A successful information security program depends on a few key elements, and these should be your top priorities. Information security encompasses many aspects, so deciding where to focus your efforts and prioritize can be difficult.
The following are 3 goals that organizations should focus on to build a solid security foundation:
1. Leadership that is informed 💁♂️ℹ️
Effective communication with other business leaders is critical because you need to demonstrate when your information security program is not meeting a need.
As well as ransomware, the loss of brand reputation, laws/regulations, and intellectual property can all pose financial risks to a company. Most other business executives don't have much experience with IT or information security, but they understand risk. Communicating risk in context is easier if you know what other leaders find valuable.
2. The culture of security 👨🔧
The first step to connecting employees with security is to make them aware of security issues. Having phishing training is a common practice for building security awareness, as is having security policies that define how computers should be used. Providing technical controls such as warnings about external senders in emails and data sensitivity labels on documents can also be helpful in conjunction with your policies and training. Even though these practices are great for raising awareness, their effectiveness and acceptance can vary depending on the delivery.
As soon as your employees are aware of potential security risks, the next step is to get their support for improving things.
Ultimately, you want to make security engaging for your employees, not a chore. Your employees will respond better to security training that is fun or security controls that are easy to use.
3. Technical Maturity 🕵️♂️
The list of things to consider grows over time, as information and computers are used to drive more business activities. Due to the overwhelming amount of work required, using frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework can help you establish priorities.
It's essential to know the pros and cons of frameworks in order to use them effectively. The positive side of frameworks is that they are thorough, and you can rely on them not to leave out important considerations when protecting your business. Frameworks have a negative side in that it's easy to become engrossed in the formalities and not consider what they mean within the context of your business. Cyber risk can fluctuate and shift over time in different areas, and security is an ever-changing problem.