Privacy breaches, data thefts, ransomware attacks, and many other cybersecurity risks are a major concern for many businesses of today, yet they struggle to deal with them effectively. Many of the enterprises does not have a well laid out security strategy to handle cybersecurity threats. Not just that, they lack insights into their security standing, or they may just not have implemented a security plan in the first place.
Organizations are constantly faced with newer and newer IT security risks due to changing work habits, evolving technologies, shifting risk landscapes, and business expansions. With the adoption of new technologies such as Cloud, IoT, AI/ML, the threats are more numerous and massive in scale. Hence, it’s important that companies should develop and strengthen their risk management systems to stay on the path of progress, without compromising their security.
Strategies to manage risks and IT security in your business
To minimize the risks and threats related to cybersecurity it is crucial for organizations to assess their IT risks and strengthen their defences and maintain a recovery plan in case of any damage. Let’s look at some of the strategies to manage risk and IT security in your business –
1. Establish company-wide awareness
Often the top-level management perceives cybersecurity as something which is the responsibility of the IT department. But the recent surge in incidents related to data breaches and ransomware at the organizational level has proved that being aware of security is every employee’s duty. Conducting regular security seminars is a great way to spread awareness at all levels in a company. Besides that, implementing regulatory compliance is another way to keep management responsible for the enterprise’s security.
2. Assess and analyze your risks
Modern cyberattacks are becoming more and more sophisticated by exploiting vulnerabilities at online, offline, and social levels. An integral approach is needed which should combine business processes at the personnel level with conventional security measures such as antiviruses and firewalls. Hence, analyzing the risk factors of an organization is critical to making a better assessment of risks, hazards, and current security levels. It will help you to measure the true impact of such threats and to allocate investments in the most suitable security measures.
3. Combine risk management with corporate strategy
Many times the risk management methodology strays away from the business processes or worse, assigns every asset the same level of security. To make the most out of your limited security budget you need to segregate assets based on their strategic importance. For instance, safeguarding intellectual property and customers’ private data is way more important from the business viewpoint and compliance perspective, respectively. Thus, a risk management policy in alignment with corporate functioning can help prioritise what’s important.
4. Keep your after-attack measures ready
No matter how strong your security is, some threats will inevitably pass through. So, you need to be prepared when there is an actual cyber-attack. A clear understanding of the infrastructure and operations of your organization is essential for devising effective emergency measures. End-to-end knowledge of your systems, processes, and platforms is crucial in determining the impact of a cyber-attack and taking appropriate measures.
Top techniques to implement a strong IT security framework
Following are some of the top techniques that you can adopt in your organization to design and implement a strong and resilient security framework –
1. Adopt an in-depth, holistic security approach
Adopt a security approach which is multi-layered, both vertically and laterally, across your technology stack and entire network. With multiple levels of monitoring and defence, it will be easy to detect risks before they happen and to take quick corrective measures in case they do. Together with this, also make sure that your security framework addresses all the physical and virtual dimensions of your infrastructure – from devices linked through IoT to assets present in the cloud to the data stored on datacentres.
2. Make use of Security as a Service
Many organizations are already using a lot of business services from multiple technology vendors. For example, a hybrid cloud with a mix of Azure, AWS, and GCP as vendors spread over both private and public platforms. Same concept can be applied to security. Through Security as a service (SECaaS) companies can not only take benefit of security solutions made by experts, but they can also reduce their costs because SECaaS does not require on-prem hardware setup and management. It includes all basic and advanced security services like authentication, access management, endpoint security, cloud security, etc. By using SECaaS, companies can ease the load on their IT and security teams and give them more time to collaborate with stakeholders to fortify their security posture.
3. Treat security as an enterprise-wide process
Risk management and security are not just about protecting your assets and data. It’s about instilling a risk-aware workstyle in your employees to help them make informed decisions and take wise actions. When you’re building a risk management framework, evaluate its potential for involving all the stakeholders of your enterprise together with the end-users. Aim to create a framework that’s comprehensive and intuitive at the same time to increase people’s participation. Though IT security and risk management are based on technology, its actual result is dependent on engaging all the employees from top to bottom so that it becomes part of everyone’s usual workstyle and day-to-day duties.
4. Hire a trusted security advisor
For organizations that are not technology-savvy, keeping up with modern cybersecurity risks and regulatory compliances is not an easy task. Hence, it’s advisable for such organizations to get the help of a trusted security advisor to assess their security and compliance posture, learn and implement best practices, and focus on their core business, rather than spending time and effort on fighting and managing cyber threats on their own. With the assistance of a security advisor, organizations can better predict and handle risks and adapt quickly to a dynamic security landscape. It also gives them the confidence to adopt new innovative solutions for their business, without being unnecessarily concerned about their risks.
In recent times, cyber threats have evolved to become more sophisticated to exploit the inherent complexity and vulnerabilities of the IT landscape. Though adopting a business-centric approach to cybersecurity is a long and complex process, it provides an opportunity to course-correct your security strategy and align it with your corporate strategy. Also, by quantitatively assessing and addressing the risks, companies can involve key stakeholders in the risk mitigation process which in turn will help in bolstering their security framework. Organizations will also have to invest in getting better and the latest security solutions and hire competent security professionals if the need arises. This combined approach of a quantitative assessment of risks, stakeholder involvement, and strategic investment in solutions will greatly strengthen your IT security.