Improve cybersecurity governance

How to Improve your Cybersecurity Governance

Improve cybersecurity governance

The last couple of years have been pretty game changing when it comes to cybersecurity. Businesses in Australia and around the globe have had to deal with increased frequency and severity of cyberattacks and data breaches, to the extent that The World Economic Forum labelled cyberattacks one of the most significant risks corporations now face.

As this scenario continues and cybercriminals evolve their approaches and techniques, it’s essential that organisations stay a step ahead with their cybersecurity. It can’t just be seen as an operational issue that runs in the background. It needs to be recognised as its own essential component of an organisation, operating at all levels and engaged with by all team members.

To achieve this, cybersecurity governance is essential.

What is Cybersecurity Governance?

According to the ISO 27001 certification standard, cybersecurity governance is the system by which “an organization specifies the accountability framework and provides oversight to ensure that risks are adequately mitigated.” It’s essentially an organisation-wide effort to prioritise cybersecurity and create accountability for it.

When at its most effective, cybersecurity governance ensures that any cyber security operations completely align with and support organisational goals. It identifies and defines the risks, builds frameworks for action and accountability, and establishes who is responsible for what. By driving good practice, it helps present an active approach to stakeholders and customers, improving trust in a company or organisation. 

Steps to Improving Cybersecurity Governance

If you’re looking to improve your cybersecurity governance, below are some steps you should consider taking. Not only will these fortify your defences against all manner of cybercriminals, but they’ll also help structure your risk management and decide how resources need to be allocated.

  1. Recognise the Gravity of the Situation: Everybody within your organisation, from the board to management to interns, needs to understand that we’re in a worst-case scenario right now when it comes to cybersecurity. Attacks are getting more frequent and more sophisticated. Your client’s data, your systems and processes, the very existence of your organisation is constantly under threat. We’re under siege, and we need to work together to stay safe.
  • Perform a Cyber Security Audit: This should be an unbiased assessment of your organisation’s risks and capabilities, preferably by an independent third party.  This is an intensive evaluation of the current effectiveness of your cyber defences. It scans your tech equipment and network, identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Your systems and processes will also be examined to ensure they’re secure, and the education and understanding of your team members on cybersecurity will be assessed too.
  • Define a Strategy: A defined risk management strategy with clear goals and policies helps your entire team understand what’s expected of them. It brings clarity, accountability and standardisation to your cybersecurity efforts, helping put in place key performance indicators and identify resources required on an ongoing basis.
  • Use a Recognised Framework: Using an already established governance framework will help guide you through what can be a murky world of cybersecurity. The NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) framework is widely used, developed through collaboration with stakeholders from the government, industrial and academic sectors. It’s an important resource providing targets, guidelines and assessment criteria to bolster your cybersecurity.
  • Education and Training:  Awareness from all team members is critical, at all levels of your organisation. Ongoing education and training in best practices to promote cybersecurity will help prevent human error, which is one of the leading causes of data breaches.
  • Leadership: It’s important to note that if the leadership team isn’t on board and engaged with improving cybersecurity, chances of success are greatly diminished. They’re the ones who need to ensure processes are followed and hold people accountable when they’re not. They allocate resources and information and guide the organisation down the chosen strategic path.
  • Formulate an Incident Response Strategy: Despite all your best efforts, a cyber security incident could happen to your organisation. Having an effective response in place is critical to the sustainability of your business, as well as to your peace of mind. This response should account for technical resolution of the problem, as well as well as managing the business fallout, the effect on reputation and the management of legal and regulatory risk.

Contact Brisbane’s Cybersecurity Governance Experts

Cybersecurity governance needs to become an intrinsic part of your organisation that crosses organisational boundaries. It can’t work in a vacuum, rather it needs to be engaged with by all team members in all operations and processes.

We hope your company realises the severity of the cybersecurity crisis facing businesses in Australia at the moment and would love the opportunity to chat about it with you. You can get in touch with one of our Brisbane cybersecurity experts here, or simply give Smile IT a ring on 1300 766 720.

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