An effective cybersecurity plan starts with an assessment of the tools your business relies on such as; devices, software, applications, platforms, systems, and the people who use them.
Pillars of cybersecurity
Streamlining can be a natural starting point for eliminating cyberthreats — but streamlining alone won’t prevent future attacks. Understanding cybersecurity best-practices can help you implement a cost-effective strategy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” is a good place to start learning as it identifies best practices and lays out central concepts in a Framework Core:
- Identify — Understand the security plan business context.
- Protect — Implement safeguards to contain breaches.
- Detect — Implement monitoring to identify cybersecurity events.
- Respond — Develop response protocol.
- Recover — Support timely actions to restore routine operations.
Without proper project controls and planning, company leaders risk wasting resources on tools that may not be the best fit or are too complicated and taxing on their IT teams. Here are several steps decision-makers can take to reduce costs while strengthening cybersecurity:
1. Perform a network assessment
Through a network assessment, you can identify the landscape of your infrastructure – what needs protection and why. Include an inventory of current IT assets requiring protection and incorporate management expectations for cybersecurity and industry compliance requirements. Finally, your network evaluation should include an assessment to identify vulnerabilities, which should also address wireless devices and unauthorized access points in your network.
2. Strip away the security tool complex
IT teams are burdened with a security product “overload,” some of which are incompatible. This leads to dedicated personnel spending substantial daily administration time just to keep the various tools operating. With an effective security plan, you can consolidate tools and eliminate on-going security management. Managed services providers can help you develop a cybersecurity plan and lighten the load by overseeing day-to-day operations.
3. Test your staff
The “human firewall” is the most overlooked layer of most cybersecuirty plans. In 2016 over 200 million records were stolen due to “human error”. Organizations need can partner with an MSP to provide on-going training for their employees which includes; mock phishing emails, interactive threat training, and end-user reporting. A baseline test is the first step in getting a sense of where the “weak links” exist in your human firewall.
4. Develop data breach scenarios
You can use realistic data breach scenarios to develop a remediation plan for different types of cyber attacks. These scenarios are vital to disaster planning and mitigation. For example, in a hypothetical scenario in which hackers lock you and your employees out of their systems demanding a bitcoin ransom to re-access, your organization should have recent back-ups in place.
When developing a Cybersecurity plan consider a managed services provider (MSP) to enable consolidation, simplification, assured compliance, and immediate recovery in the event of an attack. With an MSP, security solutions are more accessible with 24×7 visibility & support, access to the latest technology & expertise, flexible pricing models, and comprehensive coverage from a single source.