23 Feb Efforts to combine to have the perfect cyber security strategy mix.
What makes the perfect cybersecurity strategy mix. 5 efforts to combine to improve cyber security
Cyber attacks have evolved over the last decade. Attacks are nowadays highly advanced and sophisticated and are carried out in an alarming frequency. The rise of phishing attacks, ransomware, SQL injection attacks and DDoS attacks is predominantly fuelled by the continuous digital transformation of organisations and the increased digital surface driven by larger arrays of digital touchpoints.
Gone are the days where organisations were safe by setting up a firewall or installing an antivirus. The nature of attacks are dramatically different, most often targeting organisations’ most valuable asset – data!
An effective cyber security strategy is a must to protect organisations, stakeholders, applications and data. Cybersecurity needs to have a well defined framework and a clear direction, to serve as guidance.
What is a cyber security strategy
The CISO and his team will design a plan with actions and SOPs aimed to maximise the resilience of the organisation. It is usually a top-down approach, with clearly defined procedures, toolsets and responsibilities. Everyone, irrespective of the designation and role, in the organisation is responsible for cyber security. Awareness training is key, to minimise human error, which can lead to devastating results. The strategy will encapsulate protocols to help keep the organisation safe.
Recognising the fact that cyber threats and risks exist is the starting point. Assessing, mitigating and managing risks (on an ongoing basis) are central to any cybersecurity strategy. It needs to be anchored by the drive to always strive to improve security. A metric to ensure a cyber security strategy is effective is to ensure it is aligned with the overarching strategic business goals.
Irrespective of the business size, a cyber attack can be extremely costly and at times fatal. Avoid catastrophes that can negatively impact your business continuity, be proactive and identify risks and prepare to defend against cyber threats. Gartner states that 73% of organisations globally use the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) Framework.
The top cybersecurity frameworks present a 5 tiered approach to cyber security, as per below:
What efforts to combine to improve cyber security.
It is crucial to have a strong cyber security element organisation-wide to deter internal and external threats, to be fully compliant with regulatory requirements, to support overall business continuity, to have optimal operational performance and to instil confidence in key stakeholders.
The phases one has to go through to implement a successful cyber security strategy are: define, plan, execute, report and monitor.
The main efforts to improve your cyber security follow.
Educate your staff
Awareness training will help employees understand scams and cyber threats together with the negative impact they can have. Cyber attackers use a multitude of ways to deceit users. The most common phishing forms are through emails, text messages and fake websites. Another ‘way in’ through human error for cyber criminals is through the download of malware software. These training courses will help staff members become more aware and more cautious of clicking links or downloading anything that comes from sources that were either unexpected or unusual.
Run Vulnerability Assessments
Understand risk. Assess risk. Mitigate risk. Manage risk. Risk can never be eliminated from the equation. Run vulnerability assessments to assess the security posture of your organisation’s internal and external infrastructure. Being proactive will help you prevent becoming another cyber crime victim. Assessments cover public facing elements such as servers and VPN endpoints, both on premise or on the cloud, such as AWS.
Thoroughly assess your business risk exposure vis-a-vis data, licensing and other digital assets.
Carry out Pen Tests
Carrying out penetration tests, also known as pen tests, is a critical step in assessing the security of your organisation’s systems and networks. A pen test simulates a real-world cyber attack on an organisation’s infrastructure and suite of applications, with the goal of identifying vulnerabilities that could be potentially exploited by a malicious actor.
The results of a pen test can be used to prioritise security measures and make necessary changes to improve the overall security posture of the organisation. Carrying out pen tests on a regular basis can help you minimise the risk of a successful attack.
Invest in phishing simulation campaigns
Investing in phishing simulation campaigns can be a valuable tool in helping organisations protect against cyber attacks. These campaigns involve sending several simulated phishing emails to employees, over a span of say six months to twelve months, with the end goal of educating them on how to recognise and avoid real-life phishing attempts. By providing a safe, controlled environment for employees to practise identifying and responding to phishing attempts, organisations can greatly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.
In addition, these simulations can provide valuable data on which employees are most at risk and where additional cyber awareness training may be required. Overall, investing in phishing simulation campaigns can be a cost-effective way to improve an organisation’s overall security posture and protect against potential reputational and financial losses.
Get a CISO to spearhead the policy, governance and strategic framework
Having a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO or a vCISO) to spearhead the policy, governance, and strategic framework is essential for any organisation that wants to effectively protect its digital assets, stakeholders and data. The CISO is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of security policies and procedures (SOPs), ensuring that they align with the organisation’s overall business objectives. They also play a crucial role in governing the security programme, ensuring that it is properly resourced and that all stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities.
The CISO is responsible for creating a strategic framework that outlines the organisation’s overall approach to security, including identifying and managing risks, implementing and maintaining security controls, and monitoring and swiftly responding to security incidents. They also act as a liaison between the organisation and external parties, such as regulatory bodies and other organisations, to ensure that the organisation’s security programme meets all legal and compliance requirements. The CISO also serves as the primary point of contact for all security-related issues and communicates with executive management on security-related matters.
In short, having a CISO to spearhead the policy, governance, and strategic framework is vital for an organisation to protect itself against the ever-evolving cyber threats.
Are you concerned about the security of your organisation’s systems and data? Don’t wait any longer to take action. Get in touch with us today to discuss your security needs and learn more about how we can help protect your business.