
Approach to Develop an Effective Security Program
Many organizations have taken a reactive approach when it comes to cybersecurity, responding to cybersecurity incidents instead of proactively assembling various individual security technologies to protect data, systems, and networks in the first place.
If you don’t know where to start, a gap assessment and a risk register can help. Gap assessment is a process by which you conduct a holistic review of your security program from a best practices perspective. With a risk register, you can identify and analyze all the risks your business faces, and then develop plans for mitigating those risks. Once you know what needs protecting and how vulnerable it is, you can develop strategies for protecting against attacks and data breaches.
A good risk management approach is personalized to your organization. It differs from one company to another, and your business should consider several factors, such as industry, regulations and resources. Once you have identified where you are currently at, you want to decide where you want to be and what needs to be done to get you there.
How to Develop a Good Cybersecurity Program for My Company?
The next step is to plan your strategy that ties to your business objectives. You must build a program to monitor, detect, and investigate threats on an ongoing basis. Hackers will keep getting better with time. Your business will continue to be susceptible to threats because of the evolving cyber risk landscape.
It is best for the company to make a continuous effort to advance the maturity of the program and its capabilities and ensure it stays current with best practices and emerging threats. There are many aspects when it comes to developing a good cybersecurity program, but one of the most important things is to get educated.
- Get educated
There are lots of great resources out there for you to learn more about cybersecurity, and many of them are free! The first step is knowing what you’re up against. Our monthly newsletter features cybersecurity news and our monthly webinars, subscribe to stay up-to-date.
Knowing what types of attacks are made against other players in your industry, as well as knowing whether those attacks have been successful or not is critical. Based on this information, you can then make decisions about how to protect yourself from similar threats.
- Create a strategy
Once you understand the basics of cybersecurity, it’s time to put together a roadmap for mitigating risk. This can include things like developing an incident response plan, running a tabletop exercise to build experience and hiring an outside consulting firm to help with internal policies and procedures. With an incident response plan in place, you can respond quickly when a hacker penetrates your network, and take remediations before too much damage is done. No security system can be effective without such a plan.
Another important aspect of a good cybersecurity program is utilizing security tools to monitor your network and keep tabs on what is happening at all times. The more you know about the environment, the more likely you’ll be able to detect an attack before it causes damage or halts your operation.
The third aspect of a good cybersecurity program is employee training—both for new hires and for existing staff members who might need a refresher or additional training due to changes in their responsibilities within the company structure over time (for example: if someone transfers from IT support into sales). Employee training should include not only technical knowledge but also awareness training on how these threats affect operations and customers. It is important to make sure the people who are on your team are fully trained in how to handle potential threats, so they know what they’re doing when something happens. And if an incident does occur, they can respond quickly and effectively so that it doesn’t become an even bigger problem than it already is!
- Test Your Security Program
Once you have your security program in place, it is necessary to establish a system to continuously test the efficacy of the program. This may range from hiring an outside firm to evaluate the network and attack the system by running penetration testing or vulnerability scans on the network.
- Review Third Party Security Program
Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses, but it is particularly challenging for companies that rely on third parties to carry out their day-to-day operations. While these partnerships can be beneficial, they can also increase the risk of cyber attacks. We are seeing more legislation being enacted to hold companies responsible for the mistakes of their partners. In many incidents where customer data has been exposed, regulators have fined the victimized company for having insufficient detection programs in place.
Companies also need to ensure that third-party vendors have acceptable security programs and develop a process to review those programs regularly. Many hacks have occurred because third parties have had subpar security standards. For example, when a breach occurs from one of your vendors, you may be liable for the damages incurred by your customers.
- Find ways to measure success
Many companies struggle with this step because they don’t have any metrics in place. You can begin by tracking things like employee training attendance rates and monthly reports on breaches or data leaks.
If you want to keep your business safe from cyberattacks, it’s crucial that you use a cybersecurity program that provides comprehensive protection against both known and unknown threats. A good program should also allow you to easily tailor its settings so that it works with your specific needs and environment—without requiring extensive training or technical knowledge on your part.
Improving Your Cybersecurity Posture
It’s not just about keeping your network secure, it’s about protecting the reputation of your company and making sure your customers trust you to keep their information safe. And while cybersecurity can seem like a daunting task, it’s actually relatively simple to implement if you know what you’re doing.
It is going to be a journey and not a destination. Every organization needs a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Here’s a summary of components you can look out for in a security program:
- Risk assessment
- Corporate security policies
- Security framework
- Asset management
- Identity and access management
- Security awareness program
- Privacy and compliance
- Endpoint protection
- Email security
- Logging and monitoring/SIEM
- Network security
- Vulnerability management
If you don’t have a clear understanding of your current cybersecurity posture, it can be difficult to make informed decisions about how much money you should invest in improving it. The best way to evaluate success and failures is by tracking them, so we can measure which strategies work and which don’t.
Does your cybersecurity program reduce business risk? Schedule a complimentary consultation to find it out!