Over the years, cyberattacks have evolved drastically. With the ever-increasing attacks, even the well-protected networks might be impacted. To keep cybercriminals at bay, strategic action needs to be taken. One of the best ways to tackle cybersecurity challenges is to create an effective cybersecurity strategy.
A cybersecurity strategy is crucial for a company to stay efficient. Let’s discuss why a cybersecurity strategy is vital for an organization.
Importance of Cybersecurity Strategy
1. Helps in Better Understanding of Risks
Due to the emergence of cloud services, mobile devices, IoT, and wearables, cyberattacks have grown significantly and organizations need to be more diligent than ever. A significant aspect of cybersecurity is understanding the risks. By creating a cybersecurity strategy, you can identify vulnerabilities and make the required modifications.
2. Prepares for Quick Response
Cyberattacks can occur in any organization. Developing a cybersecurity strategy allows you to plan ahead and be prepared when the actual malicious attack happens. If an event happens, you know how to respond quickly.
3. Allows Early Threat Detection
If threats are detected early, the chances of resolving them increases. This is where a cybersecurity strategy proves advantageous as it offers a framework that helps in early threat detections.
4. Prevents Insider Threats
Most of the cyberthreats occur from within and are an outcome of employees being aware of the critical information. Developing a cybersecurity strategy proves useful in thwarting insider threats. When employees know that cybersecurity is vital and understand the security-related initiatives, the natural warning for insider threats works in favor of the organizations.
5. Ensures Compliance
Organizations need to understand the importance of governance, risk and compliance and comply with regulations such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to alleviate risks and stay competitive. Building a cybersecurity strategy is vital for ensuring compliance
as it helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and meet the regulatory standards of their industries.
6. Improves Operational Efficiency
Laying out a cybersecurity strategy impacts the overall efficiency of an organization. With a set of procedures in place, employees can perform security-related work easily, generating higher ROI.
Critical Security Controls
For better cybersecurity, an organization should implement the following critical security controls:
1. Implement a Cybersecurity Training and Awareness Program
It is advisable to train the end-users on how to identify threats and respond accordingly. Organizations must conduct training and awareness programs for their employees as well as customers to educate them about malicious activities.
2. Restrict the Use of Administrative Privileges
To have a protected system, an organization should lessen the admin accounts and employ high-security products to shield the admin accounts. Organizations must scrutinize user behavior and assign administrative privileges in a way that prevents unauthorized access to critical systems.
3. Ensure Non-Stop Vulnerability Management
Organizations need to continuously review software updates, security advisories, patches, and threat bulletins to recognize and remediate threats, preventing hackers from penetrating their networks.
4. Create Malware Defenses
Modern malware can penetrate through any number of points. Therefore, organizations need to manage the installation and application of malicious code at several points within their business.
5. Maintain Audit Logs
Organizations need to gather, manage, and analyze audit logs to detect anomalous activities and inspect security incidents. Lack of security logging enables hackers to conceal their activities in the network.
6. Ensure Data Recovery
Hackers sometimes make alterations to data or software. Organizations need to ensure that sensitive data and critical systems are properly backed up weekly. In addition, they need to make arrangements for timely data recovery.
7. Secure Configurations of Networking Devices
Networking devices are often not configured and attackers take advantage of configuration flaws to penetrate networks. Organizations must set up, apply, and manage the security configurations of networking devices, such as switches and routers.
Security Control Frameworks
Organizations struggle to ensure security for themselves and their clients. They need a comprehensive security control framework to protect their data and systems. Cybersecurity frameworks are mandatory for companies that want to comply with cybersecurity regulations. There are numerous security control frameworks that can assist businesses in protecting against vulnerabilities. Let’s discuss some of the most common security control frameworks that an organization should implement.
1. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework
The NIST cybersecurity framework is employed for safeguarding critical infrastructure such as power plants and dams from hackers. Its principles can be applied to any organization that wants better security. The framework provides a structured mechanism for detecting risks and assets that need protection, describing the ways organizations should secure their assets.
2. ISO 27000 Series
The ISO 27000 series framework has 46 modules, some focus on aspects of network security and application security while others on industries such as healthcare. Many organizations choose ISO 27001, which focuses on threat and vulnerability assessments. The ISO supports organizations in developing an information security management system (ISMS) as per their requirements, keeping the ISO 27000 series in mind.
3. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
PCI DSS is a set of control requirements combined with a certification process to ensure compliance, which was created to tackle credit card fraud in 2004. Though PCI DSS is not mandated by the government, it is important for every business that processes data or credit/debit card transactions.
4. Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Cybersecurity Framework
HITRUST cybersecurity framework was developed in 2007 to provide the healthcare industry with clear guidelines for information security. Though it was designed by keeping HIPAA compliance and healthcare organizations in mind, it is available to
organizations in every industry that deals with sensitive data. The framework is customizable as per customers’ requirements.
5. Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT)
Designed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (IASCA) in the 1990s, COBIT was meant for the finance industry, but gradually it became applicable to every industry. COBIT integrates the elements of several cybersecurity frameworks.
In order to realize the threat levels and security needs of your customers in a better way, it’s important to understand the security control frameworks first. Organizations need to adopt a pragmatic approach to implement security frameworks as per industry standards.