Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Cybersecurity Strategy

Gowsika

Gowsika

Mar 30, 2024

How to create an effective cybersecurity strategy for 2024

 Cybercrimes and threats are quite prevalent in this day and age—to the extent that almost everyone knows of one such incident. A recent study suggests that cybercrime could cost the world an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2025. In March 2023, the US government released a National Cybersecurity Strategy, and President Biden stated that “cyber security is essential to the basic functioning of our economy.” This demonstrates the need for businesses to focus on designing a robust cybersecurity strategy.

Investing in an effective cybersecurity strategy plays a crucial role in building resilience and improving operation efficiency to achieve your cybersecurity goals. It helps you create a solid cyber defense mechanism that protects your system from malicious actors and identifies areas of improvement, thereby enabling you to maintain a cybersecurity posture.

This blog will delve into the importance of creating a cybersecurity strategy.

What is a cybersecurity strategy?

A cyber security strategy is an action plan that aims at proactively implementing measures and safeguards that protect an organization from cyber threats. 

An effective cyber security strategy is a high-level plan that outlines objectives you need to prioritize within a set timeline to secure data assets, cyber environment and a strong security posture.

Creating a cyber security strategy defines the duties of individuals within your organization, maximizes the security and resiliency of your organization, and includes action plans for managing security incidents, and addressing fundamental shifts in cyber challenges and privacy laws centered around human rights.

Why is a cybersecurity strategy important for businesses?

Cybersecurity strategy is significant for companies that are always trying their best to stay ahead of the nature of malicious attacks and practices. Such attacks can cause financial losses, operational hold-ups, reputational damage, legal and regulatory pitfalls, and even the risk of complete business failure. Hence, having proactive cybersecurity is highly significant for your business operation. 

An effective cybersecurity strategy enables security or IT teams to evaluate their posture to understand the gaps and implement the controls to address them. Using this strategy, you can address gaps comprehensively to ensure continuous compliance and minimize the chances of a security breach. 

Here are a few instances of how effective security strategies favor an organization’s security goals.

Why is a cybersecurity strategy important for businesses?

Helps implement the best standards of protection

A cybersecurity strategy helps businesses put in place the best ways to protect their data and systems. It allows them to find and use the most effective security standards so customer and company information stays safe from hackers.

Protects from financial consequences of cyber security incidents

Cyber attacks can result in devastating financial losses such as costs for remediation of data breaches, expenses of hiring cyber security experts to examine the incidents, expenses of legal proceedings, overall revenue loss when production is hampered, and finally, the costs of implementing security measures for protecting future incidents. This demonstrates how investing in your cyber security strategies can minimize financial loss and add resilience to your critical infrastructure.

Lays out key protocols 

Having a strategy ensures businesses have response plans and protocols ready to deal with crisis in case of a cyberattack. This means they can act quickly, limit damage, and get back to normal business activities faster if an incident does occur.

Inspires confidence

A good cybersecurity approach shows customers their information is truly secure with the company. This tells customers that the business is serious about protecting customer data privacy from threat actors. By doing so, businesses can attract more customers, as data security is one of the deciding factors for customers.

Preserves reputation

According to a survey conducted by Gemalto, 70% of consumers switched their service providers when they experienced a data breach. Hence, data breaches and cyber attacks can blow your business reputation. Having a proper cyber security strategy helps maintain that reputation.

Side-steps legal pitfalls

Organizations are required to comply with specific standards such as ISO 27001 to ensure their adherence to the regulations. A security breach could result in non-compliance, leading to legal penalties lawsuits, and even causing a complete business shutdown. Having a robust cyber strategy is a necessity that protects your organization from legal implications and ensures compliance.

Sprinto Advantage

Sprinto connects with your cloud stack to identify vulnerabilities accurately and in real-time. It triggers remediation workflows by alerting the right person with comprehensive details on its context and suggests the right action to help you patch issues on time, ensure continuous compliance, and side-step legal pitfalls.

Book a demo today.

