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7 Best Practices for Developing a Cybersecurity Framework to Defend Against Cyber threats

January 4, 2023
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What is cyber security ?

Cybersafety refers to the steps that people and businesses can take to defend themselves against online attacks and stay secure. This entails safeguarding private and sensitive data, such as passwords and financial information, as well as staying away from fraud and other shady practises.

An image owing the cyber secured items in an organization.

Types of cyber security and security framework

Here are a few various forms of cybersecurity that businesses can use to safeguard their assets and data against online threats. The following categories can be used to classify these different forms of cybersecurity:

Network security:

Network security entails defending a company's systems and networks from online threats. Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access control procedures may be used to create security controls and manage cybersecurity risk.

Application security:

Application security entails defending an organization's software applications from online threats. This can entail putting measures in place like vulnerability management and secure coding techniques.

Data security risk:

By preventing unauthorised access or change, data security helps enterprises.

Implementing security measures like encryption and access limits may be necessary for this.

Endpoint security risk:

Endpoint security entails securing from cyber threats the hardware used to access a company's networks and systems. Putting in place safeguards like firewalls and antivirus software may be necessary for this.

Organizations can adhere to a number of different security frameworks, including:

  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF): Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology , the nist csf is a framework of guidelines and standards that organizations can follow to help ensure the security of their assets and data.
  • ISO/IEC 27001: ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for information security management. It outlines the requirements for an organization's information security management system (ISMS) and provides guidance on how to implement, maintain, and continually improve the ISMS.
  • COBIT: COBIT  framework is developed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) that provides guidance on the management of information and technology (IT).
  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): It is a set of security standards developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to ensure the secure handling of credit card information.

The cyber security Framework is one of NIST's most well-known contributions to the realm of cybersecurity (CSF). The NIST CSF framework aids in ensuring that an organization's security controls are in place. The nist csf framework is made to be adaptable and may be altered to meet the requirements of various businesses. Organizations can better safeguard their assets and data from cyber threats and guarantee compliance with pertinent laws and regulations by adhering to the cyber security Framework.

For companies of all sizes, cybersecurity is a problem that is becoming more and more significant. Establishing and managing a cybersecurity framework with explicit policies and processes in place is crucial to safeguarding your assets, clients, and reputation from the newest cyber threats. This manual will give you step-by-step instructions for laying a solid security foundation for your company, from identifying assets and risks to putting data controls and monitoring systems in place.

7 Best Practices for cybersecurity and for enhancing cybersecurity is as follows:

Step 1: Identify Your Assets and cybersecurity risk

A key first step in creating a strong cybersecurity framework to protect against cyber risks and enhance security is to identify your assets and cyber hazards. This procedure entails:

Physical assets:

These are material possessions including infrastructure, machinery, and buildings. All of the people who work for your company, as well as any contractors or partners, are considered to be your human resources. Information assets include data, software, and intellectual property. They are intangible assets. Risk evaluation that could possibly jeopardise those assets.

Cyberattacks and other external threats to data security are among these. Internal hazards are dangers that arise from within your standards organisation, such as carelessness on the part of employees or unintentional data leaks.

It's critical to make a list of all your resources, including their value and significance to your business. You can then decide which assets need the most security. Think about a risk's likelihood of happening as well as any potential effects it might have on your company.

You may develop a clear picture of your organization's vulnerabilities and prioritise your cyber security activities by identifying your assets and cyber hazards. As you proceed with creating your cybersecurity framework, this foundation will be essential.

This image shows on which areas to focus.

Step 2: Develop a  Security Policy

Developing a data security policy is an essential step in building a cybersecurity framework to defend against cyber perils. A security policy is a document that outlines the rules, guidelines, and procedures that your organization follows to ensure the security of your assets and data. It helps to establish a clear set of expectations and responsibilities for all employees and stakeholders, and sets the tone for your organization's overall approach to cybersecurity.

When creating a security policy, keep the following points in mind:

Set your objectives:

The goals of your security plan should be precisely stated, along with what you are trying to safeguard and why.

