Last week, we talked about the first of the three pillars of cybersecurity—the importance of having the right people in place and the proper training to ensure they can help protect your cybersecurity. But without the correct processes, procedures, and frameworks, you have no foundation to train those people. Processes provide your organization with a concrete way to implement the level of cybersecurity you need.
What Does Process Mean?
Think of the process as the why, how, and when of cybersecurity. They lead to developing and implementing the procedures and frameworks that will provide you with a robust approach to your cybersecurity. The ideal cybersecurity setup will include processes to help you:
- Identify and assess vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity, your level of risk, and potential threats.
- Protect your digital assets by developing and implementing the proper safeguards to minimize risk and reduce vulnerabilities.
- Detect cybersecurity incidents promptly by applying the appropriate techniques to identify a potential event.
- Respond to a cybersecurity incident to adequately contain the event’s impact.
- Recover from a cybersecurity incident by restoring services and capabilities, learning from the event, and developing plans to increase cybersecurity resilience.
Four Factors to Effective Process
Four key factors must be present for the process to be as effective as possible. The methods you develop and each of these four parts must be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain at peak effectiveness.
To develop, implement, and maintain proper processes, you need an appropriate management system. From the top down, each person in your company must have a solid grasp of their responsibilities and duties concerning cybersecurity. Each person should understand that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. This aspect of the process is directly connected to the People pillar.
Governance is all about strategy. In this case, your strategy is to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to your network and systems. At the root of governance is enterprise risk management (ERM), which is the strategy you develop to identify, assess, and prepare for events that can cause harm to your organization’s operational objectives.
This includes planning for potential cybersecurity threats, assessing vulnerabilities, and determining how much they could cause and how to mitigate them. Proper governance will ensure that your employees, executives, departments, and other business units will work together to protect your digital assets, prevent data loss, and ensure the organization’s reputation remains intact.
Vision and Operations
The policies you create and implement will provide a link between your company’s vision and daily operations. The goal of each policy you put into place is to identify activities and provide strategies to deal with situations as they happen, including cybersecurity issues. Policies guide employees in making decisions within certain limits and based on a selection of alternatives.
Procedures are also relevant here. They provide a set of instructions or plan of action to follow to implement a policy. The procedures you put in place should establish clear boundaries and job responsibilities, making it easier for management to control incidents and avoid mistakes.
This final part ensures your cybersecurity extends to the third parties or vendors you work with. When you take on a new third-party partner, you must ensure their cybersecurity is at the same level as yours. If not, you risk attackers entering your network by hacking your vendor.
Final Word on Process
Developing, implementing, and maintaining the most effective processes is complex and time-consuming. However, it is necessary for your digital assets’ safety and ongoing compliance. With this in mind, your processes should:
- Consider external and internal risks, with a strategy in place to deal with external attacks and threats.
- Be both proactive and reactive in their approach to cybersecurity situations, with proactive processes designed to prevent attacks and reactive processes designed to provide a roadmap for responding to and recovering from an attack.
If you run a larger company, you may have the resources to hire an in-house cybersecurity team that can effectively develop and implement the proper processes to provide you with a robust approach to cybersecurity. If you are a small- to mid-sized company without the resources to hire your team, you can outsource some or all of your process development to a managed IT security service.
The next installment in the three pillars of cybersecurity will cover the Technology aspect of your protection. In the meantime, reach out to Platinum Technologies today to learn about how we can help you develop and implement effective processes designed to enhance your cybersecurity.