Cybersecurity Planning

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4 Definitive Signs Your Pricey New Cybersecurity Investment Is Destined to Crash and Burn

It doesn’t matter what the catalyst was, whether something bad actually happened or you’re playing it safe by getting ahead of the threat curve: all that matters is your organization is making a major cybersecurity investment. It’s comprehensive, it’s expensive, it’s resource intensive… and if you look closely, there are already major signs that it’s on a crash & burn trajectory.

Here’s what it looks like when your nascent cybersecurity effort is headed toward an inevitable failure:

1. Everything Is Oriented Toward Incident Prevention

We love prevention: it still transacts at an exchange rate of one ounce of prevention equals one pound of cure. However, the current threat environment is evolving faster than we can keep pace and it only takes a single vulnerability to unleash a disaster: the only constant is that suffering a serious incident is a matter of “when” not “if.”

That means having a response plan in place is critical. Your organization needs to know what to do during and in the immediate aftermath of a breach or security incident. How will you notify employees and partners? When will you make a public announcement? What will you say? How will you reassure customers they are protected? What are your compliance requirements?

There is no 100% effective prevention strategy. Make certain you have a plan in place to respond quickly and effectively to the inevitable.

2. You’re Relying Completely on In-House Resources

If you have your own IT department, absolutely let them spearhead your cybersecurity deployment – it’s what they’re there for. But it should not be handled 100% in-house, and if your IT assets are modest, DIY security is not going to cut it. Find room to bring in another perspective, whether it’s for incident investigation, or employee training, or penetration testing, or something else. For something this important, you want to have a critical voice from the outside, one that’s not making the same assumptions your native resources are likely to make.

Bottom line: don’t be afraid (i.e. too cheap) to bring in expert help from outside your organization. Choose an experienced provider with the capabilities and knowledge leadership to audit your organization and come up with a security plan that fits your needs. As an added benefit, you might even gain recommendations that allow improved efficiencies and better performance in other operational areas.

3. You Don’t Have C-Level Support

Support at the very top, typically from the Chief Technology Officer or equivalent, is required to make a major cybersecurity investment successful. Without that, the usual fail cycle looks like: Major cybersecurity announcement and debut fanfare, slowly diminishing momentum as absent leadership means a loss of focus, months later a complete lack of follow-through results in a major incident and ensuing disaster.

Lack of access at the top sends a clear message to everyone below: cybersecurity is not a priority. A common, highly visible culprit is a technology or security executive with an impressive title, but who lacks empowerment within the organizational leadership structure.

Many C-level execs in the traditional mold are still reluctant to allow technology (and by extension, cybersecurity) a seat at the big table: they view technology as a money sink and necessary evil, rather than a critical necessity that creates value. If you’re engaging a substantial new cybersecurity initiative, make sure there’s someone at the top able to shepherd it to success.

4. You’re Being Selective in Protecting Your Digital Assets

Customer data, that’s always going to be a priority in today’s environment. Employee information gets the same treatment. High visibility data is always under the security umbrella, but don’t leave other assets out in the cold.

Organizational intellectual property, including R&D data and non-patented IP, are sometimes forgotten with the focus on other data. Part of the problem is that it may be difficult to assign a hard value to those assets – that makes it easy to leave them exposed when resources are running thin. Make sure you’re looking at everything, not just the obvious candidates for enhanced security.

Decamind – New York City Cybersecurity Consultants

The takeaway is this: when it comes to cybersecurity, you can’t just talk the talk, you need to get down into the weeds and walk the walk. Have a plan in mind, create benchmarks to define success, and stay on top of the process to understand how you are progressing toward your goals. Security is a journey, not a destination.

Decamind is a leading provider of cybersecurity consulting and services for small- to mid-size companies in New York City and nearby communities. We can help you access the technology resources needed to compete and excel. Contact us to learn more about solutions designed to help your organization meet its operational goals through technology.

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