In an era when security threats morph daily and compliance regulations get more complex every year, creating a solid and up-to-date security program is crucial. Here’s how to do it.
To be worth its salt, a good security program must cover your organization end-to-end and line up with your company’s risk management strategy, and provide all the necessary standards, guidelines, and policies to enforce the program. It must also be flexible enough to incorporate ongoing revisions and updates. And it must be enforceable—otherwise, it’s just an object of employee derision and a waste of time.
Create an end-to-end policy (don’t just talk about it)
A 2013 study showed that business executives and IT managers believed coordination of a security program across the company’s entire data network was “essential.” Nevertheless, many organizations neglect to include their whole range of data assets when setting a program and developing policies. End-to-end security means protecting data from its point of origin, through all points of transit, to its resting point in storage. You need to examine these points for all of your company’s data, whether they lie on your own servers or in a cloud, and set up measures to address any potential security gaps. Encryption, authentication, authorization, and other means of access control should all be included in the policies and spelled out for every type of data. Include information about penalties for violations, such as revocation of credentials and denial of access, so users can see that the program has teeth.