In today’s hyperconnected world, existing and emerging cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and become increasingly sophisticated. Putting both individuals and enterprises at constant risk. From phishing, ransomware attacks, and advanced persistent threats to distributed denial of service (DDoS), data manipulation or data destruction, and intellectual property theft, the cybercrime landscape is diverse and relentless.
Now is the ideal time to update your cybersecurity plan to protect critical business infrastructure and manage cybersecurity-related risks. A robust and dynamic cybersecurity strategy can provide advanced warning, improved insight, and proper identification of potential cybercrimes against your organization’s IT assets and resources.
Cybersecurity is the collection of protocols, measures, and practices to protect and recover computer systems, data, programs, servers, devices, and networks from any form of theft, damage, or digital attack. Cybercrimes are usually done to access, alter, or destroy sensitive information; interrupt or significantly delay normal business processes; or extort money from online users.
Cybersecurity also involves the use of tools, training, and technologies to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of critical data while detecting and defending against exploitation of vulnerabilities, unauthorized access, and unknown threats.
The Role of a Robust and Dynamic Cybersecurity Plan
While nothing can fully prevent an organization from falling victim to all attempts of cybercrime, a robust and dynamic cybersecurity plan can dramatically reduce occurrences of online threats and attacks or outwit surprisingly creative cybercriminals from causing digital chaos. When is the right time to update your cybersecurity plan? Who should you involve in the process?
A robust and dynamic cybersecurity plan consists of detailed policies and protocols regarding the generation, access, use, storage, and sharing of IT assets and resources by the organization’s workforce, partners, customers, third parties, and other end users. Additionally, it usually includes a hierarchical structure that describes key roles and responsibilities, general security expectations, governance process for internal and external stakeholders, and high-level security control expectations.
But it doesn’t stop with planning and implementation. To deal with the ever-escalating threat landscape successfully, make room for upgrades, modification, and advancement. A cybersecurity plan is neither robust nor dynamic if it is inflexible and complacent.
A robust and dynamic cybersecurity plan combines data-driven research and cutting technologies with human behavior and applied artificial intelligence for safeguarding critical data while upholding the wellness of each individual user and system.
How to Update Your Cybersecurity Plan
Cybersecurity should be the first line of defense in any organization. Why? First, business processes are heavily reliant on technology for production, execution, and management. Second, cybercriminals employ new and clever methods to circumvent traditional security protocols. Third, there should be safe, secure, and seamless information exchange, communication, and collaboration among business leaders, your workforce, and your customers.
Here are a few tips on how to update your cybersecurity plan.
- Conduct employee training and evaluation
Effective employee training and evaluation is a cornerstone of a sound cybersecurity plan. It’s not enough to create a clever newsletter to send out via email on a regular basis. And though it’s good to conduct seminars and training exercises, there should be a concerted effort for follow-through.Post-event evaluations can provide valid and measurable documentation of how well the employees understood and adopted the information and whether the current cybersecurity plan is effective in achieving organizational goals.
- Automate access restrictions
The COVID-19 global pandemic has made many companies big and small to embrace doing business remotely. This leads to having data, applications, and employees in multiple geographical locations – an area ripe for cyberattack. Whether it is to successfully manage a remote workforce or to make room for network expansion and growth, consider taking advantage of tools designed to automate access restrictions.
According to Daniel Crowley, head of research for IBM’s X-Force Red, authentication and authorization are the two main components of data security. Any business operation that is Internet dependent must have some level of access control in place. If your data could be of any value to someone without proper authorization to access it, then your organization needs strong access control, Crowley says.
- Implement multi-faceted security protection
Cybercriminals remain persistent and dedicated, always on the prowl for distracted, vulnerable targets – especially businesses with components found in multiple geographical locations and logical segments. Having multi-faceted security protection mechanisms in position will allow the designated cybersecurity specialist to take actions on a network segment operating suspiciously or experiencing cyberattacks without affecting the function and efficiency of other network components.
- Establish a layered approach to cybersecurity
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created its Cybersecurity Framework to help organizations comply with regulatory standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and to give organizations a solid cybersecurity plan against online threats and attacks.The NIST Cybersecurity Framework consists of five primary functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover:
- Identify the computers, digital devices, electronics on your network to understand potential threats
- Protect the network through a series of strategies, policies, and solutions to minimize potential and existing threats
- Detect when there is potential breach or anomalous activity within the network
- Respond decisively using data-driven insights to prevent anomalous activity from wreaking havoc to network
- Recover network without significantly affecting business operations and ensuring prevention of any breach in the future
- Review your current cybersecurity plan
An outdated cybersecurity plan can leave any organization vulnerable and out of compliance with new regulations. While many industries and government compliance standards require companies to review their own cybersecurity plan, this is not the only reason for doing so.
Policy evaluation and revisions should be a regular part of any cybersecurity plan whether as part of responding to regulatory requirements or updating organizational structure.
It is hard to overstate just how important it is to review current cybersecurity plan in order to minimize vulnerabilities, increase adoption among the workforce, and make sure business operations can run smoothly.
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