Cyber and IT Security Planning 101 

Cyber and IT Security Planning 101

There is one common threat lurking in the shadows in today’s digital world, cyberattacks. Businesses of any size or type are at risk of data breaches, ransomware and more. Cyberattacks are devastating, and can even result in your business closing. They lead to reputation damage, financial losses and legal troubles. Luckily, there is a way to mitigate the risk of cybercrime: having a robust cyber and IT security plan. 

A cyber and IT security plan is the first line of defense: Think of it like a fortress surrounding your company’s sensitive data. A comprehensive security plan keeps your sensitive data safe, ensures confidentiality and helps ensure you are meeting compliance and regulation requirements. A cybersecurity company can help you ensure your business is protected. 

What Do Cyber and IT Security Plans Do for Your Business?

There are many benefits a robust cyber and IT security plan offers your business from maintaining data integrity, to ensuring compliance and changing your security stance from reactive to proactive. 

Your business thrives on ensuring your data is accurate and accessible. Your plan will need to include procedures for regular data validation and consistent backups. This approach will help prevent any unauthorized alterations being made to your data. 

Along with your data being accurate and accessible, it also needs to be protected. The main benefit of a cyber and IT security plan is data protection. Your plan should outline how to safeguard your data and how you will implement data encryption and access controls. Restricting data access to only those people who truly need it further protects against sensitive data leaks. 

By ensuring your data is accurate and protected, you are more likely to remain compliant with the local, federal and global regulations your business may need to adhere to. Your cyber and IT security plan needs to be set up to help navigate these regulations and ensure you are in compliance to avoid any legal issues and fines. 

Compliance regulations and cyber insurance policies may require your company to have a business continuity plan. This plan should outline how your business will recover from potential cyberattacks. A robust business continuity plan minimizes downtime, as your team isn’t left scrambling to respond to an incident. 

The last thing you want to be with cyberattacks is reactive rather than proactive. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. Your cyber and IT security plan needs to have risk assessments and knowledge of the threat landscape to find and mitigate any potential threats. 

How to Build Your Cyber and IT Security Plan 

There are seven elements your business needs to consider in order to create a cyber and IT security plan. The process can feel daunting and time-consuming, but it is necessary. (Of course, you can always call on your outsourced IT professionals for help.)  

1. Security Goals 

Before you set out to create your cyber and IT security plan, you need to develop cybersecurity goals. They need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) goals in order to become achievable. Your goals may include achieving necessary compliance regulations, reducing risks of data breaches or even ensuring your employees are trained more on cybersecurity. 

2. Risk Assessments

In order to create your cyber and IT security plan you need to know what risks you are facing and any vulnerabilities your company may have. Are your employees using weak passwords? Outdated software? Do you have flawed network security? Potential risks may also include financial or reputation loss. After you evaluate the impact of these risks, rank them based on their severity.  

3. Implementation and Strategies

When you have your goals and risk assessments done, the next step is to create strategies that are actionable so you can achieve your goals. This could include revising old policies or procedures, investing in training for employees or adding in new security technologies. 

4. Technology Evaluation 

Your technology needs to fit into the IT infrastructure you are creating. It is important to evaluate your network security, software and hardware. Does it meet your needs? Are there upgrades needed? Consider when you may need to upgrade or add in technologies as your business grows. 

5. Select Security Framework  

To create your cyber and IT security plan you need to select a security framework like NIST or ISO 27001, which are both very popular options. Do your research and find a framework that aligns with your company. Need help with this selection? An IT provider like G6 can help you decide. 

6. Employee Training

Beyond monitoring and other cybersecurity protection measures, employees represent a first-line defense against cyberattacks. Why? Because of the prevalence of phishing. These sneaky emails frequently allow malware onto an employee’s computer if they click a link or download a attachment. Training helps your employees identify phishing emails and other forms of cyberattacks. These trainings should be regularly held to ensure phishing tactics are always fresh in their mind. 

7. Incident Response Plans and Policies

No plan, no amount of monitoring or cyber security protection measures catch every cyberattack. Beyond your business continuity plan to get the business up and running after an attack, you need procedures for responding to incidents. Include steps to take after the business continuity plan wraps up, like learning from the experience and developing ways to prevent future attacks of this kind. 

Being Proactive Protects Your Business 

Your cyber and IT security plans will always be evolving. You can’t expect to set up a plan once and be done with it. Reevaluate your plan on a regular basis to ensure it still works well for the current state of your business. 

We know creating a cyber and IT security plan is a daunting task. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. G6 IT can be your partner in cybersecurity, helping you create security plans, monitoring your data and more. Let’s talk about how we can help protect your business.

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The G6 IT Team
The G6 IT Team

G6 IT team is trained to be accountable, responsive and disciplined. Founded in 2007 by two United States Marine Corps veterans, G6 now offers enterprise-level information technology services in Fort Wayne for DoD, DOE, government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses.