Paul Casey, Chief Operations Officer at Paradyn, shares five tips for businesses to create an effective IT security roadmap and develop a strong cybersecurity strategy.
With many businesses now forced to rely on remote working solutions and as technology becomes increasingly ingrained in the daily functions of organisations, IT decision makers are best advised to take a long-term approach to developing a strong cybersecurity strategy to prepare for future threats. Public or private sector, international or indigenous, enterprise, SME or start-up, virtually all businesses are handling sensitive data on a daily basis. Your IT security roadmap must account for customer, client and employee personal data, as well as financial and company information. Building a cybersecurity strategy framework to protect and secure this data is now essential.
But how can organisations develop, refine and implement a cybersecurity strategy that protects this data both now and continuously over time? Here are five tips for businesses seeking to establish an effective cybersecurity strategy:
1. Be proactive and prepare an IT security roadmap for the future
Cybersecurity measures are often only implemented on a reactionary basis as a result of a data breach or cyber-attack. However, by taking proactive preventative measures, organisations can pre-empt attacks and avoid or mitigate against the resultant long-term reputation damage and hampering of employee productivity.
Consider what your organisation will look like in the future and build a strong cybersecurity strategy that can support your growth objectives. In doing so, you can help extend the longevity of your IT security system and minimise disruption to your employees by avoiding the need to constantly update outdated systems.
With scalable and proactive cybersecurity and monitoring measures in place, your IT systems and the data that is stored on them can remain protected while the IT team is freed up to concentrate on solutions to enable business growth.
2. Understand the cybersecurity risks pertaining to your business
Every business has unique challenges and obstacles to overcome on a daily basis and your organisation’s cybersecurity strategy is no different. Whether you’re a multinational that deals with overseas clients and conflicting time zones or you’re a rapidly scaling SME, you will have individual cybersecurity needs and concerns that require customised solutions.
For example, if you are a business that now facilitates or relies on remote working for your employees, you’ll need to ensure that they have seamless access to work files and that their work devices and data they access are kept secure and safeguarded from a cyber-attack.
By outlining your day-to-day activities and understanding the potential risk factors associated with your unique business, you can better design a cybersecurity strategy that aligns with your work and is effective in the long-term.
3. Utilise a security framework for putting together a roadmap for securing your organisation.
For businesses, leveraging a security framework ensures that your company and customer data stay safe. You want to use trusted security and privacy frameworks for your business and we think the controls in the CIS framework are an excellent fit for many businesses and startups.
Among the many benefits that our customers get from implementing the CIS Controls, prioritisation of what you need to do is an immediate win and is something that most organisations struggle with. They were designed to help organizations rapidly define the starting point for their defenses, direct their scarce resources on actions with immediate and high-value payoff, and then focus their attention and resources on additional risk issues that are unique to their business or mission.
4. Align your cybersecurity strategy with all business functions
The integration of a strong cybersecurity strategy should incorporate all functions of your business. From marketing to sales to logistics, you need to ask yourself whether your cybersecurity measures adequately address all aspects of your business.
Often, human error can be the reason why data is exposed to threats, so integrating a new security system without employee training can leave your business vulnerable. If your employees are unaware of how to handle data according to best practice, it can undermine your overall cybersecurity strategy and any preventative measures.
Seeking guidance from an IT specialist on how to manage your systems and synchronise them with all functions of your business can mitigate risk and exposure down the road.
5. Choose an experienced Managed Service Provider to help with your IT security roadmap
Developing an IT security roadmap can be a complex task, but given the consequences of a security breach or failure, it may even be a critical step in ensuring the survival and growth of any business. An IT security roadmap can alleviate pressure on IT managers who are often occupied by managing daily IT challenges and firefighting user issues, distracting them from growth oriented innovation.
Partnering with a Managed Service Provider to put in place solutions and support for the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of a security system, ensures that your business remains secure and compliant, while improving employee productivity.
Organisations of every size and service offering need to be mindful of their IT security. From scalable solutions to ensuring all of your team knows the best practices to adopt, a cybersecurity strategy should be proactive, preventative and specific to your business.
If you’re interested in speaking to a managed service provider who can complete a full security audit and develop a comprehensive and bespoke cybersecurity strategy, contact the Paradyn team today to find out more.
Chief Operations Officer, Paradyn
Paul has been in the Technology industry for over 20 years and brings vast senior leadership experience to Paradyn’s technical and operational teams. As Operations Director, Paul is committed to customer service and has specific responsibility for Operations and Human Resources departments. Paul was one of the founding members of Exigent Networks and has previously held a number of roles in the Technology sector, both in Ireland and Internationally.