Cybersecurity requires a strategic approach with interventions at multiple levels. You align those different aspects of cybersecurity and also need constant monitoring. Discover here the six crucial elements for a cyber strategy that works.
Why is cybersecurity so complex? Not only because both security technology and hacker attacks evolve at lightning speed, but also because you have to take into account so many aspects. For instance, it's not just about securing access to information, but also about the way employees interact with their hardware and applications. In short, it's about complete control in six crucial steps:
First, you look at what IT infrastructure, software and data are essential to your business operations. How crucial is each of the components to keeping your business going and providing a good service to your customers? What would the consequences be if something were unavailable, and at what point does it become a real problem? Can you work another day without your ERP-system, or will everything grind to a halt after just one hour? This is how you determine where the focus of your security strategy should lie and which SLAs you need.
The next step is to concretely develop protection for your critical IT assets and data. This includes identity management and access control - both physical and digital. Make sure that a secure approach is taken to teleworking and the use of mobile devices. The role of the end user is often overlooked. Yet it is absolutely essential to train end users so that they are aware of cyber threats. They will, for example, recognize risky messages more quickly and be more careful with passwords.
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When implementing a cybersecurity strategy, monitoring remains an important part of the defense. Of course, you can ensure the best possible protection, but it is almost impossible to avoid hackers occasionally breaching your defensive wall. The more efficient and quicker you can detect an attack attempt, the better. This way, you avoid a virus penetrating further and further into your company network, causing major damage unnoticed.
Continuous monitoring of your crucial IT systems is certainly not a luxury, even for medium-sized companies. An external cloud partner brings such a 24/7 service within the budget of every company. Those who still have doubts can weigh those fixed service costs against the financial consequences of a cyber-attack that paralyses everything.
Monitoring also includes a clear plan for dealing with cyber security problems. Detected problems must be assigned a priority and dealt with accordingly. This usually means: as quickly as possible. The priority has to do with the risk analysis from the first step in the strategy: the greater the impact on crucial business units or processes, the faster a solution to the problem is needed. In this way, the impact of a successful cyber attack remains limited.
A strategic approach means that procedures are established in advance, not only on the IT level but also for communication to stakeholders, customers and possibly even the media. In hindsight, the experiences and lessons learned from an incident also serve to supplement and further strengthen your strategy.
If things really go thoroughly wrong, you also need a plan to be able to recover your crucial data and be up and running again as soon as possible. This is a very important part of your cybersecurity strategy. After all, it ensures that you can respond quickly and resiliently to an IT outage. This is also an ongoing process where you are constantly looking for optimizations. Don't forget to regularly test procedures around backup, data management and data recovery.