Isn’t it logical that the same measures used in protecting lives and properties should also be applied to the protection of virtual data? When one considers that our most important data and operations, financial data, personal data, secret data, and the likes are now in the clouds, then this point cannot be overemphasized. Keeping this information and operations safe should be the focal point of any cybersecurity manager or even an individual.
This line of thought is an approach that companies especially those that have fallen victim to one form of cyber-attack or the other would reason with. A case in point is the water poisoning attack on the Florida Water System, where the hacker was able to briefly increase the amount of sodium hydroxide to a potentially dangerous level from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.
Another example is the Microsoft Exchange Server which was attacked by cybercriminals, an attack that was believed to have affected 9 government agencies, and around 60,000 private companies in the US alone. Cybersecurity management has led to large enterprises spending on average $15m to bolster virtual security, small and medium businesses tune out their securities spending $1m on average.
What is Cybersecurity Management?
Cybersecurity management is simply the processes and ways in which an organization protects its data, information resources, and computer networks from complex and constantly evolving cyber threats. The idea of cybersecurity management involves getting the best experts and technicians to bolster the security of systems data and information of an enterprise. To properly run this operation, cybersecurity compliances are put in place that companies follow to properly direct them in the right direction and also to avail them of the latest tools and resources to use in setting up or refining security.
But compliance is not enough, definitely not in this age, minds have evolved so much that an individual is enough and capable of bringing a company as big as Apple down, perhaps that might sound like an exaggeration, but you just never know, do you? So companies must apply the process of the cybersecurity management framework. Now unlike cybersecurity compliance where you are restricted to laid down guidelines, a cybersecurity management framework lets a company apply cybersecurity compliances in conjunction with other resources.
A company could adopt other measures not covered in the compliance, in this situation, the company doesn’t just meet the requirements but also surpasses these requirements. The company could also manipulate cybersecurity compliances and streamline it to better meet their specific security needs using the cybersecurity management framework, resulting in a stronger more focused security.
Things to Consider Before Implementing a Cybersecurity Management Plan
There is a saying where I come from, “the one who made pencil, or also made the eraser.” This means that just as security measures are being fine-tuned, hackers are also fine-tuning their security weapons, it is like a cyber-war is constantly on the boil and also evolving so it has become paramount to be consciously aware of what it takes to properly set up and implement a cybersecurity system.
For a company to implement a security system, the size and budget of the organization is the first thing to put in mind, this gives you an idea of the kind of security measure that best fits the organization, how expensive the security framework you want to adopt will be. Also having knowledge of the present security trends, what resources and tools cyber-criminals apply in penetrating companies would come in handy too. Also properly training employees to identify potential threats and minimize their errors would go a long way in helping the organization properly implement cybersecurity management.
Key Aspects of Cybersecurity Management
Each company creates, manipulates, collects data relevant to it. Now to effectively implement a cybersecurity management system, the company has to adopt measures that will seamlessly suit the kind of data and information they are dealing with and also, prepping a proper location to store these data, both the physical and virtual should be put in place.
Ever notice how miserable you feel when you lose data on your phone, it feels like a part of you is lost, now imagine a company losing its data, they don’t only feel miserable, they lose integrity and they get waves of negative publicity. Clients will deem them unfit, unreliable to do business with and we have not even considered the financial strain involved, not only in the money they’ve lost but also in the finances required to set things up afresh. Data backup can never be exaggerated, it doesn’t just propel speedy recovery, it is also the foundation of business continuity.
Cybersecurity does not exist when you don’t put measures in place to protect data and information, either live and backed-up data, that is even the definition of cybersecurity, protection. So protection against such attacks is paramount, viruses, malware, phishing are just but a few of the weapons cybercriminals adopt in penetrating a company’s data, protection is not just about setting up frameworks and measures, companies have to be constantly abreast with the latest mode of attacks by hackers amongst other things. Let’s look at different means of cybersecurity:
Security of Network
There are so many operations being carried out under the hood when we seat behind an internet-connected device and type away on keyboards, there are so many activities of data exchange, manipulations going in the background, and this is where networking, which is the core or medium through which data and information are moved around and exchange and this core need protection, just as you protect your intestines by flushing it out now and then.
Network security measures involve many measures, like anti-virus installation, installing clean and certified software applications, Virtual Private Networks(VPN), firewalls, etc. these measures help make sure data exchanged are protected from being stolen or even manipulated.
