What is a Good Cybersecurity Program?
Cybersecurity involves protecting information and systems from cyberthreats. Many organizations have taken a reactive approach, assembling various individual security technologies to protect data, systems, and networks. A cybersecurity program helps organizations coordinate a defense to all types of cyber threats and information security threats. Cybersecurity is key to risk management as well, where cybersecurity considers near term dangers and risk management looks at risk over time. A good risk management solution should enable both. Cybersecurity is a journey and not a destination; every organization needs a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.
Generally speaking, a good cybersecurity program is a sign of effective security. A cybersecurity program is personalized to your organization; it differs significantly from one company to the next when attempting to figure out a good cybersecurity program for you; several factors, such as industry, regulations, and critical metrics matter to your organization must be considered.
What is a good Cybersecurity Program for my company?
Cybersecurity Program performance can be managed but only if measured. Companies that have agreed-upon security performance metrics formerly are more likely to manage security effectively. Cybersecurity Performance Management is the process of evaluating your cybersecurity program's maturity based on risks and the associated level of investment (people, process, and technology) needed to improve your security to meet regulatory requirements and business outcomes. The metrics should tell a story about your security program: how prepared you are for an attack, the attacks that have been discovered and resolved, the vulnerabilities that made those incidents possible, and steps being taken to close the holes in the security program.
Metrics are critical to understanding and improving communication around security performance. Rather than comparing yourself to others and worrying about what is right and routine, it's much more practical to adopt a capability maturity model (CMM) to measure and benchmark your organization's security maturity. CMM is a set of characteristics or indicators that represent capabilities and progression within a company's security program.
Monitor and Improve Your Cybersecurity Program
If you are not managing cybersecurity at your organization, you are not managing cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is about making sure your organization's data, and systems are safe from bad actors' attacks. Hackers will keep getting better with time. Unfortunately, many organizations will continue to be susceptible to threats because they don't know or understand their cyber risk.
Leading a Cybersecurity Program through a disciplined program management approach enables CISOs to bridge the gap to improve cybersecurity reporting, present crucial information, and communicate security needs and priorities.
To get an actionable measurement of cybersecurity at your organization, a good cybersecurity program will select metrics that can discover and reduce risk in a preventative manner. An excellent place to start a cybersecurity program is identifying critical assets (sensitive data, users, devices) as part of an initial assessment. After identifying what needs to be monitored, you can start collecting information and determining the available data points. Creating a baseline will be used to determine current cybersecurity maturity; it also serves as the foundation and the basis for setting goals and milestones. The baseline should include industry standards along with the organization's appetite/risk tolerance.
Questions a Good Cybersecurity Program Should Answer (examples)
- Strategy (long-term program governance):
- Program Planning & Resource Allocation
- Vendor Selection (product and services)
- Tactical (Day to Day)
- Compliance with security policy (policy, procedures, regulatory)
- Effectiveness of security controls
- Quality Assurance (software development)
- Identify and track vulnerabilities that may exist
- adherence to secure coding standards
A good cybersecurity program will use metrics to identify new cybersecurity strategies to ensure appropriate resources are allocated to respond swiftly and effectively to cybersecurity incidents.
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