For today’s companies, creating a cybersecurity strategy is simply a must. As the number of security threats in the corporate world is ever-increasing, nothing should be left to chance in this regard. Using antivirus software or strong passwords is definitely not enough for any organization anymore, big or small.
Instead, more proactive security measures are needed. An overall cybersecurity readiness or resilience called security posture (which covers areas such as physical access and wireless, network, and data security, both internal and external) is vital. It describes the organization’s ability to recognize threats, as well as to prevent and tackle them.
This kind of cyber threats awareness and alertness is well reflected in creating periodical cybersecurity strategies – that can be done on both organizational and national levels. Such a strategy crafts a framework for rules and procedures everyone involved should stick to.
Table of contents:
1. Cybersecurity strategy in brief
2. What should be included in a good cybersecurity strategy?
3. Building a cyber strategy step by step
4. Cybersecurity strategy boiled down
5. More cybersecurity tips & insights
Cybersecurity strategy in brief
Cyber security strategy can be called the top-down approach to cybersecurity across the whole organization or country. In a more down-to-earth view, it’s about building a framework to execute cybersecurity activities based on a clear, detailed plan of action.
Benefits of implementing a cybersecurity strategy
The bottom line is increasing the level of security and resilience of the corporate infrastructure and networks and eventually securing organizations’ assets, as well as products and services it delivers, and minimizing cyber threats. Such a strategy may help to prevent breaking down the services and cloud applications, and protect the network and sensitive information from breaches.
For this reason, implementing a powerful, properly designed and effective cybersecurity strategy is simply necessary these days. Decisions are data-driven nowadays, and undisturbed access to data as well as other digital assets is crucial for organizations to thrive in the market.
What can be very beneficial in this regard, is employing the “defense in depth” cybersecurity strategy that concerns multiple layers of defensive security mechanisms, measures, and controls. The advantage of such a holistic attitude is that the network is protected in a variety of ways, and when one security measure fails, others are still in place.
Cybersecurity strategy example
An interesting cybersecurity strategy example comes from the Australian Government which outlined its approach to cyber security in a dedicated 2009 document. It stated that the aims of the country’s cyber security strategy covered Australian businesses, the Australian Government itself as well as average Australians – that were all to become aware of cyber risks, secure their computers, and tread carefully when online.
What should be included in a good cybersecurity strategy?
A good cybersecurity strategy should be thorough, all-encompassing, and ready for execution whenever necessary. It should prepare the company for the worst scenario possible – and even when something less catastrophic happens the right people should get the warning. Mechanisms that let them know early in the attack should be carefully prepared and written down.
What’s more, a good cybersecurity strategy should involve measures that slow the attacker so that the organization has time for a swift response. In detail, the strategy should include a cybersecurity maturity assessment, risk inventory, security goals and tech stack, the cybersecurity framework chosen, a risk management plan with multiple lines of defense, as well as an employee education plan.
It’s very important that all employees are aware of the importance of the organizational cybersecurity strategy, know their roles in detail, and stick to the guidelines it covers as even a seemingly minor oversight can have major – and devastating – consequences.
For this reason, every person on the board should be trained regularly in this regard, and IT infrastructure and computer security systems – updated. A culture of personal responsibility and mutual trust must be created to keep track of the level of security, monitor and report possible breaches quickly.
Building a cyber strategy step by step
Several factors need to be taken into account when building a cybersecurity strategy for an organization. Let’s have a look at them to be ready to develop a top-notch cyber strategy:
1. Conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment
In this step, a comprehensive inventory of the organization's digital assets (like software and systems) as well as risk profile should be prepared, with all major weaknesses identified, including entry points to the company’s system and network layouts (like cameras, the internet, or mobile devices).
The security posture should be evaluated during the security audit as well. The goal here must be creating a company’s cyber threat landscape and pointing out which factors (legacy systems are topping the list) are the riskiest and should be taken care of in the first place. Evaluating an organization’s resources and technology in use at the time is also within the initial stage of the cybersecurity strategy mix.
2. Choosing a cybersecurity framework
Now that you are aware of both the cyber threat landscape your organization operates in, as well as its technological potential to fight the risk, it’s time to choose a proven cybersecurity framework as a starting point for building the right cybersec strategy.
Such a framework covers security policies and guidelines to follow – depending on the company’s current and desired security posture, the industry it represents, organization size, or business goals. It also provides controls to check the company’s current standing in terms of cybersecurity.
Some examples of cybersecurity frameworks available include NIST, ISF, and PCI Security Standards Council.
3. Designing a new and improved security policy
In this phase, you need to define what exactly needs to be done to make your organization secure from cyber threats – at the level that you find sufficient and affordable. Specify what you want and how you want to achieve it, and prepare a risk management plan – covering multiple lines of defense.
4. Communicating and executing the cybersec policy
When decided, everything should be written down and clearly communicated to employees – in the form of appropriate guidelines, procedures, and policies. However, the threat detection process should be automated and updated regularly, and the whole security strategy – evaluated and modified frequently.
When building a cybersecurity strategy, it’s important to make sure that you get all the necessary information from every useful source, so the communication needs to be smooth. The engagement of all the team members, as well as upper management, is required, too.
To make the cybersecurity strategy work, sufficient funds need to be assured, and eventually, all employees need to take cybersecurity training. Phishing attacks, ransomware, and identity theft are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybersecurity threats an organization’s employees may face, and they should know much more about the ever-changing types of attacks than that.
Cybersecurity strategy boiled down
The demanding threat landscape of contemporary organizations, which covers many remote employees that deal with a lot of sensitive data, calls for implementing security controls and appropriate cyber security strategies.
Crafting a thorough, all-encompassing cybersecurity plan or strategy should definitely belong to a company’s strategic objectives – as a security breach may bring grave consequences of the reputational, financial, or operational kind. These consequences can even be detrimental – with a staggering 60% of small companies failing within six months of a breach.
Appropriate security measures are a must, however, not every security breach can be avoided. What’s crucial is that business partners and stakeholders understand that cyber security threats are inevitable; data backup and recovery capabilities are also essential.
Instead, threat awareness should be raised as well as the ability to detect any cybersecurity issues, mitigate them, and respond fast. Creating a security strategy that embraces written practices that cover practical tools, and solutions to achieve that is one of the best means to actually be on the safe side.
More cybersecurity tips & insights
Don’t hesitate to browse our blog for more tips on how to protect your organization against various hacker attacks and other cybersec threats, browse our blog. Some topics that you may find interesting include:
- cybersecurity best practices,
- examples of AI in cybersecurity,
- Internet of Things cybersecurity,
- cloud computing security.
We’re always happy to share our know-how, so if you want to safeguard your business from cybercrime and data theft, check out the cybersecurity ebook by Codete x LogicalTrust – download now >>
And if you want to be on the safe side when it comes to security issues and make your organization fully secure and susceptible to cyber threats, let’s work together!