How to ensure cybersecurity is being managed correctly within the organization

Cybersecurity has become one of the biggest global issues due to the evolving digital landscape we are now in.  Protecting sensitive information like your customer’s data, financial information and even managing your company’s reputation is a vital part of your business strategy. If you are one of those people that doesn’t see Cybersecurity as a big issue, well unfortunately, you are very mistaken.

The Threat is Real

Regulators such as the FFIEC has even issued an extortion attack alert,  whereby they are  calling for all financial institutions to take specific risk mitigation steps in light of an increase in the ruthlessness and frequency of cyber-attacks involving extortion. Even the World Economic Forum has listed cybersecurity as one of the biggest global risks threatening businesses today. Various reports have been published on what cyber-attacks are costing and one such report from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies puts an annual figure of $445 billion to the worldwide economy. Cyber-attacks can cause business losses through intellectual property theft, personal information theft to stolen credit card information. In some extreme cases, organization’s systems have been hacked and held to ransom. It’s not only happening to financial services institutions, but to a whole host of industries, for example, only recently Russia has been accused of a cyber-attack that pushed a French TV station off the air. By not having the appropriate cybersecurity controls in place it could be very costly to your organizations, long-term should a cyber-attack occur. You see newspaper headlines all the time about the cost to companies who have been cyber attacked. You may have pondered before or even when you began reading this article about putting a policy in place but never get around to it.  Well, now is the time to stop the procrastinating and put a policy in place before your company is in the headlines.

How to Manage Cybersecurity Risk

Cybersecurity is not solely a digital problem, it is a multi-layer challenge, one that involves the whole organization when creating a management strategy. Organizations need a risk-based management approach that implements an all-inclusive strategy to avoid and lessen risks posed by cyber threats. Best practice would be to appoint someone within the organization to oversee cybersecurity duties. However, managing multiple departments/locations, where information is stored can be a difficult task. In many cases, each department has their own process to protect data which makes it an even greater task. The process needs to begin with identifying the different areas where companies store information in order to identify and evaluate the risks being faced. Following the compilation of the risk assessment, a report needs to be drawn up on the status of IT security and presented to the board. It is vital the board understands the threat posed by cybersecurity in order to approve appropriate funding for security tools and processes. Once a common strategy is in place to manage the risk, it requires a companywide cultural change to recognize the threat posed, together with employee training and tightly monitored operation procedures.

With the overwhelming amount of new regulation being created for companies it is important that strategies are constantly being developed and maintained with regular independent security audits being carried out. The FFIC even has a cybersecurity assessment tool where it outlines five domains that need to be included in a cybersecurity plan, such as Cyber Risk and Management Oversight, Threat Intelligence and Collaboration, Cybersecurity Controls, External Dependency Management and finally Cyber Incident Management and Resilience. Global organizations face tougher challenges in managing these risks, with many grappling with legacy systems, the integration of diverse IT infrastructure and people issues as they work to integrate across the organization. One can implement all the above changes to mitigated against risk and demonstrate compliance to the relevant standards, however the key is how it is monitored.

The Monitoring Solution

The solution is to adopt a risk-based software solution to monitor and manage your cybersecurity obligations that will allow you to integrate policies across the whole organization. A system that provides an end-to-end cybersecurity assessment that enables companies to identify, analyze and prevent cybersecurity breaches.  Better yet a tool that tracks and monitors the performance of your cybersecurity policies and procedures on an ongoing basis to provide assurance to the board that financial and reputational implications are minimized. One that is based on the NIST Framework, where adaptations can be made for any type of organization.

To find out more information on how your company can benefit from a cybersecurity solution with endless possibilities in reducing your stress levels, then contact us today on