- Unlike cybersecurity policies, which are detailed and in-depth, cybersecurity strategies are high-level plans with a time frame of three to five years.
- The right kind of security solution and strategy can help enterprises minimize downtime and loss of data while potentially allowing companies to save on their investment.
Cybersecurity concerns are very much omnipresent now. A slew of high-profile breaches has brought cybercrime into popular consciousness. It’s obvious for businesses to adopt greater cybersecurity frameworks and technology – maybe a free antivirus program, a rudimentary firewall, or a multi-factor authentication system – to mitigate the tremendous risk of cybersecurity threats. But then, suddenly, your business experiences unexpected growth.
Once you reach the inflection point, you are uncertain about the scalability of your security systems and how they will fit into your overall business strategy. You are unsure whether to develop your security strategy from scratch or preserve some existing security measures, retain them internally or outsource them. Over and above, you do not know how your security measures will perform in the face of regulatory compliance requirements and security risk assessment audits.
It does not matter at which stage your business is in; cybersecurity has always been challenging. But it’s even more difficult when your business is at the cusp of growth. The right kind of security solution and strategy can help enterprises minimize downtime and loss of data while potentially allowing companies to save on their investment.
This blog post will help you build a cybersecurity strategy plan – from establishing overall goals to offering some actionable steps.
Why should you be concerned about cybersecurity?
It’s always better to be dynamic, not reactive. However, it’s more complex to manage new threats rapidly than it may appear. Many organizations only react when something goes wrong and don’t keep track of their IT security.
While a proactive approach puts you ahead of attackers, it also helps you stay in compliance with regulations. When cyberattacks occur, an aggressive strategy will help you stay prepared. Furthermore, proactiveness enhances prevention, detection, and response while reducing confusion.
What exactly is a cybersecurity strategy?
A cybersecurity strategy is a plan for how your company will protect its assets and minimize cybersecurity risks. While cybersecurity rules are comprehensive and detailed, cybersecurity strategies are broad, and long-term plans span three to five years. But they are much like policy documents in that they are living documents that change over time to keep up with changing business processes and threats.
A cybersecurity strategy is crucial if one wants to move from a reactive “whack-a-mole” strategy – dealing with problems as they arise – to a structured and proactive approach that is ready to address the uncertainties and challenges that inevitably arise in any modern corporate environment. A well-documented cybersecurity strategy provides a proper structure and direction to help you stay ready and avoid confusion in times of uncertainty or crisis.
So how do we build a cybersecurity strategy? How should you go about devising a strategy? And why should it exist? Let’s have a closer look.
High-level cybersecurity goals
A cybersecurity strategy should help achieve the following goals:
Preventing: Your first goal should be to keep any kind of security breach at bay. Your actions in this category will try to stop malware from being sent and run and stop unauthorized people from getting access. Below we have mentioned a few steps for security incident prevention.
- Secure the endpoint: Devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices are endpoints or entry points to your network. These are the most vulnerable locations on your network, as end-users often make mistakes, such as clicking on suspicious links or opening malicious attachments. Endpoint security tools that emerged as antivirus have now evolved and offer enhanced protection from attacks such as malware and zero-day exploits, among others. As a first step, you must secure the endpoints.
- Rigidify your network: Your network is at the foundation of the entire IT infrastructure. Anyone with network access to your network can access all of your IT infrastructures. It is, thus, essential to prioritize network security. Your capacity to proactively identify and address network security issues helps you meet privacy and security goals and improves network efficiency. Firewalls, NAC, IDS, etcetera., are network security tools that can help you defend your network.
- Implement 2FA: In present times, hackers have become more sophisticated in their ways of conducting data breaches, password hacks, and even social engineering. In such times, simple username-password combinations are insufficient to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is easily implemented and effectively protects accounts from cybercriminals.
- Use VPN: Virtual Private Network, as it is called, allows companies to access business networks and resources from across the world without the fear of data being stolen by hackers in transit. A VPN offers much-needed security and privacy even as you access all of your business resources over a public network.
Control and mitigate: If your first line of defence doesn’t work and you have a security breach, your second goal must be to limit the damage. Most organizations have put in place strong security measures that focus on prevention, but they have little or no defence if their network is breached.
Available security tools will not allow unknown users to enter your network or even access your resources. But what if a breach takes place and the attacker breaches your network defences? There ought to be a security system that can contain the threat and limit the amount of damage it can inflict. This is where the following tools can help:
- Network segmentation: Segmenting your network helps contain invasions by restricting or hindering infiltrators’ lateral movement. Each network segment can have its firewall with separate security rules, allowing for different policies, encryption, and authentication standards. This helps contain security breaches and prevents them from propagating to other network parts.
- Zero-trust security model: Zero Trust Security is a best practice for enterprises reliant on the cloud and employee mobility. The tech landscape is constantly changing, owing to which the once-trusted local networks and corporate perimeters are now vulnerable to cyberattacks. Zero Trust Security allows enterprises to address advanced attacks within the corporate boundary, lowering business risks.
Recovery and restoration: Your third goal should be to quickly regain access to and functionality of your IT infrastructure following a cyberattack. This critical security goal aligns with the business goal of operating with little to no downtime.
- Set up a plan for business continuity and disaster recovery: A disaster recovery and business continuity plan outlines the measures needed to guarantee a business survives a disaster and can resume normal operations swiftly. Disaster recovery aims to alleviate damages caused by a disaster. Business continuity, on the other hand, secures critical assets. No security solution can safeguard a firm 100%; hence DRBC is essential. DRBC ensures minimum disruption if any of your security systems fail.
The prevalence of cyberattacks has compelled businesses to come to terms with associated risks and they are fast raising their digital defences with the effective use of technology and big fat budgets. But what’s truly needed is an effective cybersecurity plan that outlines how a business should recover its data in case it’s compromised. In the next blog, we will talk about some essential steps to building a cybersecurity strategy.