Key Elements of a Successful Cybersecurity Strategy
According to the Enterprise Strategy Group’s “2022 Technology Spending Intentions Survey”, organizations are making security a priority with 69% increasing their cybersecurity budgets in 2022. A cybersecurity strategy is a plan that helps an organization to protect its data, systems, and employees from cyber attacks. A solid cybersecurity strategy will set you up for success with your company’s IT infrastructure and provide peace of mind for your customers and employees. IT Support Fresno offers extensive guidance to local businesses looking for strategic help and support in building and deploying an effective cybersecurity strategy. Let’s talk about the basics of creating a successful cybersecurity strategy:
Understand the difference between compliance and security
In the world of cybersecurity, there is a difference between compliance and security. Compliance is simply meeting minimum requirements. For example, if an organization has to meet certain standards in order to achieve a certain certification, then they are complying with those standards. Security on the other hand goes beyond just complying with those standards; it’s about making sure you are secure against all threats by employing best practices and tools such as penetration testing (pen testing), vulnerability scanning, and more advanced tools like ethical hacking simulation. A good security strategy will have a combination of both compliance-based measures as well as proactive risk mitigation measures that go beyond merely being compliant with regulations but instead focus on identifying risks before they happen so that your business can be truly protected from cyberattacks.
Make security everyone’s responsibility
It’s important to remember that security is not just the responsibility of the IT department, nor is it just the responsibility of your security team. It’s not even just your CEO or board who needs to be aware of and engaged in your cybersecurity strategy. Data security impacts everyone in an organization—from sales, marketing and finance all the way through to HR and support functions like customer service.
More than 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals by 2023, an increase of 175% from 2018. This is why it’s critical for every employee to receive training on how to identify suspicious emails and links as well as how best to protect themselves from phishing scams or malware attacks. They should also know how they can report incidents so that they don’t accidentally mislead anyone else in their organization about what happened (for example by claiming something was spam when it wasn’t).
Have a Modern Technology Stack
A modern technology stack is a set of technologies, products, and services that are used together to create a modern way to communicate and collaborate. A good example of this would be Slack, which is an application used as part of the modern communication stack. For help and advice on choosing the right technology stack for your business, please contact Managed IT Services Fresno.
A modern technology stack typically includes:
- SaaS applications (e.g., Salesforce)
- Cloud services (e.g., AWS)
- Mobile apps (e.g., Instagram)
- Web applications/sites (e.g., Facebook or Twitter)
Have a strong incident response plan
A strong incident response plan is key to your cybersecurity strategy. The plan should be tested regularly and updated as necessary, with the input of all stakeholders in the organization. It should be a part of your business continuity plan, as well as part of your disaster recovery plan.
This means that when a cyber-breach occurs, you’re ready with an effective response plan in place that includes:
- A protocol for notification (who needs to know and when) – this could include law enforcement authorities if required by law;
- A communication strategy (who will provide updates to employees and other stakeholders) – be sure to include details on what information they can expect from these communications; and
- A decision-making process (who will make decisions about where to direct resources during an attack).
Have a strong disaster recovery plan
The first step in developing a strong cybersecurity strategy is to define your problem. Before you can put together a solution, you need to clearly identify what your needs are and how they differ from those of other companies. It’s also important to set goals before starting on a solution. If you don’t know where you’re headed, there’s no way to know if the road ahead is paved with success or failure.
Just as important as defining and setting goals is not worrying about what other people’s goals might be. There are no right or wrong answers here—just realistic ones that fit into your company’s overall strategy.
Account for the roles of your cloud vendors and ISPs
It’s important for you to know that cloud vendors and ISPs are a critical part of your cybersecurity strategy. The risks they pose shouldn’t be ignored—and neither should the value they can provide.
In order to mitigate these risks, it’s crucial that you have a clear understanding of how these entities fit into your security picture, along with their roles in an incident response plan. Your vendor and ISP partners should understand what data they’re talking about when they reference customer information, so if there is ever a breach or compromise of this data the appropriate parties can be notified right away.
If you understand these principles, your company will be more secure
In order to be truly secure, you have to understand the difference between compliance and security. Compliance is about meeting regulatory requirements; it’s not necessarily keeping your data safe. To be truly secure, you need a modern technology stack that can protect your website from breaches and attacks while also accounting for the roles of your cloud vendors and ISPs (Internet service providers).
In addition to having a strong incident response plan in place, it’s important to make sure everyone at your company understands what they’re responsible for when something goes wrong. This includes:
- Understanding how their role impacts overall security strategy
- Knowing who they should contact when an incident occurs
- Knowing how they should respond if an incident occurs
This post has outlined a few essential components to creating a strong cybersecurity strategy. As we’ve seen, these principles are interconnected and interdependent. For instance, it’s impossible to ensure that your cloud vendors and ISPs are secure if you aren’t also able to respond quickly in the event of an incident. In short, having a modern technology stack doesn’t just make things easier for you, it also ensures better security for all involved parties. If you understand each of these principles well enough, then your company should be much more prepared for all potential eventualities. For more strategic guidance and customized cybersecurity solutions, please contact Cybersecurity Sacramento.