Real cybersecurity requires more than technology because there is no “silver bullet” app or software that provides fail-safe protection against all existing and emerging cyber threats.
A comprehensive cybersecurity solution requires seven key components:
7 Components of Cyber Security
1. People and Bandwidth
Who is managing your network security? Do they have the time, bandwidth, and tools to effectively deploy the technologies your organization has purchased?
Are they able to validate actual threats, unauthorized access, and provide adequate incident response (IR) and containment?
While your technology should be doing the heavy lifting from a volume perspective, your people should be the ones to validate and address the most serious threats to your network.
Also, consider the sustainability of your current model. How much does it cost to field your current team? Could your standard and cloud security models be reconfigured to achieve superior results and/or cost savings?
Speaking of people, there needs to be a clear chain of command for implementing the new cybersecurity program, and the person in charge must have the clout necessary to affect the organizational changes needed.
Authority must be delegated from the highest levels of your organization, and it needs to be clear that this person is in charge. No exceptions, no end-arounds.
You’re entrusting the entire cybersecurity program to this person, so you want to put them in a position to succeed. You don’t want to give anyone the impression that this person may need to get further approvals to implement any of the components of cyber security — this would undermine their position and potentially compromise the security program.
3. Support From the Top
You need visible, sincere buy-in from the board of directors and leadership team on down. It must be 100% clear that your organization’s leadership is fully behind the security program, engaged in the process, and watching to make sure everyone else is on board, too.
One of the biggest challenges to improving network security is the extreme level of uptake and compliance required — and it doesn’t matter how large your organization is, or how much you spend on technology.
Cyber threats and malicious attacks are persistent and unyielding. All it takes is one non-compliant employee within an organization of thousands to subvert millions of dollars in a security investment.
The board must engage the C-level, who must engage directors and managers all the way.
4. An Effective Process
Does your organization have an established process for managing cybersecurity and cyber risk? Does it work? An effective IR process specifies how your people will use your tools and technologies, as well as details how and what to do when potential malicious attacks are detected.
The risk management process should be comprehensive, from identification through IR, and auditable, so adherence can be tracked and improvements can be made over time.
An ideal IR process includes identification, validation, reporting, and IR. At a minimum, an effective process must include security tools that provide real-time monitoring for indicators of compromise (IOCs), in-depth research and investigation into IOCs, a mechanism for developing rules to detect IOCs, event validation, and reporting.
Accurate validation is critical to the process so actual threats and cyber attacks can be quickly identified and distinguished from perceived or apparent threats.
Interested in learning more? Check out these blogs:
- What the Sagan Log Analysis Engine Is…and What It Is Not
- Easing the Compliance Burden: Sagan Technology & PCI Compliance
5. The Right Technology
While your security information and event management (SIEM) technology isn’t a silver bullet, it should be a broad sword for network security risk and threat detection.
Your technology should handle about 75% of potential threats detected. The other 25% of potential threats, which are often the most serious, should be investigated and validated by people who have the necessary disaster recovery training.
A comprehensive SIEM solution has features such as quick log searches, customized reporting, a database of known malicious IP addresses, and the ability to produce actionable threat intelligence. How does your current SIEM solution compare?
6. Timely Communication
Timely and accurate internal communication and user education is essential for a security program. The cybersecurity team must coordinate closely with internal stakeholders such as network administrators, systems engineers, the help desk, management, and other groups likely to be affected by an incident.
An effective IR process helps you manage the elements of cybersecurity. It specifies the who, what, and when of security-related communication, and the technology should automate or at least produce outputs to inform the process. How well does your communication plan work, especially when it’s put to the test?
Down to individual contributors. Every box on your org chart must be folded in — otherwise, you’ll leave weaknesses that will ultimately be exploited through a data breach.
People are complex beings, and organizational politics can be a very real hindrance to improving your security position. Leadership needs to make it crystal clear that security is priority number one for the overall good of the organization, and non-compliance will be dealt with seriously.
Proactive Cybersecurity Services You Can Trust
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To succeed long-term, your cybersecurity program needs to have a dedicated budget. This is one of the key components of cyber security. All too often, cybersecurity is tied to the overall IT budget as a lower-level line item. This can lead to problems down the road, however.
Sometimes budgets get cut across the board, and the reforms you worked to implement can be defunded, re-allocated, or leveraged in other ways that don’t improve your cybersecurity or risk management.
It comes down to delegation and accountability. If you don’t secure dedicated, long-term funding for your cybersecurity budget, how can the person leading the program be accountable for its success or failure?
Is Your Organization Ready for a Cybersecurity Overhaul?
Without top-down support, an empowered champion, and dedicated funding, your cybersecurity program is doomed. Not sure what to do next?
We know that you are busy doing what you do, consumed with the day-to-day operations of running your business and serving your customers. For this reason, we highly recommend that you partner with an organization that specializes in providing cybersecurity and risk management services.
It is extremely difficult for organizations to go it alone when it comes to cybersecurity, and you don’t have to. Quadrant Information Security specializes in partnering with organizations to provide an outside perspective on risk management and unprecedented value in managed network security services.
Proactive Security is Real Security
It’s worth your time to assess your business for these seven components of cyber security and make sure your organization’s sensitive information is safe in the event of a data breach.
Our Sagan Solution is more than security information and event management (SIEM) software. It has evolved into an ecosystem that serves as an all-inclusive security solution.
As part of our dedication to information security, we also provide free cybersecurity assessments and may be able to provide a free, on-site demo of Sagan.
Quadrant serves as the eyes and ears for our clients. Our solution provides the power and security of 24/7/365 monitoring, notification, disaster recovery and remediation assistance by true security professionals who are equipped with ever-evolving security tools, threat detection technologies and techniques.
If you would like an outside perspective on cyber risk, or just need some help determining the right questions to ask about these components of cyber security, please contact me through LinkedIn or at email@example.com.