Simplifying the Process of Planning and Implementing Cybersecurity Strategy
A cybersecurity strategy template is a tool that will help you defend yourself against all those online and digital threats that ‘can never happen to us.’ Yet they happen to companies like yours every day of the week:
- 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)
- 66% of SMBs have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months
- Globally, it is expected that ransomware attacks took place every 11 seconds in 2021
When a company suffers from a cyberattack, the results can be devastating and include:
- Financial losses
- Damage to productivity
- Reputational damage and loss of customers
- Legal liability and compensation claims
- Loss of business/closure of the business
Can you afford to be unprotected or under-protected? When was the last time you reviewed your cybersecurity strategy? Here’s how to implement effective cybersecurity in five steps.
Step 1: Create a Cybersecurity Program
A comprehensive program is the most important thing when it comes to cybersecurity. A good security program should protect you against cyber threats, ensure your business can continue to operate and deliver an appropriate response if your security is breached.
Basics your program should cover:
- Employee security training
- Password management
- Acceptable use
- Remote access
- Disaster recovery
Step 2: Create a Cybersecurity Team
Your cybersecurity must be led effectively. You’ll need to identify your strengths and weaknesses, the cybersecurity skills you possess in your company now, and those you will need to hire or contract to build your cybersecurity team.
Your team must possess technical and soft skills and have a ‘one-step-beyond’ mentality to understand cybersecurity trends and evolving threats to develop strategies to combat these threats. (If you want to thwart a criminal, you must be able to think like a criminal.) Depending on the size of your company, this team can be as small as one person, with third parties supporting your needs.
Step 3: Create a Cybersecurity Plan
Here’s where your cybersecurity team really swings into action.
You’ll need to develop a set of cybersecurity goals that align with and support your big-picture business strategy and cybersecurity regulatory requirements ─ and this includes setting a cybersecurity budget.
You’ll also need to identify all areas of your business that pose a risk to your business. You’ll need to document all systems, hardware, software, and all data.
It’s essential you consider your incident response planning. What happens should a cyberattack occur? What must be documented, what must be reported, and to whom? What measures must you take? How do you embed lessons learned into your cybersecurity policies and strategies?
Once you have done all of this, you can then conduct third-party risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities, evaluating where you stand now against where you want to be.
All of this must be documented as you create your cybersecurity plan.
Step 4: Implement the Plan
With your cybersecurity plan written, you must now put it into action. You must plug the gaps identified in step 3, and share your cybersecurity policy with your employees. You must train your people and ensure that they understand your policies and their responsibilities.
Don’t take this lightly. It is estimated that more than 70% of cyberattacks are enabled by human error.
Step 5: Monitor and Update the Plan
Finally, the digital world is evolving rapidly, and so is the world of cybercrime. Attack tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Business needs and your business strategy will evolve, as will cybersecurity rules and regulations.
It is crucial that your cybersecurity policies, planning, and strategies are not considered static entities. You must continuously monitor your environment, the world around you, and your IT infrastructure to ensure that your plan remains relevant and robust.
Ensure the Effectiveness of Your Cybersecurity Template
A cybersecurity template should help to simplify the process of planning and implementing a cybersecurity strategy. But, like any tool, its effectiveness is only as good as the people who implement it.
This is where many businesses fall short. They may have the right tool, but they don’t know how to use it or the best way to use it. They don’t have the right skills, knowledge, and experience to ensure a robust strategy is created and that cybersecurity planning is comprehensive and implemented successfully. This can lead to a failed cybersecurity strategy and an increased risk of cyberattacks on their business.
To ensure your cybersecurity policies, planning, and execution is effective, contact Tiro Security to learn how you can leverage our experience and expertise in your business.