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Elements of an effective cyber security plan

With cyber crimes increasing at a rapid rate, there’s more pressure than ever on businesses to take responsibility for their cyber security measures.

Not only is it becoming essential for businesses to train more staff members in order to protect themselves, it’s imperative that companies have an effective cyber security plan should something go wrong. What steps can you take to protecting yourself or your business against a cyber security attack?

Having a thorough plan in place

The first one is pretty straightforward and involves having an effective framework in place. It sounds obvious, but the shocking reality is that many businesses don’t have any kind of plan in place at all. An Annual Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization saw 77% of 2,800 IT professionals explaining that their organisations don’t have a cyber security incident response plan.

In order to lower the risk of an incident causing catastrophic damage to a business, a framework must be adopted. Not only must there be one in place, but it needs to be evolving all the time in order to keep up with the sophistication of recent cyber security threats. By the time action is needed, the framework should be there to guide any processes and deal with a cyber security incident efficiently.

End-to-End Scope

Having a cyber security plan that doesn’t take into account full scope is never going to work. A cyber security plan must cover everything in a comprehensive manner. It needs to account for all data, third-party risks and human error in order for a plan to be protected in its scope.

Having a true grasp of the human risks is massively important and is sometimes overlooked when creating a cyber security plan. However, according to Tech Beacon Careless, negligent, and malicious insiders with legitimate access to systems and data caused 25% of breaches.”

A cyber security plan needs to account for this and cover every cyber security risk in order to be effective.

Incident response

Having an incident response plan in place is a crucial element towards creating an effective cyber security plan. It’s important to know what would happen if an incident was to occur and how to react responsibly in order to minimise damage.

Many cyber security plans are created and not kept up to date, but for a cyber security plan to be effective it needs to be constantly re-worked in order to be ready to respond to new incidents and threats. The incident response element also needs to be communicated from senior level downwards, ensuring people are aware of what to do if an incident occurs. Once these incidents are understood, and the risk level is appreciated, businesses will be better equipped to deal with cyber attacks.


Risk Assessment

Once risks are understood and prioritised, it’s essential that a cyber security plan aims to tackle each one so as to prevent huge breaches in the future. Risks can come in all shapes and sizes, from shared passwords to weak business processes that are easy to hack.

Risk assessment will cover anything from unauthorised access and misuse of information to data leakage. Of course the risk of each will vary depending on the business and how well they are protected at present. The categories of risk are also very varied and aren’t just financial or compliance based. Even if the attack doesn’t directly lose the company money or break data protection laws, the risk to company reputation can be huge and will also be calculated by a risk assessment.

Cyber security professionals

A huge part of any cyber security plan is understanding how it will integrate into the business and work in day to day life. This may be in the form of current employees or new hires who manage the cyber security plan. In either case, it’s essential that a business has skilled professionals on hand to implement the plans.

As Stephen C. Morgan, founder of CyberSecurity Ventures recently said, “the cybersecurity workforce shortage is the single biggest threat to organizations globally and the problem is getting worse not better”. Businesses are being challenged to upskill their workforce and hire professionals who have relevant qualifications under their belt.

If you’re thinking of taking the leap into cyber security, but don’t know where to start then get in touch to speak to a career consultant today. With the skills gap continuing to grow there’s no better time to find out about a career in cyber security.