Cybersecurity Bootcamp: Get Your Security in Shape

Warming Up to Cybersecurity

Just like adopting a fitness regimen, building a strong cybersecurity program requires discipline, dedication, and a solid plan. In today’s digital age, cyber-threats are constantly evolving, and small to midsized organizations are not immune. Therefore, it’s essential to take proactive measures to protect your business from potential cyberattacks. Below, we will act as your cybersecurity coach to guide you through the initial steps of building a cybersecurity program, just like a fitness trainer would with a workout routine. Ready, set, go!

Getting Buy-In from Senior Leadership: Building Your Team

Before embarking on a fitness journey, it’s recommended to enlist the support of family, friends and professionals to help you along the way, providing encouragement, resources and coaching. Similarly. building a cybersecurity program requires the support of senior leadership to allocate resources, budget, and personnel. A culture of cybersecurity is built from the top down, so it’s important that your senior leadership models the way.

Not sure where to start in this department? Read our tips for getting buy-in from leadership, or listen to former Oracle CIO Mark Sunday on this important topic.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessment: Understanding Your Starting Point

Before beginning a fitness regimen, you’re often advised to meet with a doctor or certified trainer to evaluate your current fitness level. Similarly, a cybersecurity risk assessment will give you a clear picture of your organization’s current cybersecurity posture. A cybersecurity risk assessment will act as a “weigh-in” of sorts, giving you a baseline understanding of your cybersecurity as it stands today so you can build upon it. After answering a few questions, the assessment will identify your critical assets, evaluate potential threats, and determine the likelihood and impact of a cyberattack. A good assessment will also recommend next steps and determine how you should prioritize your resources according.

Training: Not Just for the Gym

Athletes train their bodies to stay in shape, and you can train your employees to stay vigilant against cyber-threats. In fact, cybersecurity training is one of the most critical components of a successful cybersecurity program. Employees are said to be the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity as they can unknowingly click on a phishing email, use weak passwords, or leave their devices unattended, leading to a security breach.

That said, it doesn’t have to be that way. Cybersecurity training can help employees understand the risks and how to mitigate them. Building cybersecurity stamina and “muscle memory”(as in phishing simulations) are essential, as your employees are your first line of defense against cyberattacks. By developing a comprehensive training regimen, you can educate employees on cybersecurity best practices, including password management, cybersecurity awareness, social engineering, and data protection, therein building a team of cyber-defenders.

Cybersecurity training can be delivered in a variety of formats, including videos, in-person training sessions, simulated phishing attacks, awareness posters and more. It’s important to tailor the training to your organization’s specific needs, and to make it engaging and interactive. By training your employees to be vigilant against cyber threats, you can reduce the risk of a security breach and improve your organization’s overall security posture.

Build and Strengthen Your Policies and Plans

A set of guiding principles or plans are key tools when undertaking any new initiative. In the gym, you might create a weight training plan, or outline a progressive schedule of runs leading up to a marathon. When creating a cybersecurity program, your organization’s policies regarding technology and data use act as as your roadmap. To set expectations for your employees, customers, and vendors, create a technology and data use policy that covers acceptable use for organizational resources, handling data, and even what to do when equipment is lost or stolen.

Similar to fitness, consistency is key in cybersecurity. Once you have established policies for your organization regarding technology and data use, it’s important to continuously reinforce those policies to ensure they are being followed.

Another important document in the creation of your cybersecurity program is an incident response plan. In the case of a cyber-event, it’s crucial for mitigation purposes that everyone knows their role and how to react. Armed with proper training, tools, and education, employees can be a major asset in the fortification of your organization. Given their access and proximity to sensitive data and assets, it’s important to ensure employees are equipped to identify, respond, and report potential threats.

Drill, Practice, Strengthen

Once you’ve completed these initial four steps, it’s time to drill, practice, and strengthen your cybersecurity program. Just like with physical fitness, maintaining your cybersecurity fitness requires ongoing effort and dedication. Keep it fun and rewarding; consider offering an incentive for employees who score well on their training, for example, or ensure those team members receive ample recognition for their efforts. While you might experiment with different types of exercise to keep your fitness regimen challenging and interesting, the same holds true for your cybersecurity program. Introducing new content or types of training can go a long way in keeping employees engaged. Evaluate what is and what isn’t working, and make sure to communicate progress to your senior leadership team. Revisit your cybersecurity foundation regularly, evaluating whether your policies and plans need updating. Consistency, progression, and commitment are essential to the long-term success of your cybersecurity program.

Level Up to Advanced Training

When your organization has gotten the basics under their belt, you can move on to additional cybersecurity measures, including penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, password scanning, and MDR. With the right mindset, discipline, and dedication, you can build a strong cybersecurity program that will protect your organization from potential cyber-threats.

Looking for support in starting your cybersecurity program? Let’s talk.

Resources & insights

Protect Your Data with Data Privacy Awareness Training
Our goal is to empower and guide organizations on ways to protect the privacy of those with which they do business.
8 Reasons Your Organization is Susceptible to a Cyberattack
In today's digital landscape, organizations of all sizes are vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, small to mid-sized organizations often face unique challenges that can make them more susceptible to these threats. In this blog post, we will explore 8 reasons why your organization might be vulnerable to a cyberattack and what you can do about it.
How to Prevent a Security Breach in the Workplace: Building a Team of Cyber-Defenders
While there is no exact playbook on how to prevent a security breach in the workplace, there are certainly key tactics that can fortify your company’s defenses. Our approach is highly team-focused; read on for how to build your very own team of cyber-defenders.

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