Information Security Services: What You Need to Know
13 Insights & Best Practices to Keep Your Organization Safe
But the people designing new systems and platforms aren’t the only ones innovating. Cybercriminals are continually updating their tactics too. And that’s why information security and risk management have to be part of your IT strategy. Working with a trusted service provider like AISN can save you time and help you avoid potential pitfalls.
1. Understanding Information Risk Management
First things first. Information risk is the probability that your systems will be compromised and someone or something will negatively affect your data’s confidentiality, integrity or availability.
Information risk management includes the strategies you employ and the methods you use to mitigate the likelihood of your data or systems being compromised.
You can take care of this in-house or you can hire a managed service provider like AISN to do it for you. We will ensure that you have all the necessary risk management measures in place to keep your organization safe.
Three Areas Your Information Security Strategies Should Cover
Protecting yourself, your partners, your clients and your business from the risks you face, requires a careful assessment of risks, a clear strategy to mitigate them and a plan for quickly containing the damage when breaches occur. Enlisting the help of a third party advisor is a smart and efficient way to weed out problems early.
2. Performing an IT Risk Assessment
Do you really need an IT risk assessment? Surely if you’re compliant with industry and government regulations and standards your data must be secure.
As HIPAA compliance service providers, we recognize that compliance alone does not equal security.
Cybersecurity threats are evolving as quickly as the technology itself and regulatory bodies are simply not agile enough to keep up with new threats.
How do you determine what risks your organization is facing? Performing a 4-step IT risk assessment can help you get a clear picture of threats, vulnerabilities and risks.
Identify Threats and Vulnerabilities
Take a look at How to Perform an IT Risk Assessment for more information on laying a solid foundation for your information security strategy.
The full version of “13 Best Practices for Information Security” is available to download here.
3. Remote Work Cybersecurity Risks
Information security risks specifically associated with remote working include:
Most home wifi networks have weaker security protocols than those in office environments.
Unsecured Devices or Programs
90% of working adults use devices issued by their workplaces for non-work activities.
94% of malware is delivered via emails opened by unsuspecting recipients.
Are You Prepared for the Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work? Check out our blog post for more information on developing a mature information security program.
4. Developing Your Information Security Program
Understanding the need for a cybersecurity strategy is one thing. Developing a comprehensive information security program is quite another.
Where do you even start? If the prospect seems unduly daunting, consider the cost of not having one.
Some 445 million online cyber fraud and abuse claims were reported in the first quarter of 2020, and the average data breach costs $3.92 million.
Develop your information security program in four basic stages.
Remember, the loss or theft of privileged or business-critical information isn’t the only factor your cybersecurity plans should cover. Make sure your strategy can also protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data and systems.
In How to Develop an Information Security Program, we go into more detail on how you can make sure your information security program is ready for anything.
5. The Importance of Cybersecurity Governance
As the complexity of your systems increases with the adoption of new technological solutions, so must the measures you take to keep those systems secure against intruders.
However, without adequate leadership, even the most carefully designed information security program will fail. Some two-thirds of organizations ignore more than 25% of security events.
AISN can assist with cybersecurity governance. By combining strategic IT consulting and managed IT solutions we’ll help protect your organization from threats, while simultaneously optimizing resources, streamlining processes and ensuring the security strategies align with your company’s business goals.
For more on the value of governance and how to implement a governance program, check out Why Cybersecurity Governance Matters to Your Organization.
6. Implementing Information Security Training
With a comprehensive information security plan and the governance to lead and oversee it, the next step is ensuring all members of your team — from the lowest-ranking administrative assistant to your C-suite — understand the risks your company faces and the policies you’ve implemented to mitigate those risks.
A good cybersecurity awareness training program can help improve compliance with information security policies that, if not clearly explained, may appear inconvenient and unnecessary to your team. Make sure your employees understand policies that govern:
Can include ID badges, guest logging, alarms and device security.
Two-factor authentication, password requirements.
How to recognize online scams, phishing, malware and more.
