Every year, businesses lose millions in security breaches. As a matter of fact, Ponemon estimates that the total cost for data breaches is $3.79 billion. More businesses are feeling the weight of cybersecurity and the pitfalls when the network and its perimeter aren’t properly secured. The only way to avoid pitfalls is to start with a cybersecurity plan.
The best way to start is to take a template offered by SANS Institute. This will show you a general idea of what you need in your plan. The templates are extensive, and you might need only parts of it if you’re a small company.
Remember that each year, you need to review and update your plan. What you include today will improve next year to include new sections of IT as your business expands.
Some industries have federal regulations and guidelines they must follow. The two industries that stand out the most are medical and financial. HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS, and ISO are a few to review. Always keep these regulations in mind when structuring a plan, because missing just one rule can cost you hefty fines.
Your infrastructure is what contains your data. It’s a major part of cybersecurity policy. Just a few examples of what you include would be:
- Security software and programs to implement
- Frequency of patches and updates to software, operating systems, and firmware
- Any backup plan and where these backups will be stored
- Responsibilities of employees and their role in securing data
- Authentication and authorization including who will have administrator permissions
This is the part of the plan that will change often. Each time you add any hardware to the network, you must incorporate it into your plan.
Employees are a big wild card in your plan. One of the most important facets of a cybersecurity plan is education for your employees. You can’t fully defend against attackers when your employees install malware or interact with a phishing page. Most threats target employees, and many of these threats are successful due to insider threats.
Your policy should highlight employee education, but it should also take steps to monitor network traffic. Employees don’t necessarily have to be disgruntled to turn into an insider threat. Some of them unknowingly leak data from a poor understanding of cybersecurity.
Even with the best plan in action, you need the right monitoring tools. Monitoring can help you avoid many issues that can drag out for months, especially insider threats. You can educate your employees, but monitoring will protect from mistakes.
To engage profession services from a security professional to help formulate a Cybersecurity Policy and implement the governance mechanisms.