Roles and responsibilities should be defined:

Define the exact duties and responsibilities of various teams and individuals, as well as who is in charge of putting the security policy into practise and enforcing it.

Describe appropriate usage:

Include any special instructions for the use of personal devices or accessing sensitive information in order to increase information security in the rules for how workers and contractors are expected to utilise your organization's resources and data.

Specific security precautions:

Include technical controls, physical security measures, and incident response protocols in your description of the specific security measures in place at your firm.

Spread the policy's message:

Ensure that every worker and contractor is aware of the security policy and is aware of their duties. To guarantee that everyone is knowledgeable about the most recent security requirements, think about developing a training programme.

A well-crafted security policy is an important tool for building a strong cybersecurity framework. It helps to establish a common understanding of what is expected and provides a reference point for decision making and problem solving. By regularly reviewing and updating your security policy, you can ensure that it remains relevant and effective in defending against cyber perils.

Step 3: Implement Controls to Protect Your Assets from Cyber threats

Implementing controls to secure your assets is the next step in creating a cybersecurity framework once you have identified your assets, risks, and security policy. Controls are steps that are implemented to stop, find, or lessen the effects of cyber risks. The particular controls that are suitable for your business will rely on your specific assets, risks, and security requirements. There are many different types of controls that can be implemented.

Here are some examples of controls you might want to think about putting into place:

Technical Controls:

controls that are put into place using technology include intrusion detection systems, antivirus software, and firewalls.

Physical controls:

These are measures taken to safeguard tangible assets, such as alarm systems, access restrictions, and security cameras.

Administrative controls:

To protect the security of your assets, administrative controls entail the creation of rules, processes, and standards. Examples include policies for data classification, incident response plans, and employee training programmes.

It's crucial to think about the effectiveness, expense, and impact of controls when putting them in place for your firm. You'll want to find a balance between safeguarding your assets and ensuring the continuity of your firm. Additionally, it's critical to routinely assess and update your controls to make sure they remain effective in light of the shifting threat landscape. You may greatly lower the chance of a successful cyber attack and protect your organization's data and resources by putting policies in place to protect your assets.

An image showing the control areas

Step 4: Monitor Your System for Threats

A important step in creating a cybersecurity architecture to protect against cyber threats is monitoring your system for risks. This procedure is constantly keeping an eye out for any unusual activity or other signs of a prospective cyberattack on the assets, networks, and systems of your firm.

Your system can be monitored for risks using a variety of techniques, such as:

  • Network monitoring involves keeping an eye on the networks of your company for any anomalies or strange traffic patterns that might point to a cyberattack.
  • Reviewing system logs will help you find any unexpected or suspicious activities that might point to a threat.
  • Intrusion detection systems are specialist software tools created to find and warn you of potential online dangers.
  • Systems for managing security information and events (SIEM): These systems compile information from many sources, such as network logs and system logs, to provide you a thorough understanding of your company's security posture.

It's critical to have a defined procedure in place for monitoring your system and taking action in the event of a danger. This may entail setting up procedures for alerts to be escalated to the appropriate team or person or designating certain team members to monitor certain systems.

You can immediately discover and respond to suspected malware by continuously monitoring your system for threats. This will help you stop them from doing serious harm to your company. An effective cybersecurity framework must include this proactive strategy.

Step 5: Test and Evaluate Your cyber security Measures

Testing and evaluating your cybersecurity measures is a vital step in maintaining a strong cybersecurity framework and defending against cyber risks. This process involves actively testing your defenses to identify any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber attackers.

There are several different methods that can be used to test and evaluate your cybersecurity measures, including:

  • Vulnerability assessments involve checking your networks and systems for any openings that online criminals might exploit.
  • Penetration testing simulates a cyberattack on your systems to evaluate how well your protections work.
  • Audits of your organization's security posture, including both technological and administrative controls, are called security audits.
  • Red team exercises are simulated cyberattacks used to gauge how well your organization's incident response team is prepared and capable of responding.

