Your security plan is the cornerstone of your security program. It is the basis for everything you do to protect your company’s information assets. Without a solid plan, your security efforts are likely to be haphazard and ineffective.
What’s the definition of a security plan?
“A security plan is a document that outlines an organization’s security posture. It includes the organizational structure of the security team, the policies and procedures that govern how they operate, and the tools and processes they use to secure the company’s systems and data.” – CISO Guide
Creating a security plan may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start by breaking it down into smaller pieces.
How do you create a security plan?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to create a security plan will vary depending on the size and needs of your organization. However, there are some key steps you can take to get started:
Define Your Company’s Assets and Vulnerabilities
The first step in creating a security plan is to inventory your company’s assets and vulnerabilities. Ask yourself: what are the things that need to be protected, and what are the weaknesses that could be exploited?
Your assets can be divided into two categories: physical and logical. Physical assets include things like buildings, equipment, and inventory. Logical assets are intangible, such as software code, customer data, financial records, and trade secrets.
To identify your vulnerabilities, you’ll need to think like an attacker. What are the weak points in your security that could be exploited? Common vulnerabilities include poor password management, unpatched software, and insecure network configurations.
Identify Your Security Goals
Once you’ve identified your company’s assets and vulnerabilities, you can start setting security goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Some examples of SMART security goals include:
- Implement multi-factor authentication for all company accounts by December 31st.
- Reduce the number of data breaches by 50% within the next 12 months.
- Educate all employees on cybersecurity best practices by October 1st.
Choose Appropriate Security Controls
After you’ve set your security goals, it’s time to choose the controls that will help you achieve them. There are dozens of different security controls available, so it’s important to select the ones that are most appropriate for your company.
Some common security controls include:
- Access control: limiting who can access sensitive information
- Data classification: sorting information into categories based on sensitivity
- Data encryption: transforming readable data into an unreadable format
- Firewalls: blocking unauthorized traffic from entering or leaving a network
Implement Your Security Controls
Once you’ve selected your security controls, it’s time to put them into action. This process will vary depending on the type of control, but in general, you’ll need to do the following:
- Write policies and procedures: document how the control should be used
- Train employees: teach them how to use the control correctly
- Configure systems: set up the control according to your policies
- Monitor compliance: make sure employees are using the control as intended
Test and Monitor Your Security Controls
After you’ve implemented your security controls, it’s important to test them on a regular basis. This will help you find any weaknesses in your system and make sure that your controls are effective. There are two main types of testing: penetration testing and vulnerability scanning.
Penetration testing is a simulated attack that is carried out by ethical hackers. They will try to exploit any vulnerabilities they find in your system in order to see if they can gain access to sensitive information.
Vulnerability scanning is a less intensive form of testing that uses automated tools to scan for weaknesses in your system. While it’s not as thorough as penetration testing, it can be used on a more frequent basis to identify new vulnerabilities.
Monitoring is another important part of keeping your system secure. By monitoring your network and systems, you can quickly identify any suspicious activity and take appropriate action. Common monitoring tasks include logs analysis, intrusion detection, and malware scanning.
By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive security plan that will help keep your company’s information safe.