In this edition of the newsletter, we will be continuing our series on a comprehensive guide to preparing your business against cybersecurity threats by considering the framework to employ in order to add tools and technologies to your cyber toolkit.
Step 1: Identify Your Security Needs by using a risk management approach
The first step in selecting the right tools and technologies for your security needs is to understand your requirements. This involves looking at your current infrastructure, assessing potential threats and vulnerabilities, and identifying areas where additional security measures may be needed. Technical and non-technical personnel should work together to view the organisation's security posture comprehensively
A recommended approach is to do an inventory of all your cyber and data assets and conduct a vulnerability assessment. This will help you identify the risks that you are up against. Analyse these risks using a risk management methodology like ISO 310000:2018 so that you understand the likelihood and the consequences of a cyber incident. Use a security-in-depth approach to then mitigating these risks. At this point, it is also useful to tap into international standards such as ISO/IEC 27001:2022, as well as Cybersecurity frameworks such as the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and the ACSC Information Security Manual.
Consider what data is at risk, who has access to it, and how to keep it secure. It's essential to understand the threats that could compromise your data and take steps to mitigate them. Ask yourself the following questions when assessing your security needs.
- What types of data will be protected?
- What are the regulatory requirements for data protection?
- What level of security is required?
- What kind of threats must be mitigated?
Step 2: Define your Security Objectives
As part of this risk mitigation strategy, determine your security objectives in a specific enough manner so as to generate requirements that can be addressed by security tools and technologies. An example of a security objective is preventing malware delivery and execution such as to prevent execution of unapproved/malicious programs including .exe, DLL, scripts (e.g. Windows Script Host, PowerShell, and HTA) and installers.
Step 3: Research
The next step in choosing the right tools and technologies for your security objectives is to research the different types of tools and technologies available. This can include analysing what type of security measures are available, their features, and any industry standards they may need to meet. It is also essential to research the cost of the tools and technologies and the time it takes to implement them.
When selecting the right tools and technologies for your security objectives, several factors should be considered. It is vital to assess the types of threats you face and the data you want to protect to determine which tools and technologies will be the most effective in protecting your data. Additionally, consider the cost of the tools and technologies and how they integrate with existing systems or services. You should also consider whether the tools and technologies can be managed and maintained in-house or require external support. Finally, ensure that the tools and technologies meet industry standards for security and privacy. Another critical factor in selecting technologies or tools is to evaluate the risk from a supply chain risk management perspective.
Step 4: Small scale testing prior to deployment
Having identified the software or hardware tools that you would like to deploy, it is prudent to test their operation within a sandbox environment to iron out any bugs or to evaluate their effectiveness, or even to try out different solutions for the sake of comparison.
Step 5: Roll-out
Deploy the technology that meets your security objectives and integrate it with your existing security infrastructure. It is important to maintain the tools and technologies on an ongoing basis by updating them regularly and ensuring that they are functioning as intended. Training employees on how to use the tools and technologies properly is also crucial to the success of your security strategy.
In conclusion, protecting a business against cybersecurity threats requires a comprehensive approach that involves identifying security needs, defining security objectives, conducting research, testing tools and technologies, and deploying them. This guide highlights the importance of using a risk management methodology to assess potential risks and vulnerabilities, and of considering international standards and frameworks for cybersecurity. By implementing effective security measures and regularly updating them, businesses can protect their data and resources from potential cyber threats. It is important to remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and evaluation of risks and vulnerabilities. By following the steps outlined in this guide, businesses can develop a robust cybersecurity strategy that can withstand the evolving threat landscape.