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5 steps to build your cyber security strategy

With every passing day, businesses become more reliant on online resources. It’s very likely your business has either moved to or at least discussed shifting workloads to the cloud. Simultaneously the cyber security challenges are becoming more and more complex. A single security breach of your company’s data can have a far reaching impact on your bottom line for years to come. To properly calculate your risk, you will need to factor in the costs of business disruption, legal fees and negative customer perception (your business reputation is worth more than you may think!) over and above the cost of the initial data theft. As an organization, you need a framework to keep on top of your IT infrastructure and anticipate the threats that may come your way.

So, here is a primer on how to get a robust cyber security strategy in place. These are the issues you must consider when thinking of cyber security.

1) Security is not just an IT issue, It’s an org-wide responsibility.

The first mistake many firms make is thinking that IT department can implement security procedures and that will be enough. This cannot further from the truth. From infrastructure and hardware to employee training, every component and resource within your organization needs to be part of your security strategy. So, the board or decision makers need to take hard look at the current practices and try and evolve a tangible strategy.  When the security awareness comes from the top, it is more likely to make an impact. Unless you lead by example, you are not leading at all.

2) Assess the risks to your critical data.

When planning for network security, you have to first protect your most sensitive data. This can be your IP, customer data or business plans. Make sure that these are well guarded. Document where those important things are stored, how they’re protected, and what the cost and impact is if they’re lost or stolen. Once you have visibility on security status of your prized possessions, you can improve on it. have a look at our post about IT security tools & tips for more information on how Pathway security experts assess risks.

3) Expect to get hacked!

Don’t wait for a breach to get ready. Today is the right time to get started on your cyber security plan. Start the discussions on every level of your organization. A knee-jerk reaction after a breach is detected and damage is done will be costly for your organization. Make sure that incident detection and analysis is the most important task of your cyber security program. Look for ways to prevent these breaches proactively. Get visibility into the data and events occurring on the network and within the data repositories. You can only respond to what you can detect, gaining better visibility in your data should be your priority.

4) Have a clearly defined security breach response plan.

Create strategies of what you would be doing in case a attack is detected. The action plan should outline how to contain the damage, how to recover the loss with minimal effort, how to sort out the legal issues emanating from the breach. Your response to cyber attacks, malware detection and ransomware should be pre-planned and well rehearsed.  Apart from the organization level breach, you should also prepare guidelines about what employees should do if they suspect or accidentally caused a data breach. Employees should feel welcome to report any incident. You can achieve this through training and education.

5) Get a second (and third) opinion.

Bring in experts from the cyber security field to discuss your security infrastructure. A fresh pair of eyes can detect many vulnerabilities which you may have missed by familiarity. Get a security audit done regularly. Frequent simulations of attacks can help you detect and act on gaps in your structure. Most importantly, document and share the knowledge with the relevant people beyond the IT department and put in place policies to keep everyone vigilant. The more you discuss cyber security internally, the stronger you make the weakest point in your cyber security – people.

Pathway Communications strives to deliver the most value to our clients and is committed to providing secure, reliable solutions. If you are unsure about your current cyber security preparedness, or simply want to talk about cyber security news, get in touch with our technology experts by emailing