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Developing a Cybersecurity Strategy to Protect Your Business

No two businesses are alike which means no two cybersecurity strategies can be the same. This must be taken into account when developing a cybersecurity strategy if businesses want to protect themselves. 

This is why developing a cybersecurity strategy is such a layered process and comprehensive, to make sure the result is a tailored solution that accomplishes goals and protects a business’ most vulnerable points 

Steps to Developing and Implement a Cybersecurity Strategy  

Every step that goes into building and implementing an effective, tailored cybersecurity strategy is equally as important. During this process, cybersecurity specialists will gather a lot of data on a business’ current cybersecurity standings and use it to drive decision-making when it comes time to build and implement the elements of the strategy. 

Here is a quick look into the typical process used by cybersecurity experts to develop a strong cybersecurity strategy. 

cybersecurity strategy steps

Audit of Current Cybersecurity Systems 

The first step in developing a cybersecurity strategy is having a team of specialists and experts comb through your current systems to assess your cybersecurity standing and find vulnerabilities.  

Related: What Happens During a Cybersecurity Risk Audit? 

This is usually done by either an internal cybersecurity or IT team or by an external team of experts at a managed security services provider (MSSP) like Impact’s cybersecurity partner, DOT Security. 

A lot of things are done during the audit to ensure all potential vulnerabilities and weak points are found and fixed. Along with gathering a full-scale understanding of a business’ requirements, third-party systems, hardware, and other technology, there are four main components of a security audit: 

  • Vulnerability Scanning: This involves scanning through your network to find weaknesses that hackers would use to infiltrate and move laterally through your system. 
  • Penetration Testing: An ethical, or white hat, hacker will safely use modern hacking techniques to enter your network, exploiting weaknesses and finding more.  
  • Gap Analysis: This optional part of a security audit helps give businesses an idea of how close they are to meeting certain compliance standards. This is extremely useful for businesses in industries with highly regulated data standards like healthcare, finance, and education. 

risk audit process

All these combine to give your cybersecurity team a full understanding of the systems you have it place, what’s working and what’s not, and the main vulnerabilities that need to be addressed by the future security strategy. 

Report Findings 

Next, the results of the audit are taken, and the data is used to build a report that’s presented to stakeholders to align on how to proceed with strategy construction and implementation to ensure security and that all weaknesses are addressed. 

Design a Comprehensive Security and Implementation Strategy 

Now, the experts get to work building a custom cybersecurity strategy that addresses the vulnerabilities found during the vulnerability scan, seals any weaknesses found during penetration testing, and establishes strong security protocols and standards. 

Related: What Should You Expect in Your Cybersecurity Tech Stack? 

Perimeter security, endpoint protection, data security, identity and access management, backup and disaster recovery, and network monitoring are some of the tools used by cybersecurity teams to fill gaps in security and build a solid foundation that can be used for years to come. 

Implement Security Measures 

Now it’s time to put the plan into action. Though exciting, it’s important not to rush a strategy implementation or you risk skipping over important steps. Set a reasonable goal and methodically bring it all online in an effective way. 

During this step, it’s important to get everyone on the same page. Include team members from the top to the bottom in on plans so the entire organization knows what’s happening, how it’s happening, how it affects their workday.  

When everyone is aware and communicating openly, the chances of a successful implementation that makes an immediate impact go up significantly. That’s why it’s important to have an implementation plan in place before starting, so everyone understands their place within it. 

Post-Implementation Services 

The work doesn’t stop once all the new cybersecurity tools are in place. Cybersecurity is a never-ending game between hackers who are always trying to one-up defenses and businesses who simply must be on the cutting edge of security tech or risk becoming the victim of a devastating attack. 

After initial implementation, it’s time to test, update, and train to make sure every layer of a business’ security strategy is always ready to stand up to the latest attacks from hackers. 

In Conclusion 

To stay secure, every step of a cybersecurity strategy is important from initial assessment to implementation and updates.  

But, it can be a long, complicated process to ensure all bases are covered, that’s why it’s important to work with true cybersecurity experts when developing a cybersecurity strategy. Learn more about Impact’s cybersecurity services and how we’re able to help you handle a cybersecurity plan every step of the way. 

If you want to learn more about the layered cybersecurity approach and how businesses and MSSP’s can team up to stay secure, register for our upcoming webinar Elements of Layered Security as part of our Modern Business Requirements series on Tuesday, April 19th. Register now!