Cyber security is a necessity for businesses of all shapes and sizes. As hackers and malware both become more advanced, our cyber security plans need to stay up to speed to keep ahead of them.
There’s an enormous number of industry best practices when it comes to cyber security, including different frameworks and approved standards. This includes ISO 27001, PCI DSS, SOC3, CSA STAR, and more. While it can be tempting to pick the first one that looks good, blindly choosing a framework or strategy and then performing a tick box exercise almost never leads to an effective strategy.
Standards are important, but the specific security tactics that you choose to apply don’t matter nearly as much as how you choose to implement them. Start with the best practices and frameworks that have been proven to work, and continually work to improve them within your business.
To help we have outlined 7 key elements of a rock-solid cyber security strategy below.
How does your business stack up?
1. Prioritised & Actionable Next Steps
Your strategy isn’t going to do you much good if it’s all theoretical. Clear, prioritised, actionable next steps that tell you exactly what to do in what order and how to do them make up the necessary foundation for an effective strategy implementation.
It’s highly unlikely, after all, that you’ll have the resources to do everything. Even military organisations need to choose what are the most important next actions in order to best protect their assets.
Your actionable next steps will likely look different from the company next to you, because no two businesses are the same, and everyone has different threat risks. Prioritise your biggest risk areas, and then take things one step at a time while thinking several steps ahead. It’s a little like chess, and you need to be planning long-term while being capable of adapting to win the game.
2. It References Benchmarks
Benchmarks are never an end-all because every business is unique, but they’re still incredibly useful when it comes to cyber security. As you’re evaluating your current strategy’s effectiveness with the quantitative score from point 3, you should not only be assessing whether it’s up to your own standards, but also how well it holds up against industry benchmarks.
How well protected is your business against the average of other companies? What about businesses of a similar size or in the same industry? A healthcare provider’s office or financial institution, for example, will need more advanced cyber security measures for obvious reasons. Despite this, you should make sure that you’re up to the standard necessary, not only to make sure your strategy is up to scratch but also to be able to communicate this to stakeholders of your business.
As you’re doing this, look closely at what the most secure companies are doing, and the least secure companies. What are they doing that you could learn from for your own strategy? Incorporate this where appropriate moving forward.
How does your company stack up?
Download the complete 7 Elements of a Rock-Solid Cyber Security Strategy checklist to find out.
As the largest cyber security provider in Europe, with experience in developing and assessing cyber security strategies for over 15 years, we think we’ve got a pretty good idea as to what makes a good security strategy.
Download our 7 Elements of a Rock-Solid Cyber Security Strategy checklist today and evaluate how well your company stacks up.