As cyber attacks become increasingly frequent and costly, it is clear that business success is in part contingent on an effective cybersecurity policy that considers the complex collaboration of people, processes and technology. This blog outlines steps to take in creating an effective cybersecurity policy that will ultimately promote the achievement of business goals.
In an evolving threat landscape, cybersecurity incidents have become a daily struggle for businesses. While security incidents can have obvious financial damages, such as regulation fines and ransomware costs, they also have long-lasting effects on the overall success of a business. The effects of reputational damages are intensifying as customers are becoming increasingly intolerant towards security incidents.
To ensure your business is avoiding and best responding to security incidents, you must have a comprehensive cybersecurity framework in place. Here are some steps to consider when creating a cybersecurity policy:
1. Compliance is Key
Ensure that your cybersecurity policy is not only underpinned by, but meeting compliance regulations. Both the health and financial sectors are heavily regulated industries, and are therefore known to face some of the highest costs for security breaches. It is crucial to centralise your cybersecurity policy under federal government and industry regulations, as this ensures you are operating within both a legal and industry framework. This in turn strengthens your relationship with clients, shareholders and partners, as it provides them with the confidence and reassurance needed to sustain business.
For more information on governance, risk and compliance, visit our website.
2. Understand your Environment
In order to fully understand potential risks to your organisation, you must survey all operations and identify your assets. Garnering this knowledge in the earliest stages of forming a cybersecurity policy allows you to oversee vulnerabilities and understand the risk to your systems, data and employees. Once you understand your environment, it is easier to identify what is truly an asset and what controls are suitable to scale to your business context and goals.
3. Implement and Outline the Appropriate Controls
Your cybersecurity policy should outline the appropriate safeguards, response methods and recovery plans to be executed. This includes the technology, processes, physical barriers and programs that will be put in place to protect your organisation’s data and assist in the response and recovery process when needed. These controls range from technological infrastructure, such as firewalls, to staff security awareness programs in the remediation stage. Scaling your security controls to your business needs is crucial in creating a sustainable policy, and will help you later in the auditing process.
Having a comprehensive list of all security controls will assist in a seamless progression from detection to response and recovery, as all employees are provided with clear information on how potential attacks will be handled and their roles in this process.
4. Ensure All Levels of Staff Understand Their Role
Your cybersecurity policy should be all-encompassing in the sense that it considers and addresses all levels of staff. It is crucial that every individual knows their responsibility in keeping your organisation secure and the best practices to undertake in order to achieve this.
According to research on The State of Data Loss Prevention 2020, 51% of employees believe that security policies impede their productivity and overlook security rules. Ultimately, ignoring cybersecurity policies and practices leaves your organisation highly susceptible to security incidents and data breaches. A sustainable cybersecurity policy is both flexible and agile, allowing employees a measure of freedom while also maintaining a high standard of security.
When employees understand how their roles in security practices affect business success, your cybersecurity policy can be transformed from a mere framework into part of a business strategy.
For more information on developing a cybersecurity culture among staff, check out our Security Awareness Training.
5. Undertake Regular Policy Audits
Your cybersecurity policy should be audited in the service of continuous business improvement. To ensure your framework is encouraging organisational resilience, carry out systematic evaluations to reassess which standards and practices are most effective and alternatively, which of these are impeding business success. Regular auditing will help you assess the legitimate threats to your business, as well as understanding which tools are leading to quantifiable goals.
Following a cybersecurity policy will help keep business goals at the forefront of mitigation and recovery processes. They provide clear guidance during the panic of security incidents and help preserve the integrity of your brand. For more help on implementing a cybersecurity policy, contact us.