Three components of a cybersecurity strategy

A cybersecurity strategy is tailored on the basis of three components—Governance, Technology, and Operations. It is recommended to have critical conversations with the business leaders and IT stakeholders before you thread across these components to help you understand the organization’s ability to mitigate risks in a complex threat environment. We will get into the details of the components of a cybersecurity strategy below:

components of cybersecurity strategy

Governance 

Governance is a significant component of a strong cybersecurity strategy. It encompasses all the necessary policies, procedures, and best practices that guide how an organization should direct and control its IT security. 

To develop an effective governance plan, businesses should start planning their resource availability by designating roles and responsibilities for individuals to make better-informed decisions and develop action plans. Establishing a comprehensive governance framework ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page, ensuring clarity and eliminating vulnerabilities. 

Also read: The all in one guide to Governance, Risk, and Compliance.

Technology

Technology is a critical component encompassing any infrastructure that safeguards your organization from cyber-attacks. The scope of the components includes the system, servers, network, and other physical environments that protect your organization’s sensitive data. 

Regular assessments are essential to ensure that the technical component of cyber security is up to par. This involves integrating processes that boost your cyber security strategy, such as conducting penetration tests, reviewing access controls, and assessing physical security. Continuously monitoring your technological defenses and updating them is significant to building an effective cyber defense against threats.

Also check: Best Compliance Monitoring Tools in 2023

Operations

The operation part of the cyber security strategy is where the plan becomes action, and the above-mentioned components of governance and technology come to life. Having a well-defined incident response plan is a waste if it’s not put into practice. Hence, it is important for organizations to actively implement security measures and programs pertaining to vulnerability management, continuous monitoring, and ensuring compliance with standards. 

Developing a cyber security strategy that fulfills all your operation objectives can be a challenging task, so companies look for alternative service providers that help manage their cyber security program.

Sprinto Advantage

Sprinto’s compliance automation platform helps you align your internal control with the latest compliance frameworks while automating security checks and tasks. This not only ensures you have a clear understanding of your compliance status but enables you to maintain a strong security posture at all times.

Speak to our experts to know more.

Steps to build an effective cybersecurity strategy

Creating an effective cybersecurity strategy can be customized to the organization’s needs, specific threats they might face, and security requirements. To help you get started,

cybersecurity strategy

Here’s a list of steps that will enable you to build a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

1. Creating security awareness

You need to have a solid understanding of your cyber security environment to start building your strategy. Fostering cyber security awareness reduces the risk of data breaches, phishing attempts, malware infections, and other malicious activities. It involves processes such as

  • Identifying and defining the scope of tools, technologies, and hardware that process sensitive data
  • Assessing existing security controls and performing risk assessments and vulnerability scans to measure the efficiency of controls in place.
  • Creating a cyber security culture in employees by developing effective policies and awareness training programs to address the cybersecurity mistakes that employees may commit.

2. Develop a process for risk management

Risk management is an effective cyber security exercise that will help you protect your organization’s digital assets from potential risks, identify areas that require attention, and assess the impact of potential threats. This helps you prioritize security measures and allocate resources accordingly. The risk management strategy involves processes such as:

  • Preparing clear and comprehensive policies for your employees, contractors, and stakeholders concerning accessing and handling IT assets. 
  • Bucketing risks based on severity and acting on the high-impact ones to ensure business continuity.
  • Implementing a risk management framework that protects your intellectual property from misuse and theft.

Comprehensive Risk Monitoring & Mitigation. 

