Every company, regardless of size or industry, should be working to implement an Information Security Program. An Information Security Program is a critical component for any organization hoping to thrive in a digital market and provides a holistic approach for how to safeguard and protect corporate information.
What is it?
An information security program is a comprehensive set of security policies and procedures. The aim is to protect critical business processes and IT assets, and the practices that make up the program are designed to mature and evolve with a business over time. The program also helps companies define policies and procedures for how they assess and manage risk, monitor and respond to threats, and mitigate attacks. This includes Business Continuity Planning and helps ensure that a company can remain operational no matter what happens.
A security program documents a company’s security information, policies, guidelines, and standards, too – providing a roadmap for effective security management and monitoring. This allows a company to operate with confidence and integrity, knowing that their information – and that of its customers – is protected.
Why is it important?
A key asset for any company operating today is data. A security program helps protect that data – and in doing so, helps ensure the ongoing success and value of a business. Several regulations dictate data, and cyber security threats are not the only thing a company needs to consider when establishing security policies. Under NDB and GDPR legislation, business leaders also need to consider how they protect financial, private, product, and customer information. Security programs help them do this by establishing steps to mitigate risk and define the lifecycle of security throughout an organisation.
What is the purpose?
The purpose of an information security program is to help a company maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability across its operations. To break this down:
- Confidentiality: Confidentiality is important to maintain in business as it is directly related to sensitive information and critical data. Security programs allow companies to restrict access to certain information and apply solutions such as encryption, two-factor authentication, user ID’s, and more across their networks.
- Integrity: Integrity in security refers to maintaining the accuracy and authenticity of data. This means that data should be protected from accidental and even intentional changes. This and be done by creating file permissions and access controls that allow IT teams and business leaders to control what information is edited, and monitor, manage and correct any data that is edited inappropriately.
- Availability: Companies need to maintain the availability of their services and information to ensure that critical assets are accessible by those who need them when they’re needed. This applies to all levels of access, including when data is lost or destroyed or delayed. It is also directly related to Disaster Recovery and the maintenance of regular backups to ensure the ongoing availability of business-critical assets.
Some key elements that should be included in an information security program include:
- Security architecture that includes the people, processes, and technologies required to provide a framework for effective security management.
- Information classification for all assets to highlight their criticality and sensitivity.
- An incident response and data recovery strategy.
- Information and security awareness training programs.
- Appropriate risk management solutions for specific industries.
A security information program should also have clear role assignments and responsibilities related to a company’s specific security needs. This means ensuring that training for security awareness is critical, as users can often be a company’s greatest vulnerability when it comes to security.
For information on how to develop an Information Security Program that betters your business, contact MOQdigital today.