To make sure that your cybersecurity measures are efficient and current, it's vital to test and analyse them frequently. This can entail establishing additional controls as necessary and updating your defences to address any found vulnerabilities. Your firm will be better equipped to defend against the most recent cyber threats if you test and evaluate your cybersecurity procedures to find any gaps in your defences and fix them.

In this image, a man is checking the assets through a software in his laptop.

Step 6: Respond to Cybersecurity Incidents

Building a strong cybersecurity framework and protecting against cyber dangers require effective response to cybersecurity incidents. Any circumstance that could jeopardise the data or asset security of your company is considered a cybersecurity incident. A cyber attack, a data leak, or even a straightforward personnel error that results in a security breach could fall under this category.

A detailed plan for identifying, responding to, and lessening the effects of a cybersecurity issue is necessary for effective incident response. This could entail:

  • Identifying the occurrence entails figuring out its extent and effects as well as recognising that it has happened as quickly and precisely as possible.
  • Once an incident has been discovered, it is critical to take action to control it and stop it from spreading. This may entail removing impacted systems from the network, stopping particular services, or taking additional actions to pinpoint the issue.
  • Getting rid of the cause Finding and addressing the incident's primary cause is the next stage. This can entail applying security patches, purging infected systems, or taking other corrective measures.
  • After addressing the incident's root cause, it's critical to restore any lost or corrupted data and return affected systems to their prior state.
  • Learning from the incident: It's crucial to assess the situation and find any lessons that can be applied to strengthen your company's cybersecurity posture. This could entail putting new controls in place, updating your incident response strategy, or giving staff members more training.

You can make sure that your business is ready to respond to a cybersecurity issue and lessen the impact on your assets and data by putting in place a clear incident response strategy and frequently testing and practising it.

Step 7: Continuously Improve Your Cybersecurity Framework

Continually enhancing your cybersecurity system is a crucial component of protecting yourself from online threats. With new threats and vulnerabilities continuously appearing, the cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. To keep your cybersecurity measures current and effective, it's crucial to frequently assess and upgrade them.

Here are some actions you can do to keep your cybersecurity framework up to date:

Evaluation and update your security policy:

Regular review and revisions help to keep your security policy current and useful. This could entail introducing new policies or processes, as well as updating current ones to reflect modifications to your company or the threat environment.

Testing and assessing your controls on a regular basis:

It can help to verify that they are up to date and effective for your cybersecurity programme. Conducting penetration testing, vulnerability risk assessments, or security audits may be required.

Keep an eye out for risks to your system:

The best method to spot and deal with suspected malware is to continuously monitor your system for risks. This could entail going over system logs, utilising intrusion detection tools, or putting a security information and event management (SIEM) system in place.

Respond to incidents:

It's crucial to have an effective incident response plan in place when a cybersecurity event does occur. In this, the incident may be recognised, contained, the cause eliminated, the incident recovered from, and the incident learned from.

Inform your staff as needed:

A key component of establishing a robust cybersecurity framework is making sure that your staff is informed about the most recent cybersecurity risks and best practises. This can entail educating staff members on the value of cybersecurity on a regular basis.

You can make sure that your business is ready to defend against the most recent cyber hazards and safeguard your assets and data by regularly updating its cybersecurity architecture.

An mage showing growth of an organization.

CONCLUSION: Strengthening Your Cybersecurity Defense with Comprint

Strengthening your cybersecurity protection and safeguarding your company from cyber threats can be accomplished by working with Comprint and adopting Smokescreen's deception technology.

Security assessments, security policy formulation, security management, incident response, and ongoing support are just a few of the services provided by Comprint, a company that specialises in cybersecurity. You can take use of the knowledge and resources of a group of cybersecurity specialists by cooperating with Comprint.

A cybersecurity business that specialises on deception technology is called Smokescreen. Deception technology uses fake systems and data to divert and fool online attackers, assisting in the prevention of successful online attacks. Network deception, endpoint deception, and email deception are just a few of the deception-based cybersecurity solutions provided by Smokescreen.

You may build a strong cybersecurity defence that is prepared to protect against the most recent cyberthreat by integrating deception technologies from Smokescreen and working with Comprint.