How to Build a Cybersecurity Strategy

July 8th, 2022 | Cybersecurity, IT Security, Security Policies

Building an effective security strategy isn’t something that can happen overnight. It requires careful thought and an iterative process you are always refining.

Below, we outline three steps you can work through to help identify your exposure and your current security posture. This will help you begin building a more robust security strategy for your business.

Step 1: Understand Security

If you want to build a security strategy, you first need to understand the components of cybersecurity so you can make sure you’re addressing each function. There are a number of different frameworks and guidelines for how you can approach a security journey. The one we’ve chosen to follow is the National Institute of Standards (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF). At the very highest level, it includes five things:

  • Identify: Develop an organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk to systems, people, assets, data, and capabilities.
  • Protect: Develop and implement appropriate safeguards to ensure the delivery of critical services.
  • Detect: Develop and implement appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity event.​
  • Respond: Develop and implement appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected cybersecurity incident.
  • Recover: Develop and implement appropriate activities to restore any capabilities or services that were impaired due to a cybersecurity incident.

This framework acts as our guiding star for the security services we provide to our clients.

Step 2: Assess Your Risk

Second, you need to develop an understanding of what cybersecurity risk is and what the landscape looks like for your organization. You need to ask and answer some challenging questions.

  • What is your exposure?
    • What is the financial fallout if you were the victim of a large-scale cyber attack?
      • If you were locked out of all your data/systems, how much would you lose in downtime?
      • If all your client and partner data were leaked, how much would you spend on fines, legal fees, and loss of business?
  • Are you subject to compliance or regulatory requirements?
    • Are you fulfilling your obligations?
      • Are you able to prove you’re in compliance?
  • What are all my critical IT systems? Are they being properly protected?
    • How often do you need them to be backed up?
    • How quickly would you need them to be restored in case they go down?

By thinking through your risk, and putting dollars into it. You have guidance on how much you need to spend on security solutions and how much cyber insurance coverage you need.

Step 3: Take Action

Now that you understand security and your risk, you are ready to start looking at the technologies available to you. If you need guidance, take a look at our IT Security Levels. We designed these levels to help organizations determine how much security they need and set tangible goals to work toward.

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