Security of Business Endpoints
When endpoints are being mentioned in the world of IT, it is not that we are talking about the end of a destination, endpoints are devices used in accessing networks, examples are laptops, desktop computers, mobile devices, etc., these are the devices we use in accessing networks and the internet. When we use these devices to access the internet, it is at this point that they become vulnerable to attacks, so protecting endpoints is now one of the first steps organizations take in the implementation of cybersecurity management.
One of the greatest technological innovations in recent times is the implementation of cloud computing, it’s an innovation that lets users store their data and other virtual resources to cloud storage. This type of storage relieves storage pressure on endpoint devices, you can access these data from anywhere and anytime as it is readily available and accessible. Organizations, small and large are depending on cloud storage nowadays hence, it is of utmost importance that companies put measures in place like data spitting, anti-viruses, firewalls, tokenization to protect cloud data storage.
Data Security Management
Companies are not only in possession of their data, they are also in possession of data and information of individuals, other companies, etc. Data security management are systems put in place by the cybersecurity management team to protect these data. This could include data privacy, making sure that data is inaccessible to unauthorized personnel. Data encryption, where data is sent or received in a format unreadable to an unauthorized person is also a smart form of data security just like Whatsapp uses.
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We all know that security measures have to be put in place, but do we just randomly do this, set up security that does not align with a companies’ mode of operation or processes? Cybersecurity management has to be able to collect data, analyze these data, observe network operations and other related resources to have a thorough or better understanding of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done to meet the specific needs of the company.
Vulnerability Assessment Plan
So far, we have realized that nothing is perfect, most watertight systems have been breached, so it will be proud thinking for a cybersecurity management system to think their security plans and measures are perfect. A vulnerability assessment plan helps the cybersecurity management team to scan their processes for weaknesses, e.g., a guessable password, and put measures in place to erase these weaknesses or minimize them to the barest minimum.
Collaborating With Users
The best way to get feedback for a particular product or service is to ask the users. Customers with varying personalities and experiences make use of goods and services in different ways for different situations. They provide the best and most important information for a particular product or service, because of the varying ways they have made use of it.
Cybersecurity management could collaborate with these users, get information about a product or service that might just be the missing ingredient needed to better improve the overall effectiveness of that product.
Setting up Security Protocols
Security protocols are measures implemented by the cybersecurity management team to ensure that information is exchanged securely. Communication channels that serve as a medium for information exchange need to be secured, such that data that is being exchanged is secured. Combining communication protocol with cryptographic mechanisms is one of the latest means of ensuring security protocols are top-notch.
DevSecOps is a short term for Development, Security, and Operations. This is a process where security measures are automatically integrated at each phase of software development from the start of software development up to the point of deployment. DevSecOps is an upgrade to DevOps which only focuses on the development and operations of software. Whereas in the case of DevSecOps, it is ensured that development, security, and operations are a shared responsibility.
In the adoption of this approach by the cybersecurity management team, the process of software development becomes faster and cost-effective. Vulnerabilities of the software are detected earlier and it becomes easier, cheaper, and less complex to correct these errors, and minimizing these weaknesses is even more effective as security is being implemented at every point of the way.
Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
No matter how prepared we are, nature and unforeseen incidences always find a way to outwit us. Fire could gut down a company or the first flow of a skyscraper could be thoroughly flooded, tons of things could happen that will bring a business to a temporary halt. One would be appraised to think that setting up a business continuity plan should be done before setting up the real business plan.
So a Business continuity plan defines the procedures and instructions that the organization must follow in the case of disasters, or cybersecurity attacks. Business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, and ways to deal with them are all outlined. A business continuity plan at its core makes sure you don’t lose customers even when you’ve lost a major part of the business.
The cybersecurity management team in this regard makes sure that data backed up are safe and intact, data is fragile, can get damaged quickly, aside from the fact that it can be stolen or manipulated. So the point of making sure that data and information are safe secured as it is being restored, re-installed, exchanged cannot be overemphasized.
Cybersecurity Management Checklist
While cybersecurity is a very important part of any business or company, the fact that it is a very complicated system to implement cannot be undermined. IT experts spend days working, brainstorming on the best of systems, processes, operations to be adopted to work seamlessly with an organization’s goals and objectives.
To properly put this in place, the cybersecurity management team makes use of a cybersecurity management checklist to analyze every aspect of the company’s components, both technical and non-technical making sure that they are in their right places.
Cybersecurity has been observed to be a very core part of every business operation, data is the major thing businesses make use of, so protecting this data should form an integral part of every company’s operations.
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