Sunday, May 16, 2021

Cybersecurity Plan Must Haves

We work with organizations large and small. Something they all have in common? – A need to protect themselves against cyber threats. Budgets and security layers come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter what, there are two items needed at the base of any robust cybersecurity program. 1) Security Awareness and Education, and 2) IT Security Policies and Standards. We will go into detail in later posts, but here are some high-level thoughts on these areas of focus. 

Security Awareness and Education. Like it or not, attackers will continue to use email, social engineering, and phishing campaigns to target users. Ensuring your workforce is educated regularly on cybersecurity issues is a cornerstone to combating these threats – not to mention it is also a standard regulatory requirement. Additional education on regulatory requirements, password management, data protection and other key security components will help to teach all users that cybersecurity is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. When your employees know better, they will do better. Understanding the fundamentals to staying safe online and protecting organizational data will bolster your cybersecurity program on day one. And remember, education comes in many forms – emails, videos, meetings, formal trainings, etc. Make it part of the culture and it will pay off. 

Policies and Standards. This is a huge topic – the more policies and standards we write, the more pop up that need to be written. Security policies will help you to outline the beliefs of the organization. What are the tenants that are put in place that the organization will live by? How will data be protected? Will data be encrypted at rest, in storage? Will multi-factor authentication be required? How will data on mobile devices be protected? Will security training be required? If so, how often? On a tight budget, you can skim the Internet (safe sites of course) for sample policies and use internal resources to customize them to your environment. On a looser budget, you can hire someone to solely work to create and ratify this documentation or outsource its creation. No matter how you go about it, we would urge you to get them in place to layout the framework for your organization's approach to cybersecurity. From there, get the details documented within your standards so the organization is clear on the methods you are using to secure your environment.