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Top 3 Things Every InfoSec Program Should Have

Establishing an InfoSec program enables your organization to build trust quickly so you can sell more. Without an effective security program, you’re exposed and vulnerable to countless numbers of bad actors. But let’s face it, implementing an effective InfoSec program takes time, focus, and resources. It’s often overwhelming, time-consuming and needlessly confusing.

That’s why we’re here to help! If you’re not sure where or how to start, this blog is for you. We’ve put together a list of the top three things every InfoSec program should have, to help you begin your InfoSec journey. And you can implement these tips and tricks quickly.

 

Patch Everything—Don’t Be Lame

Patch management is precisely what it sounds like, the process of distributing and applying updates to your software. There’s a simple way to remember how patches work. Many of the vulnerabilities most popular in ransomware exploits are like dad jokes. They’re simple and a little lame. Unlike the punny jests, these patches correct errors or improve the functionality of your device or program. Avoiding the patch leaves you open to bugs and makes you vulnerable. 

Installing the patch, often completed in a matter of minutes, helps secure your environment by improving:

  • Security: They fix vulnerabilities in your software and applications, protecting you from cyber-attacks, essentially reducing security risks. 
  • System uptime: Patches ensure your software and applications are kept up-to-date and run smoothly. Less downtime increases productivity.
  • Compliance: Certifications like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 require organizations to maintain a certain level of compliance. Patch management is a necessary piece of adhering to these standards. Not compliant yet? Implementing patches gets you one step closer to that finish line.
  • Feature improvements: Patches can be critical to ensuring that you have the latest and greatest that a product has to offer. 

Your company benefits from installing patches in a variety of ways:

  1. You’re protecting your organization from a potential security breach.
  2. Protecting your company and its data keeps customers happy. And reassuring customers that your technology is up to date, functional and safe increases your trustworthiness.
  3. You’re less likely to lose compliance status and you can avoid being hit with compliance fine so you can continue innovating and creating without interruption. 

So don’t be lame like a dad joke and stay up to date with your patches! It will improve your Infosec program. 

 

Backups—Not Backwards

Where did the cybersecurity team go the last few days? They ran-som-ware! See—lousy dad joke! But in all seriousness, patches and backups implemented together are a perfect pairing for protecting your organization. 

Data backups are an effective way to recover from a ransomware attack if your organization finds itself encrypted and unable to operate. However, without practicing proper data backup hygiene, files could end up encrypted during the ransomware attack. 

Popular Backup Methods

  • 3-2-1 Backup Method—Three recent copies of your data are stored across two different storage mediums and locations, as well as one cloud storage provider.
  • The Offline Backup—Taking a backup offline and physically disconnecting it from other connections can prevent encrypting this data storage location. 
  • Offsite Backups—A backup process or facility stores backup data or applications external to the organization or core IT environment. This is similar to the offline backup but uses a facility or storage media not physically located on-site.

 

There are many more options for backing up your data. However, regardless of the methodology that fits your business, there are some standard questions to consider to ensure you aren’t going backward.

How often does your data change? The frequency of backups matters. If your data backup doesn’t reflect the most recent information needed to operate, what’s the point? 

What’s involved in the recovery process? How long does it take? It’s a common mistake for businesses to think they’re doing proper data backups, but they’ve never tested the process. Time is of the essence when you’re under siege.

Backups, when done correctly, remain your best defense against ransomware. Administrators can commence the restoration process and return to the pre-attack state with an offline backup isolated from the impacted network, keeping your business moving forward. Keep your InfoSec program moving forward with backups.

 

Employee Training—Knowledge is Power

Employee threats or unintentional errors increased from 3200 incidents to 4700 per year between 2018 and 2020. This increased frequency of insider attacks has also led to about 60% of organizations experiencing more than 30 insider attacks yearly.

We all know the saying, to err is human. In fact, it’s one we use a lot here at Tugboat Logic because people are your biggest vulnerability, which is why it’s crucial that you train them and make them aware of your InfoSec policies and practices. 

An intro to your cyber security and awareness training with new hires is essential but once is not enough. It should be an ongoing process. Ongoing security awareness training influences how employees prioritize, interpret, and learn cybersecurity, allowing managers to create a strong cybersecurity culture. 

Ongoing training and keeping employees aware of updates to policies vary company to company but ideas include:

  • Posters displayed at an organization
  • Security awareness content on an intranet website
  • Information on a screensaver
  • In-class training, videos, simulations and tests

Some companies test employees by sending a fake malware email to users and log the clicks. 

Employee training is similar to protecting your home. You don’t just have a gate at the front. There are locks on the doors, maybe even a doorbell camera and motion sensor lights. But despite all these security controls, someone can accidentally leave a window open. The unfortunate truth is that no matter how strong your cyber defenses are, your employees are your most significant potential source of failure. You haven’t hired bad people; there’s not enough understanding around InfoSec and the threat landscape. Remember, bugs come in through open (Microsoft)Windows! Alright, the dad jokes are done but the fact remains knowledge is power. So empower your people through your Infosec program and decrease your vulnerabilities.

 

The Security Program Starting Line

InfoSec is a lot of work and sometimes knowing where to start is half the battle. Don’t bite off more than you chew. Patching everything, backing up often and continually educating employees is your expressway to success with whatever resources you have. With these three simple security program must-haves, your organization will be more secure, prosperous, and trustworthy.  

Need a little more guidance to kickstart your InfoSec program or some advice to turn your security and compliance program into a business advantage? Get in touch with one of our experts at info@tugboatlogic.com. We’re here to help.