3. Choose a cybersecurity framework

Cybersecurity frameworks enable organizations to outline guidelines, standards, and best practices for managing cybersecurity risk and compliance with regulatory requirements. Some common frameworks include:

  • ISO 27001: To manage and improve your ISMS (information security management system)
  • HIPAA: For covered entities to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of PHI (protected health information)
  • GDPR: For businesses processing or collecting PII (personally identifiable information) of citizens of European Union countries. 
  • CCPA: For California based businesses who meet these criteria

Cybersecurity frameworks enable organizations to assess their current security stance and pinpoint any potential weaknesses. This allows you to make informed decisions on where to allocate resources for enhancing safety. The cybersecurity frameworks help you with the following:

  • Identifies the assets that need to be protected. 
  • Identifies the controls required to secure the assets 
  • Detect any cybersecurity threats or vulnerabilities
  • Outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a security incident
  • Remediation plans to recover the systems and data after an attack or a breach

Also read: What is a cybersecurity architecture and how to build one

4. Design process for data management

Data management involves implementing security measures to protect the integrity of your sensitive data. Developing comprehensive data management encompasses techniques such as role-based access, encrypting sensitive data, secure file transfer protocols, and reviewing the data management procedures by conducting periodic audits.

  • Establishing network and access control measures to minimize the risk of unauthorized access and to ensure secure data transfer.
  • Building firewalls to discover vulnerabilities in the internal networks
  • Implementing intrusion detection systems to identify security risks in the external networks.
  • Developing a back and recovery plan.

5. Utilize a compliance program 

One of the best ways to strengthen your cybersecurity strategy is by adopting a compliance framework with comprehensive guidelines on best practices, policies, and processes. Compliance automation can reduce the time to become compliant and significantly cut costs. 

Sprinto, a compliance automation solution, helps you create cyber security strategies for different compliance requirements with customizable policy templates. It helps you monitor your IT environment for security vulnerabilities, collect evidence, and recommend ways to remediate security gaps. 

Read more: How to Selecting the right vendors for your business

6. Continuously monitor for improvement

Cyber security strategy is not a one-time process. Define a set of metrics to analyze the performance of your strategy and understand whether the objectives are being met. This is crucial for constantly adhering to the compliance framework and allows you to identify the areas of improvement. The strategy should process such as:

  • Conducting regular security audits assessing cybersecurity policies, procedures, and technologies in place to identify vulnerabilities and fix security issues.
  • Continuously updating and refining security measures based on changing regulations and business objectives.
  • Staying up to date with the latest industry trends, regulations, and best practices and making necessary adjustments in the strategy.

Conclusion

Designing an effective cybersecurity strategy is a proactive approach to improving the overall company’s security infrastructure. This enhances your security capabilities and helps you build trust with customers, prospects, and partners. And when done right, a robust cybersecurity strategy gains a competitive edge for your business. If you’re a business leader ready to take your company’s cybersecurity to the next level, we can help.

Sprinto is an innovative compliance automation software that enables you to get a comprehensive analysis of your current cyber security posture, continuously monitor cyber risks, run compliance checks to consolidate potential risks, and map entity-level controls. It can identify vulnerabilities, mitigate the risk of attacks, expose weaknesses, and maximize your cybersecurity efforts by fostering trust and confidence with your clients.

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FAQs

What are some of the advantages of cyber security strategy?

Organizations implement robust cybersecurity strategies to protect themselves against breaches and to benefit from advantages such as

  • Protects you from legal Fines and Penalties
  • Help you maintain employee and customer trust
  • Enhances business operations
  • Better cybersecurity posture
  • Staying ahead of the competition

What are some challenges in implementing a cybersecurity strategy?

Some challenges in implementing a cybersecurity strategy include the growing sophistication of threats and bad actors, a large volume of false positives, lack of security awareness and employee negligence, budgetary constraints, and maintaining visibility in remote environments.

What are the different approaches to Cyber Defense?

There are various approaches to cyber defense that help to build a resilient future, including defense-in-depth, zero trust model, threat Intelligence-driven defense, and a risk-based approach. 

What are the five 5 basic principles of cyber security and defense?

The five principles of cyber security and defense are availability, integrity, confidentiality, authentication, and non-repudiation.

Gowsika

Gowsika

Gowsika is an avid reader and storyteller who untangles the knotty world of compliance and cybersecurity with a dash of charming wit! While she’s not decoding cryptic compliance jargon, she’s oceanside, melody in ears, pondering life’s big (and small) questions. Your guide through cyber jungles, with a serene soul and a sharp pen!

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