Setting up Enterprise Cybersecurity

Published on: 12 Feb, 2018
Setting up Enterprise Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is one of the most important requirements for enterprises today. However, cybersecurity has also become extremely complex, even when handled by experts and professionals.

Executives and senior managers unfamiliar with the technical intricacies of information technology and information security have difficulty managing those resources. Bold steps are required in order to properly implement cybersecurity controls for enterprises.

Weigh the Threats
The first step in establishing cybersecurity mechanisms is understanding the enterprise’s individual threat environment and vulnerabilities. By hypothesizing enemy capabilities to create threat scenarios, defenders can prepare their own cybersecurity plans. Various procedures can be used to quantify risks based on threats and vulnerabilities. Either a third party or an internal information security department can implement these procedures.

Implement the Controls
Conducting the necessary assessments creates a calculated picture of what needs to be done to plug an enterprise’s security loopholes. The next step is to decide which security safeguards or controls need to be purchased and installed. Procedures such as cost-benefit analysis can ascertain the impact of installing new security controls or improving the productivity of existing controls.    
Define the Policies
Security controls alone cannot protect assets against intruders. The controls have to be configured properly. Concepts such as information security, confidentiality and integrity also consider the best ways to make secured resources available to legitimate users. Under a governing set of rules, safeguard policies must be established to assure availability while simultaneously blocking unauthorized, unwanted access. Information security experts should formulate such policies based on the vision and directives of enterprise executives.

Policies on devices and controls are not enough; policies must also be defined for system usage by users throughout the enterprise. Every enterprise requires its own policies, due to peculiar systems, organizations and roles. The policies governing one enterprise’s system usage may not necessarily work for other enterprises. Senior management must formulate the policies that will work best for their specific systems.

Conduct Internal Compliance Checks
After analyzing the threat environment, installing the necessary safeguards and defining the proper policies for devices, controls and system usage, the next step involves ensuring compliance with policies. Executives and senior management must work with their information security departments to devise methods of monitoring policy implementation at every level.

One time-tested method is creating a checklist for different systems and configurations within the enterprise. This checklist should contain important points for the security compliance team to review through regular security checks.

Allow Third-party Audits
While internal security checks are good for ascertaining policy compliance, they typically fail to detect any inherent policy flaws. Therefore, it is important for enterprises to have their security policies reviewed by a third party, based on some internationally recognized standard. One such standard is ISO-27001, which encompasses a wide variety of security aspects. Some enterprises, such as e-commerce, the health industry and defense organizations, also have their own standards.

Review Miscellaneous Aspects
In addition to the above-mentioned steps, cybersecurity can be enhanced by creating awareness among staff and employees. Periodic talks, lectures, seminars and workshops can be arranged. Imparting formal cybersecurity training to staff is another valuable investment. Posters and flyers related to cybersecurity can be prominently posted. A system of punishment and rewards based on results of cybersecurity checks can also keep employees focused. Cybersecurity in a competitive enterprise should always be handled as a top priority.

No modern enterprise is complete without information technology. However, information technology is incomplete without cybersecurity controls. Instead of implementing cybersecurity in pieces, following the steps of a recognized plan allows enterprises to create and implement comprehensive cybersecurity policies.   

About the Author
Abdul B. Subhani is the founder and President/CEO of Centex Technologies, an IT consulting company with offices in Central Texas, Dallas, and Atlanta. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Texas A&M University - Central Texas computer information systems department. Abdul is a Certified Ethical Hacker, a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, a Texas Licensed Private Investigator, member of FBI Infragard and the recipient of multiple other advanced IT credentials. Abdul has been a frequent keynote speaker, moderator, and panelist at leading international technology conferences, and he has given speeches to thousands of students at colleges and universities.