Any modern business needs a solid Cyber Security Strategy to prevent data breaches, phishing, malware and other Cyber threats. The core purpose of a good Cyber Security Strategy is to offer robust Cyber threat detection, provide adequate protection, and set out the process to take in response to a Cyber-attack.
With remote working the ‘new normal’ over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are taking an in-depth look into their existing Cyber Security protocols to ensure they’re providing adequate controls to protect their remote working environment, in line with their risk appetite. Below we explore the idea of rebooting your Cyber Security Strategy, starting with determining whether change is needed, along with elements that are essential in securing your people going forward.
When is it time to reboot your Cyber Security Strategy?
No business is too small or too insignificant to be targeted by hackers. A Cyber-attack can affect anyone, and at any time. Also, there is no Cyber Security platform that is impenetrable, so we need to ensure we have defence in depth and a plan in place for a potential breach.
If Cyber Security has been something of an afterthought in your business, and your Cyber Security protocol doesn’t include a security breach response, a refresh of your Cyber Security strategy should be considered.
Outdated tools and lack of training
Many organisations are still using outdated tools and systems to manage their asset protection, and often underestimate the value of Cyber Security training, making them at higher risk of a Cyber-attack. A simple firewall and a standard antivirus system will no longer suffice, and with today’s technology and methods of penetration up a staggering 800% in 2020, you’re leaving the gates open to anyone with a curious mind or ill intent.
More than 2 years since your last Cyber Security Risk Assessment?
Even the best Cyber Security Strategy can quickly become outdated. Cyberattacks are becoming more and more sophisticated by the day, with successful breaches vastly on the rise. Leaving your Cyber Security Strategy dormant for more than 2 years makes you more at risk of a breach. Ensuring your Cyber Security team or third party supplier are regularly reviewing and advancing your process and procedure is a quick way to protect your business and assets.
How often should a business security strategy be reevaluated?
The first step is addressing when the last security maturity assessment was undertaken, and more importantly, what improvements were implemented after the review.
A full-scale security risk assessment should be considered, at a minimum, of every year to ensure your Cyber risks are identified, assigned an owner and that a plan is formulated to tolerate, treat, transfer or terminate the risk. However, constant monitoring and BAU improvements should be carried out as a standard procedure on a more regular basis.
If a year or more has passed since your last professional Cyber Security Risk Assessment, your current Cyber Security Strategy may need re-evaluating, and could open you up to some of the not-so-obvious factors that can increase the Cyber Security risk within the business. These can also include changes within your team, as well as recent moving of premises.
Handy tips for rebooting your Cyber Security Strategy
If you have identified the need for a reboot of your Cyber Security Strategy, the next step is how to implement this:
- Identify your assets. If you do not know what assets you have, whether these are technological assets, people assets or information assets, then you cannot determine their value.
- Evaluate your assets. Once you know your assets, decide how valuable they are to your business and its operations. This will prioritise where you need to focus your attention.
- Conduct a risk assessment using one of the many risk frameworks. Think about the risks to each asset and then apply an approach that works for your organisation. Most organisations use simple 1-5 scales for impact and likelihood. Determine the values for each asset and assign an overall owner who is responsible for that asset.
- Create a plan to either tolerate, treat, terminate or transfer each risk that has been identified. Understand what your organisation’s risk tolerance level is. Are you willing to tolerate a risk that scores between 1-5? Does the cost outweigh the risk value and therefore can you accept that risk. Once you know this you can then decide how many risks you need to treat.
- Identify controls. Look at the highest scoring risks and decide how you want to control them. This can be using technology, using people and training, or a combination of the two. Remember, it is what works for your organisation, what’s within your budget, and, ultimately, will it be effective in reducing the risk level.
Once you’ve taken these steps, and addressed any issues, focus your attention on the overall Cyber Security Strategy. There are four key components to a robust strategy:
- Identification and assessment of Cyber risks and threats
- Implementation of tools and processes to defend against them
- Monitoring, analysis and improvement as part of BAU protocol
- Implementation of rapid security breach response protocols
Many businesses also find it beneficial to seek an external Cyber Security Service provider to consult upon, bringing an outsider’s perspective on your business, as well as robust, up-to-date knowledge of recent Cyber threats and processes.
Staying in the know about Cyber Security news
The digital world is constantly evolving, making staying up to date with tech news, analysis and research high priority for any IT professional’s agenda. Ensuring your team is current on the latest developments in the Cyber Security field is essential, undertaking any industry training, seminars and events that are relevant and where skills gaps appear.
Outsourcing Cyber Security
Not every business has the internal resources to maintain a high level of Cyber Security in-house, with many outsourcing to an external Cyber Security Services Provider. They are experts in their field, and will be able to provide a Cyber defence plan quickly and without the need for any internal resource.
Cyber Security specialists are top of their game when it comes to the latest developments and tools, and are constantly evolving and advancing their processes with emerging threats.
Whether you decide to manage change within your own business, or if you outsource to an external Cyber Security supplier, you must ensure that your Cyber Security Strategy is up to date to ensure your business and data stay safe.