Cybersecurity is critical to business survival in today's digital world, where data is corporations' lifeblood. But information security is a complex discipline—you must address multiple moving pieces and ensure they work together seamlessly to achieve your security goals.
A cybersecurity strategy is a high-level plan that helps organizations manage risks associated with data usage to stay relevant and competitive as technologies, threat landscape, and business and regulatory requirements evolve.
Here's why you need a robust cybersecurity strategy and how to design one for your organization.
The Benefits of a Sound Cybersecurity Strategy
Cybersecurity is complex—everything must work together seamlessly to cover the ever-expanding attack surface created by increased digital transactions, remote working, cloud computing, etc. You can't implement a few disparate tools and hope the pieces will fall into place.
Here's why you should have a solid cybersecurity strategy:
It gives you a bird's-eye view of what skill gaps you must fill and identify the right resources to execute the appropriate security protocols.
It helps you map all your business-critical information and customer data so you can implement security solutions to protect them.
It guides you to allocate resources strategically to prevent attacks and breaches, which can tarnish your reputation, diminish customer trust, and lead to the loss of business.
It lays out the tools you need to stay current with emerging threats, so you can take a targeted approach to protect your digital assets.
It enhances visibility into your IT infrastructure to increase the flexibility and scalability of your systems while supporting key trends such as remote working.
It addresses the delivery of staff training to ensure everyone is aware of the latest threats and taking the right action to protect company data.
It ensures that you comply with various data privacy regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, etc.) to avoid legal ramifications and hefty penalties.
It provides guidance to handle potential breaches and limit damages associated with an attack (e.g., by reducing costly downtime caused by the loss of data.)
It helps you take a proactive security approach while being better prepared to respond to incidents to prevent minor ones from festering into devastating issues.
How To Design a Robust Cybersecurity Strategy
Creating a cybersecurity strategy starts with understanding your cyber threat landscape and evaluating your current cybersecurity maturity. Since it's almost impossible for any organization to address every risk all at once, the insights can help you prioritize resources and resolve the most urgent vulnerabilities.
Next, design or improve your cybersecurity program to address compliance requirements, identify the cybersecurity tools you need, and determine the best practices to follow. You should also regularly conduct risk assessments and update your security plan, policies, and procedures to stay current.
Here are the key components to include in your cybersecurity strategy:
1. Security Frameworks + Compliance Standards
You don't have to start from scratch—you can leverage various cybersecurity frameworks, such as NIST-800, ISO 27000 family, SOC 2, CIS v7, and COBIT as the foundation. Then, layer on requirements specific to your industry and business model, including PCI-DSS, FISMA, HIPAA, etc., to outline your security roadmap.
2. Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment
Regular risk assessments help you understand your company's cybersecurity maturity and see how you can improve your cybersecurity posture. The evaluation should cover data governance policy, cybersecurity tech stack, incident response processes, etc.
3. Cyber Threat Landscape
Develop a broad understanding of the company's operating environment and how your organization situates within the latest threat landscape. For example, what vulnerabilities are present at customer touchpoints? Who could benefit most from hacking into your network? What are the methods criminals use against companies in your industry?
4. Data Security Policy
Based on various requirements and standards, you can develop guidelines and policies to set employee expectations and detail the consequences of violation. These include the workstation policy, acceptable use policy, remote access policy, and bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
5. Roles + Responsibilities
Cybersecurity has many components, and the complexity means it's easy for things to fall through the cracks. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities is key to establishing accountability and ensuring that everyone in the organization does their part to keep your business-critical information safe.
6. Employee Onboarding + Education
Your security policy is only as good as your employees' ability to follow it. Plus, it takes only one person to click on one malicious link or attachment to infect your entire network. Therefore, comprehensive employee onboarding and training must be an essential part of your cybersecurity strategy.
Cover All Your Bases With the Right Cybersecurity Partner
Cybersecurity is a multi-faceted discipline. Even companies with a large IT team find it challenging to address all the moving pieces internally. The right cybersecurity partner can help you access the latest best practices, strategies, and technologies to protect you from the latest threats.
Are you ready to take your security strategy to the next level?
At Compugen, we help our clients improve their cybersecurity posture with our proven Cybersecurity Lifecycle Framework (CLF.) Our layered security solution is crafted from internationally recognized standards and security frameworks to support the implementation of cybersecurity strategies.
Learn more about our security services and get in touch to see how we can help.