A 5-Step Approach to Developing an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy.

A 5-Step Approach to Developing an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy.

In our last post, we discussed four cyber threats that you should prepare for in 2021. Ransomware, threats targeting personal devices, encrypted threats and attacks on virtual private networks are among the cyberattacks expected to cause the most damage in the coming year. Now’s the time to begin taking steps to beef up your defenses against these kinds of threats.

Many organizations address individual threats on an ad hoc basis. However, a piecemeal approach can leave gaps that put your IT environment at risk. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy will close those gaps and save you time and money by helping you select and implement the right security tools.

Get Your Priorities Straight

It’s impossible to protect everything in your IT environment against all types of attacks. The first step toward developing a cybersecurity strategy is to determine which systems, applications and data are absolutely critical to your operations. You should also look at what you’re required to protect due to legal, regulatory or business partnership obligations. This helps you prioritize your security efforts by focusing on the threats that pose the greatest risk to your business.

Understand the Threats

Once you understand what you need to protect, you need to analyze the cyber threats that could impact those IT assets. There are a number of sources of threat intelligence, some of which are free. The amount of data can be overwhelming, but it will give you a sense of the types of threats out there and the motivations behind the attacks. You can then narrow it down by looking at some of the threats your competitors face.

Take Advantage of Security Frameworks

A number of government and industry organizations have developed a structured, repeatable approach to cybersecurity. These frameworks can help ensure that your security strategy is based upon industry standards and best practices. Some of the best-known frameworks include the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the ISO 27001 standard and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. While these frameworks have different audiences, they provide guidance that applies to a wide range of organizations and circumstances.

Evaluate Your Cybersecurity Controls

You now have the basis for analyzing your existing security tools and processes. As you perform your assessment, it’s important to be as objective as possible — many organizations overestimate the strength of their security posture. Are your critical systems protected against the most common attacks? Do you have the controls in place that are recommended by your chosen security framework? Are you using your existing security systems and tools to their maximum benefit?

Assess Your Team’s Ability to Execute Your Strategy

People and process are just as important as technology when it comes to cybersecurity. As you develop your strategy, you should consider whether you have the skills and resources in house to put it into practice. If not, you will need to hire additional IT pros or partner with a managed security services provider such as Verteks. Consider whether you have any planned acquisitions, new product or service launches, or large projects coming up in the near future.

How Verteks Can Help

Verteks is here to help you develop and execute your cybersecurity strategy. We understand the latest threats and can help ensure you have the tools and processes in place to protect your systems. Our comprehensive managed services allow you to outsource security to our expert team. Give us a call to schedule a confidential consultation.