Step One: Engage
Tackling your business’ Cyber Security plan isn’t a once-off project. Instead, a measured approach that responds to changes in your marketplace, evolutionary movement in technology, and shifts in the mindset of your clientele, should be considered. Moreover, by engaging the services of seasoned experts, you can rest assured that their experience and know-how can trump your biggest fears around operating in a high risk level environment. If you’re searching for the best Cyber Security experts, we recommend you do your research and find out about their:
- Sales approach: Are they selling you a one-size-fits-all programme? If so, they may not have a size that truly fits your business. Cyber Security plans must be devised and delivered in such a way that they respond to the direct and indirect needs of your unique business.
- Team experience: They’ll need to know almost everything about your business, and operate with confidentiality at their core. We always recommend finding out about your Cyber Security consultants’ qualifications, areas of interest, and their ability to stay up-to-date with the realities of Cyber Security risk.
- Delivery approach: Will your Cyber Security consultants work directly with every member of your team, or are they content to merely meet with management? An effective Cyber Security plan caters for every level of business and its operations. A team that only meets with management may be ignoring the risks and realities of what happens at an operational level within your business.
Step Two: Document
The idea that Cyber Security concerns should rest on the shoulders of your IT Department is outdated. Cyber Security is everybody’s business, within your business. And that’s why thorough documentation isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s an essential. Full documentation will provide every member of your team with the information they need to respond effectively, and I a timely manner, to a Cyber Security incident. Moreover, your documentation will detail the layers of authorisation around company data, proprietary information, and other important knowledge.
Step Three: Educate
You’ve done it: Your management team is on board, your executive teams are adapting to the rules and regulations, and you’re feeling confident about your business’ Cyber Security plan. But then, the unthinkable happens: someone in the back office shares a screenshot of an office memo online. Listed on your office memo was your Director’s personal mobile number…now what? Preventing this type of mishap is far more important than you may initially think, and prevention is always better than a cure. Your business’ Cyber Security plan is something to be shared and strictly adhered to, but team commitment and engaged education can take care of silly mistakes, before they happen. When implementing your business’ Cyber Security plan and undertaking a company-wide education, we recommend:
- Adopting a privilege level approach: Every member of your team already has a job description, and part of that very description will be defined by the type and amount of information they have access to, to get their job done. Defining the data privilege level of each individual team member will help to outline the level of education they need to ensure they comply with your Cyber Security plan.
- Don’t skip a seat: Every member of your team needs to be educated around your Cyber Security plan, and fully understand their roles and responsibilities attached to ensuring your business adheres to it.
- Assigning assets: The physical security of your company’s assets plays a large part in your business’ Cyber Security plan. Tokenised access systems, robust asset management, and verification procedures, are required to ensure your physical assets remain safe. Ensuring your team understands that not everyone needs to know how much your CEO earns, and that the company laptops are not to be used for someone’s child’s school project, is important.
- Regular training: People leave jobs, team members get promoted, and temporary employees step in when someone goes on maternity leave. For that reason, regular training and engagement with your team around your business’ Cyber Security plan is key. Moreover, a responsive and robust Cyber Security plan is built to evolve, and does not remain stagnant. Regular training and compliance checks must become part of your business operations.
Step Four: Real World Scenario Testing
You’ve trained, you’ve talked, and you’re absolutely certain your business is ready for anything. The truth lies in the testing. Working with your Cyber Security consultants, you’ll need to start testing your Cyber Security plan, to ensure that your business responds to a real cyber attack in an efficient, effective way. Real world scenario testing puts the theory into practice, and reveals your business’ true capabilities around ensuring its Cyber Security. Your Cyber Security plan should undergo real world scenario testing at 3 different levels:
- Executive level: This is where your Public Relations, Media and Communications, and Management teams will have to respond to a simulated Cyber Security incident. Are the necessary draft press releases ready to go? Does your CEO know where they need to be when a crisis hits?
- Response team level: Your IT service providers and internal teams will be tested at this level. How quickly can they respond to a data leak? How soon after a hack happens will your internal teams realise?
- End user level: The frontline of your business will, in all likelihood, manage the majority of a Cyber Security incident. Do they know how to manage the telephone calls from upset clients? Are they aware of what to do when a Cyber Security incident is reported to them?
Step Five: Assess and Update
Now that you’ve successfully simulated different types of Cyber Security incidents, it’s time to assess how well your business performed in accordance with your Cyber Security plan. It’s not just the resolution of a problem that needs to be attended to; it’s the revision and adaptation of your Cyber Security plan too. With a focus on improving your business’ ability to respond to a Cyber Security incident, now’s the time to assess your experience, analyse the effects, and update your Cyber Security plan.