Developing a Cyber Security Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide
You are scrolling your social media profile, and suddenly, an ad pops up. This ad displays an amazing pair of shoes, and you have an urge to purchase it.
Aren’t you going to visit the link?
You surely will.
But, three days after the purchase, you read in the news that the business, from which you purchased the shoes, has suffered a cyber attack. Data related to hundreds of customers has been compromised.
How would you feel?
Now, instead of being a customer, if you are the owner of business, you will end up losing most of your customers. You’d certainly drop back to where you started. And this time, it would be a lot harder to gain customers and climb back up again.
A cyber security strategy can save you from such a disaster. You can address small and big cyber threats and stay on top of security related to business processes, procedures, and the whole architecture.
Types of Cyber Threats
Before we dive in and understand the key ingredients of a cyber security strategy, let’s look at the types of cyber threats that organizations and individuals can face.
Seeking or stealing personal information related to individuals are extremely common, including credit card fraud, bitcoin fraud, and identity theft. The hackers seek confidential information from highly sensitive organisations, such as a military or a political unit.
Integrity attacks, also known as sabotage, are attacks that destroy or damage information important to people. For an organisation, this information can be the data on which the employees rely.
Availability attacks, such as WannaCry, are extremely common today. The attack encrypts data on your system and asks a ransom for providing the decryption key. Wikipedia defines the recovery of ransomware encrypted files without decryption key as an intractable problem.
A Strategy to Prevent Cyberthreats
To keep these risks at bay, here is a list of steps that you need to follow.
Don’t take no for an answer. Identify issues in your security structure, data flow, and processes. Build solutions, tweak procedures, and make a policy in response to these issues.
For instance, replace outdated technology, password protect your confidential documents, and add a clause for BYOD (bring your own device) in your cyber security policy.
If you have internet access in your organisation, you need to stay alert.
Instead of staying unaware of the situation, you need to be aware of the who, where, what, why, and when of the situation.
- Who has access to your data and resources?
- From where are these people accessing your resources?
- What methods are being used for communication?
- Why are these people accessing your data and information?
- When is this data being accessed?
Start right now!
There is no other option. If you want to make yourself cyber secure and save your organisation from threats, break down your goals into smaller, less challenging milestones.
Make a Plan
It is natural for people to sweat as soon as a threat occurs. Also, it is not possible to make a plan that will stand the first enemy attack. You are going to have to make amendments to your plan according to trends and past experience.
Make a clear plan, with procedures and guidelines, to address risks and cyber threats so that people can calmly act on it.
One of the best methods to curb cyber security threats is to test your organisation’s security.
How can you do it?
Through a red team assessment. Usually, these third-party teams are hired to ensure that they know nothing about your organisation. This team uses tactics similar to that of a hacker to get into your system.
Many organisations don’t inform their cyber security team of this assessment to know how well they can hold up against a hacker.
The goal of this test is not to hire a new team or terminate methods entirely, but rather to identify the mistakes. For instance, dropping practices that are harming your organisation and asking your cyber security team to modify methods.
Cyber security is not an option. It is a necessity. Start developing your strategy now and change or modify it according to future requirements to make your organisation threat-proof.