How to build a robust Cybersecurity Strategy: 5 Key principles to follow

236
cybersecurity strategy
Image Credit: kentoh/Getty Images

Cyber attacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication. Every business and organization must plan for these attacks – not in case they happen, but when they happen.  Knowing how to build a robust cybersecurity strategy is the first step in ensuring business resilience in the face of such cyber threats.

Ransomware is a more sophisticated method used by cyber criminals to hack into and compromise businesses’ networks and systems. Ransomware, phishing, and other cyberattacks have increased in recent years. This has highlighted the importance of having a cybersecurity strategy.

This article will highlight 5 vital principles your should ensure underpin your organizational cybersecurity strategy.

What is a Cybersecurity Strategy?

A cybersecurity strategy is an action plan aiming to increase your organization’s security and resilience. This strategy is based on a top-down approach and establishes a set of protocols and objectives to keep you safe.

This strategy outlines employees’ roles within your organization and identifies who is responsible for what. It will also address what should be done in the event of a security incident and the best way to respond.

RELATED: Responding to a Ransomware Attack: The crucial initial steps businesses must take

It also recognizes that cyber threats continue to evolve and provides ways for you to adapt so that your security is continuously improved.

If done properly, a cyber-security strategy will align with strategic business goals to improve the efficiency of your company.

What is the importance of a Cybersecurity Strategy?

Cyberattacks can cause severe damage to a company’s reputation, financial losses, operational delays, reputational damage, legal and regulatory backlash, and even a permanent shutdown.

A robust cybersecurity strategy will reduce the likelihood that a cybercriminal will attack your business if a security incident occurs.

Cybersecurity strategies are proactive approaches to dealing with cyber threats. An absence of one can increase the possibility of your business becoming a cyber attack victim.

RELATED: Benefits of Cyber Risk Management: What are the Advantages?

How can you help your company develop a strong Cybersecurity Strategy?

Every business should have a different cybersecurity strategy. There is no single approach to cybersecurity. Each business has its own unique requirements when it comes to information security.

Here are five steps your business can follow to develop a cybersecurity strategy.

1. Know your business’s risks

First, you must understand your business’s risks to create a cybersecurity strategy. The cybersecurity risk assessment is an effective process that provides a comprehensive view of your company’s cyber risks and your ability to manage them. Many threats can affect businesses.

Therefore, a thorough risk assessment is key to understanding your current policies and procedures. Businesses often overlook the importance of understanding the risks presented by third-party vendors in a cybersecurity risk assessment.

RELATED: Vulnerability Assessments: 4 Crucial Steps for Identifying Vulnerabilities in your Business

2. Your business goals should be aligned with the cybersecurity strategy goals

After completing a risk assessment, your security team or officer should begin to align your cybersecurity strategy goals with your larger business goals.

It is crucial to identify your security maturity. This is a term that refers to the organization’s level of security procedures and policies.

Another step to help you reach your security goals is determining your risk appetite. A risk assessment can help businesses understand their risk exposure. However, the business’s risk appetite and tolerance determine how much risk they are willing to take. Businesses can make better decisions by determining and defining their risk appetite.

RELATED: UTM: Unified Threat Management – A Pragmatic Approach for Information Security

One final tip when setting security goals is to prioritize quick wins. This will help boost confidence in your ability to tackle more difficult security issues.

3. Choose a cybersecurity framework that you want to follow

Next, you need to choose a cybersecurity framework to help guide your creation of a cybersecurity strategy. Cyber security frameworks describe best practices and guidelines for managing cyber security risks.

Many frameworks are available, including NIST, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS. Depending on your industry vertical or sector, you must adhere to many regulatory frameworks to avoid penalties and fines. Merchants that store or collect payment card data must comply with the PCI DSS framework.

4. Reexamine existing security policies

A security policy outlines how a company plans to protect its information and physical assets. Security policies are constantly changing documents that can be updated as technology, vulnerabilities, and security requirements evolve.

Reviewing existing security policies is an essential step in developing a cybersecurity strategy. This will ensure that they are current and adequately cover emerging cyber threats. The review should ensure that all employees follow security policies.

RELATED: Cybersecurity Insurance: Who needs Cyber Liability Insurance & What does Cyber Insurance cover?

It is vital to ensure that all employees are aware of security policies. Regular security training and awareness campaigns are also provided to help employees learn how to follow them.

5. Make a plan for risk management

A business’s security team uses the risk management plan to identify potential risks and estimate the likelihood they will occur.

This proactive approach helps you deal with potential negative effects on your business. These policies are part of your risk management strategy.

  • Data Protection Policy: Describes how a company should handle the personal data of employees, customers, suppliers, and any other third parties.
  • Incident Response Plan: This document outlines the responsibilities and procedures to be followed to provide a prompt, efficient, and organized response to Security Incidents.
  • Data Retention Policy: This policy outlines where and how various long types of corporate data should remain stored and archived by an organization.

RELATED: Risk Management Simplified: A Quick Overview of Managing Risks

Next Steps: Evaluation and implementation

Your cybersecurity strategy is now complete and ready to go. Your cybersecurity strategy must have continuous support to be successful. Cybercriminals will continue to invent new techniques, tactics, and procedures.

RELATED: Information Security and Risk Management: Developing a comprehensive approach

New vulnerabilities are constantly emerging that must be addressed. Your cyber security goals and strategies must be continuously tested to ensure they meet current threats.

This can be done by conducting an annual review of the risks and reassessment. This will help you identify any areas that are not being met. This can be an effective method to get feedback from all parties on the current cybersecurity strategy of a company. It can also help you build a culture of information security.

You might also like