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5 steps to protecting your customers’ critical infrastructure the right way

Today’s cybersecurity strategies are very different from what they were in the 1990s.

February 03, 2020

5 steps to protecting your customers’ critical infrastructure the right way
Looking back at the beginning of cybersecurity, things used to be so simple. Protecting a network was seemingly as easy as installing the right software and turning on a firewall. Such remedies seem quaint by today’s standards as cyberattacks are growing in sophistication nearly as fast as the systems they are attempting to compromise. It’s clear that protecting a modern business will take more than a simple strategy implemented by a part-time IT department.
 
Today’s cybersecurity providers essentially act as the head of security for their customers, which means they have to consider how to help them plan strategically for the future and implement new security policies to keep their critical infrastructure safe. Policies can vary in complexity, but most service providers lean toward providing the simplest security controls after examining a client’s business model and performing a risk assessment.
 
The following are five strategies that service providers can use to develop and implement a holistic information security policy.
 
Step 1: Create a foundation
There are two critical factors service providers need to consider when crafting effective security policies. Each at-risk business should first be evaluated against a security risk register to determine the potential vulnerabilities. Next, a data classification should be performed. These steps will ensure that the policies developed will accurately meet the client’s needs.
 
Step 2: Implement an acceptable use policy
Acceptable use policies are very important and determine how a company uses data and assets, including computer hardware, software and cloud infrastructure. Companies should establish an acceptable use policy before implementing a security policy because everyone in the organization will be required to abide by the entire policy.
 
Step 3: Enact training and build awareness
After an acceptable use policy is established, focusing on training and awareness is key. Training programs help ensure employees are aware of what’s required of certain roles to remain in compliance with security policies. These roles can range from systems administrators working on authentication procedures all the way to HR representatives who are responsible for each employee’s password creation. Security should never be taken lightly, and training and awareness programs will help employees understand how vital their role is as it relates to compliance.
 
Step 4: Protecting the system
Separate policies are necessary for governing every individual environment within a company’s security infrastructure. These policies should at least include essential components such as network security architecture, network access control, identity and access management, incident response and data loss protection.
 
Step 5: New business processes
It might seem odd to include business practices as a part of security policy, but there are certain policies that are inseparable from business practices essential to proper risk mitigation. For instance, database management, business continuity and disaster recovery (SDLC) and change management are just a few examples of business processes that need proper security oversight to function efficiently.
 
If you have questions about what it takes to implement strong, effective security policies on behalf of your customers, contact the security experts at Ingram Micro for further assistance.