Developing a detailed cybersecurity strategy is necessary for all businesses worldwide, as cybercriminals use increasingly sophisticated methods to retrieve sensitive data. However, as the attack methods become more advanced, businesses require a cogent strategy to ensure data protection.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2022, the cybersecurity strategies used by individuals, governments, and businesses have become obsolete in most cases. Therefore, cybercriminals have easy access to a business’s intellectual property, customer and staff data, assets, and more.
As a result, the number of vulnerabilities in organizational systems is also rising. As per the Hacker-Powered Security Report 2022 by HackerOne, ethical hackers have discovered more than 65,000 vulnerabilities, adding up to a 21 percent increase from 2021.
Therefore, creating a cybersecurity strategy and implementation plan has become a non-negotiable for organizations. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about making a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.
What Is a Cybersecurity Strategy?
A cybersecurity strategy comprises sophisticated plans that allow companies to secure assets and diminish risks.
This strategy is created like a cybersecurity policy, where the document must adapt to the constantly evolving business climate and current threat landscape.
Cybersecurity strategies are generally created with a 3 to 5-year foresight, however, they need to be revisited and updated regularly. They are meant to act as a blueprint and are not highly specific, guiding key stakeholders throughout the business’s evolution.
Why Does An Organization Need A Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy?
Cybersecurity planning is integral for organizations to ensure optimal protection of their assets, reputation, and information from all kinds of cybersecurity threats. These include phishing scams, ransomware attacks, data breaches, etc. Here are some of the main reasons organizations require a solid cybersecurity strategy.
- Protecting sensitive data: By including cybersecurity vulnerability scans, penetration testing, and other measures in your information security strategy plan, you’ll be able to protect sensitive data aptly.
- Maintaining business continuity: By drafting comprehensive cybersecurity plans, businesses can ensure that if a security incident does occur, they can limit downtime and keep operations running smoothly.
- Gaining customer trust: Reassuring your customers that you do prioritize the protection of their confidential data will help you gain their trust. A cybersecurity strategy can answer all their queries and allow them to see the steps you have taken to keep their information secure and the steps you will take if the data ever gets compromised.
- Strengthening security posture: A cybersecurity strategy allows organizations to take a proactive approach and strengthen their security posture.
Tips for a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy
It’s always smart to plan ahead, especially in today’s ever-evolving, uncertain, digital climate, where cybercriminals seem to be one step ahead. This necessitates cybersecurity planning and creating an actionable strategy. A comprehensive cybersecurity plan example would include the following:
Create a Proper Cybersecurity Budget
Research conducted by Corvus at the end of 2021 showed that 47 percent of businesses with less than 50 workers did not have a cybersecurity budget. Neglecting data security can cause organizations more damage down the line. Therefore, it is best to take a proactive approach and allocate an amount to online data security.
Your cybersecurity strategy must include a detailed and accurate budget for a specific term. This will allow you to make decisions and invest in systems, software, and specialists accordingly. Some of the associated costs you may need to account for in your cybersecurity budget includes:
- Employee training
- Threat assessment tools
- Cybersecurity insurance
- Incident response tools and technologies
- Consultancy costs
Figure Out Which Threats to Prioritize
To create a comprehensive yet relevant strategy, you need to consider the current trends in cybersecurity. You must also conduct a detailed assessment of your digital environment for vulnerabilities. By prioritizing the wrong threats, you could undergo a major attack and not be fully prepared.
Focus on One Solution That Updates and Adapts Regularly
Most organizations that regularly buy IT solutions go for the ‘best in breed,’ meaning they choose the optimal option for each solution. Though that may be a good strategy in most cases, cybersecurity requires consistency. Therefore, if you subscribe to multiple security services, you can create inefficiency in your own operations and increase risk.
A study conducted in 2020 showed that 40 percent of cybersecurity specialists agreed that purchasing solutions from several vendors increases complexity and costs. Moreover, a survey by CISO in 2020 also revealed that there was a direct link between how much downtime an organization experienced because of an incident with them having multiple security vendors.
Therefore, for an effective and simplified strategy, it’s more important to focus on robust defense offered by a singular vendor instead of following trends.
Most security incidents are the result of insider threats. Therefore, it is imperative for all staff members to be trained and educated regarding the basics of cybersecurity, and the part they play. Employees must know what risks are prevalent and ways to prevent them. For this, you can train your teams and provide certifications in cybersecurity.
Additionally, creating policies for employees to follow can go a long way in creating a security culture. For example, you can ensure your teams know how to create complex passwords or include two-factor authentication at each endpoint so a third party does not intercept account access.
Moreover, since remote and hybrid work has become the norm, employees must ensure that their personal devices are secure. Security hygiene is essential in such cases, with organizations encrypting and updating important information regularly.
Classify the Cybersecurity Tactics That Are Right for You
You will need to outline the actions you’ll take in response to a security incident. For example, if you are undergoing a ransomware attack, plan out what you would do to respond and recover from it, keeping in mind the resources you have available and best practices.
Focus On Complying With Regulatory Requirements
Regulations are developed with your best interest in mind, so ensuring you’re complying with them can be crucial to safeguard your organization from cyberattacks. Moreover, if you do not prioritize compliance, you may receive hefty fines or worse punishments.
Conduct a Security Risk Assessment
Before you can fully highlight how can limit, prevent, or mitigate cybersecurity risks, you will need to which ones are present. By running an assessment, you will get a clear idea of the data sources that require protection and their level of it.
Create a Risk Management Plan
A risk management plan is crucial to include in your strategy, as it helps to detect all potential risks and how likely they’re to occur. This allows you to proactively defend your business against cyberattacks. The main policies included in a risk management plan are:
- Data retention policy: Here you will outline how and where different corporate data should be archived and stored.
- Incident response plan: This plan outlines the procedures to be applied during security incidents to respond efficiently and promptly.
- Data protection policy: Here you will describe how you handle supplier, customer, employee, and third party’s personal data.
Avoid Cybersecurity Silos
A silo is an isolated system in which you keep data. When you don’t break down cybersecurity silos, your IT and security teams have to keep going to and from each tool. Through silos, gaps in attention and visibility are created. Therefore, it is best to avoid silos.
The Importance of Cybersecurity Strategies?
In 2022, ransomware attacks were attempted every 11 seconds. This is an increase of 20 percent since 2019, which is quite alarming. Information security strategies allow you to reduce cybersecurity risks and know the steps to be taken in the event of an incident, with ways to recover from it also noted.
Cybersecurity plans are a must-have for all organizations, big or small. It allows you to maintain business continuity, protect sensitive data, gain customer trust, and strengthen your security posture. By following these tips, you can create effective, comprehensive cybersecurity.
However, if you want to know more about ways to protect your organization, consult CXI Solutions. Our experts are here to guide you!