CYBER STRATEGY & GOVERNANCE
Today’s reality: Cyber Security is a business risk, not just an IT risk.
Today’s organizations are going through a big change in the way they operate, the way they think and the way they function. This change is being pushed by major technological (cloud and mobile), intellectual (big data and analytics) and behavioral (social) transformations that are affecting the entire IT industry. Security also has been hit by this revolution. In fact, more than the change itself, the impact to security is due to the speed of the developments.
Cyber Security threats remain unpredictable, yet they are inevitable. Organizations can be attacked not only from external sources, but also from within their company. In response, cyber security is rising to the top of the agenda for corporate boards and C-level executives. They are looking enterprise-wide to help prevent future breaches and mitigate their impact. With the emergence of stronger and more widespread cyber security threats, organizational leaders cannot be in a wait-and-watch mode in cyberspace. The open ecosystem of the Internet gives enormous power to cyber criminals, and in turn, it makes cyber security more than just a technical problem — it’s a business problem.
Industry regulators, shareholders, and consumers alike demand the highest level of security protocols. Balancing these demands with the need for return-on-investment presents a conundrum for cyber security implementation at companies of all shapes and sizes.The potential consequences of a realized threat are extensive, and that has catapulted cyber security into the boardroom.
POWERNET knows that to deliver cyber security value, businesses must first determine the appropriate levels of acceptable and tolerated risk. We help you understand how best to align your information protection agenda to your dynamic business and compliance priorities.Governance plays an extremely important role in achieving the security objective of the organization not only for current needs, but also to ensure well-drafted mitigation plans for future challenges.
To address current issues, the governance framework covers improvements to security policies; the implementation of technical controls; audits and assessments; and driving awareness among people to shape their attitude toward secure behaviors. For future challenges, the governance framework must continually focus on emerging threat factors, fast-moving changes in the technological landscape, people’s views and behavior and the work culture transformations.
Place Cyber Security Governance at the heart of your business.
We are well positioned to assist, design and / or implement governance frameworks that align your organizations technical, procedural and process controls with your wider objectives and overarching risk management plan. Our frameworks also ensure all cyber security activities align with best practice standards. Our consultants are able to work alongside your risk, compliance and security teams, taking the following steps to define and implement a governance framework:
- Define your strategy, duties and obligations
- Establish risk tolerance and policies
- Implement supporting Governance Framework infrastructures
- Increase awareness and educate employees
- Continually monitor and report results
- Achieve compliance.
Cyber Security: the next steps
If you are uncertain about your company’s ability to manage its information risks, here are some practical steps that can be taken through corporate governance mechanisms:
- confirm that you have identified your key information assets and the impact on your business if they were to be compromised
- confirm that you have clearly identified the key threats to your information assets and set an appetite for the associated risks
- consider gaining independent verification that you are appropriately managing the cyber risks to your information and have the necessary security policies and processes in place
- confirm that you have processes in place that can support continual improvement
Companies may not have all the expertise needed to implement some of these steps and assure themselves that the measures they have in place meet today’s threats; in the first instance audit partners should be able to provide assistance. For information risk management expertise, organizations should seek advice from members of appropriate professional bodies or those who have attained industry recognised qualifications.
Governance and Framework
An information security program architecture is a framework by which information security programs are implemented, including governance and technical, procedural, and process controls that are all aligned to the mission, vision, and goals of the organization. POWERNET has experience with many frameworks and standards and will build a security program that closely aligns to any of the following standards, or customize one for your specific business and security needs.
Managing cyber risks within corporate governance
Like other corporate risks, cyber risks need to be managed proactively by the Board, led by senior management and assured by corporate governance. A model for managing cyber risks is suggested below. Implementation will clearly need to reflect the nature of your business and your appetite for risk.
Most vulnerability incurred by organizations originates from a disconnect between business requirements (all that which is important to the organization) and current information security best practices. For example, if an IT department does not have an understanding of the criticality of certain business data or services, then the necessary resources will not be allocated to appropriately protect and preserve those services or data. Program architecture marries business requirements and established security best practices in an organized fashion and enables your organization to implement those best practices and achieve your goals at acceptable risk levels.
Developing and implementing an architecture governance that makes sense for your organization
Every organization needs a security program architecture, and every security program is going to look different. Program architecture development is a complex undertaking that requires broad expertise across information security, business operations, and departmental and corporate strategic planning.
POWERNET uses a risk-based security consulting methodology to develop an information security program architecture for protecting your data and managing your specific risks. We understand the current threats, vulnerabilities, technologies, regulatory compliance requirements, and industry best practices that are essential for development of effective programs and processes that truly protect your organization in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape.
The Steps to a Secure Organization
- Define a Strategy
- Establish Policies
- Implement System
- Create Awareness
- Monitor Results
- Enforce Compliance
Components of an Effective IT Security Architecture
- Process Vulnerability Assessment – Review of existing process framework and policies to identify current risks.
- Regulatory Requirements Gap Analysis – Mapping of current information security state to applicable regulatory requirements and clearly show any discrepancies
- Policy Development – Development of tailored hierarchical policies that are aligned with business and security requirements and state organizational direction.
- Process Development – Development of high-level processes associated with organizational policies that describe the workflow mandated by same.
- Program Development – Development of individual programs that each tie together policies, processes, procedures, organizational structure, and business drivers into a logical unit.
- Controls Mapping – Mapping of each of the individual controls contained in one or more relevant security standards, cross-indexed with each other.
By focusing on security needs, versus wants, POWERNET builds enterprise-wide security strategies that move organizations from reacting in crisis mode to having a proactive, value-added business solution. We offer tailored, industry solutions as well as privacy services that accommodate your big-data usage. POWERNET can help you talk the necessary steps to secure your business. POWERNET has both hourly and retainer contract rates, if you are interested in our services, feel free to call us at our offices at 256-489-8425 with the type of service you need.