What is an Information Security Program?
An information security program can be defined as all the practices that a company puts in place in order to secure its mission-critical processes, data, and assets. The program tries to identify people, processes, and technology that could potentially have an impact on the integrity of your system as a whole. The program is essentially designed to deploy security practices that adapt to your organization over time. It puts in place and manages all the policies and procedures for effective risk assessment, network monitoring, data security, and mitigating the impact of attacks. Effective information security programs are built on the principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. These programs can help companies secure a benchmark for security, continuously measure their performance against that security benchmark, make smart data-driven decisions, and help in the implementation of those decisions. For the most effective Information Security Management at your local business, learn what Stronghold Data has to offer.
8 Easy Steps to Build your Information Security Program
Have an Information Security Team
Before you can implement an effective information security program, you need a crack team in place in order to be the brains behind the operation. Part of the team should obviously be senior executives that are responsible for articulating the mission of the program, building and deploying security policies, limiting risks, and more. However, you also need people from relevant parts of the organization who are responsible for carrying out the daily security operations. These people will be in charge of executing the vision of your security program.
Take Stock of your Inventory and Manage Assets
The first step in implementing the security program comes with identifying all relevant assets, tracking them, and making sure that they are secured. This means conducting a thorough inventory of all your assets that may contain valuable data including hardware devices, shared folders, databases, and more. It is a good idea to assign ownership to each asset and prioritize the assets according to their degree of importance.
For effective risk assessment, you need to understand which threats and vulnerabilities pose the most risk to your assets. You need to prioritize the threats according to the likelihood of occurrence and the extent of the potential impact they can have on your systems. Your vulnerabilities can come from your employees, third-party service providers, vendors, and even clients. The tricky part is for organizations to find the intersections where these two (threats and vulnerabilities) coincide the most and create high-risk areas in the organization. Stronghold Data is one of the most reputed Information Security Consultants in Joplin and nearby areas.
Once you have the list of risks organized according to priority, it is time to decide if you want to mitigate the impact of the risks, transfer some risks, accept certain risks or ignore some completely. Remember that the last only applies in cases where deploying the countermeasure in your infrastructure can cost you more than the value of the data you are trying to protect.
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
With cyber-attacks and even other kinds of disasters becoming more or less certainty for companies across industries, the best way to prepare for them is to plan ahead and have a disaster recovery plan in place. Your employees must know how to respond to security breaches, server crashes, power outages, supply chain disruptions, and a myriad of other disasters that can befall your organization. You need to have a clear demarcation of what needs to be done and who needs to do it so employees can respond systematically and not lose their nerves in high-stress situations.
Establish Security Controls
By now, your company should have decided on the risks that it needs to act on immediately. You can start by applying the right security controls to mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks or avoid them completely. These security controls can involve encrypting your data, implementing intrusion detection systems, applying antivirus solutions and firewalls and of course, having the right policies, procedures, and physical security measures in place. Your security policy should essentially serve as an overarching narrative around other security measures such as backup policy, password policy, access control policy, etc.
Implement Security Awareness Training
As discussed before, employees remain one of the most persistent vulnerabilities that an organization can have. This is why it is critical to have adequate and effective security awareness training and simulation programs in place to help your employees understand the need for the security program and their role in ensuring the success of the program.
Always contact reliable third-party security audits
While an annual third-party audit is more or less a regular feature in most organizations, it is also one of the most effective ways to test the success of your information security program. This can also help you meet all relevant regulatory and compliance objectives. For more details on Information Security Best Practices, please refer to Stronghold Data’s IT Consulting Joplin.