Many IT-specific roles within businesses carry the responsibility of keeping that business safe from cyber-attacks. The cost implications of a poor, unmanaged or inadequate digital infrastructure security policy can be huge. Data breaches and cyber-attacks can directly affect business revenue, damage brand reputation and, in some cases, cause businesses to fail.
With a clear set of security measures, procedures and policies in place for your business, you are actively mitigating the effects of any potential cyber security threats or events. In this article, we take a look at how to educate your staff and put together an IT risk management policy to support your digital defenses.
Risk Assessment and Risk Treatment
Initially your job is to figure out which risks are going to have the maximum impact on your business so that you can put a plan in place to protect your most valuable assets and data. There are two key areas to address: your initial risk assessment, followed by your risk treatment. These roughly equate to identification and subsequent action, respectively.
Your risk assessment is about gathering all the information you need to determine where the potential threats lie. Your risk treatment is your list of actions designed to avoid, manage or recover from the potential outcomes of your identified risks.
Enabling Your Team with Adequate Cyber Security Education
It is important that your key IT staff, or those responsible for protecting your IT systems, are effectively trained in risk management and the many skills required to allow a business to navigate any cyber issues efficiently. Investing in suitable training that covers key elements of strategy, such as a cyber security undergraduate degree, would be a wise move, ensuring the requisite skills for identifying and responding to threats are entrenched within your business.
Creating a Risk Management Policy
The following are activities that should be undertaken to create your risk management policy:
- : this first step includes identifying potential cyber security risks to software, devices, data, network and personnel. It also includes identifying the data that is most important to the functioning of your business and needs core protection, allowing you to prioritize subsequent tasks and measures.
- : this stage involves ensuring that data access, password management and other security protocols are securely in place and that relevant staff are aware of them.
- : using advanced threat detection strategies and software, companies must be alert to potential incoming threats.
- : this involves determining how to best respond to a cyber security situation. Response plans, communication channels and repair strategies are crucial this stage.
- : at the far end of the process, this stage allows for the restoration of previously inhibited services and processes. This is all about getting back to business as usual, preferably with a more robust security procedure in place.
There is no way to avoid all cyber security risks; they are simply a part of the world we live in today. But with sensible planning and a robust IT risk management policy in place, you can ensure that your business is not only protected from most attacks, but able to respond effectively to any potential threat.