When to escalate cybersecurity concerns and who to report them to.
Not sure where to start? Read our post on How to Implement a Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program for more information.
The full version of '13 Best Practices for Information Security' is available to download here.
7. Maintaining Availability
Keeping your data and systems online at all times is critical to the success of your business. The cost of downtime continues to climb. And as remote working gains popularity, keeping your networks live and your systems accessible to employees will become increasingly important.
AISN’s Tier III and Tier IV North American data centers offer 100% network uptime, backed by an SLA that’s unsurpassed in the market today. Our infrastructure is built to deliver security, performance, reliability and scalability.
Availability can be compromised by a range of factors:
Hardware or System Failure
Natural Disaster or Power Outage
You can also dramatically decrease your risk of downtime — and associated disruptions and losses — by developing an availability strategy and employing a disaster recovery strategy. Identify your current continuity capabilities and the impact of any potential disruption, and then develop a clearly outlined plan of action. You can’t necessarily prevent a downtime incident, but you can make sure you’re not one of the 43% of businesses that never reopen afterward.
Read How to Protect Your Assets With a Disaster Recovery Plan to learn more about availability and DR strategy.
8. Responding to an Information Security Incident
The odds are fairly high that at some point your organization will fall victim to an information security incident. There are more than one billion identified malware programs in existence and a cyberattack occurs once every 39 seconds.
And that’s assuming that your incident is the direct result of an attack, rather than a hardware failure or employee negligence!
Think of your systems being compromised as a ‘when’ rather than an if’ scenario.
However, the right preparations can help minimize the impact of any sort of breach and quickly get your company back to business as usual. Your cybersecurity incident response plan should include these five basic steps.
In 5 Cybersecurity Incident Response Steps You Need to Know, you’ll find detailed information on how to minimize the impact of an information security incident.
9. Router and Network Firewall Security
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your organization is too big or too small to be a target. More than 15 billion records were exposed by data breaches in 2019, and the targets were companies of all sizes.
Check out Network Firewall Security: Are You Compliant or Are You Secure? for more information on reinforcing network firewall security.
10. Penetration Testing
Penetration testing under a variety of scenarios can help you identify holes in your security and provide a complete picture of the potential damage that would result if they were exploited. This is especially useful when prioritizing which vulnerabilities to address first.
For more information on how pen testing works, take a look at You Need the Security Benefits Penetration Testing Can Offer.
11. What Is a vCISO?
The information security risks your business faces are continually increasing as your organization grows and adopts new technology solutions. And experts estimate that more than 60% of businesses are operating with understaffed cybersecurity teams.
The best way to ensure that you’re prepared for existing and evolving threats to your expanding systems is to employ a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
But what if you simply don’t have the budget for a full-time cybersecurity executive? One option is to outsource your information security needs to a vCISO — an expert who can spearhead your program while operating much like a consultant. What does a vCISO offer?
12. Cyber Forensics Consulting
When most people think of information security risks, they focus on financial losses, operational disruptions and reputational damage. But a data breach can also leave you vulnerable to legal action from clients or partners. Understanding your legal rights and responsibilities is vital to protecting your organization from harm.
If your cybersecurity attorney works with a cyber forensics consultant, they can help shape your information security program with an eye toward your legal obligations and shield you from lawsuits in the event of a breach.
Take a look at Why Your Clients Really Need Cyber Forensics to learn more about protecting your business from legal liability.
13. Avoiding Data Breaches
The goal of your information security strategy is to secure your data against exposure to unauthorized parties. And threats and vulnerabilities can be everywhere. While the expression ‘data breach’ often conjures up images of remote hackers using code to bypass our security measures, the risks are often more commonplace.
Organizations of all sizes and verticals can fall prey to breaches that expose the personal or sensitive data of their customers or business-critical information and trade secrets.
At AISN, we offer information security as a service for organizations looking to modernize their IT infrastructure. Get in touch to find out how we can help you avoid a data breach.
We teamed up with some analysts to examine what caused some major security breaches of 2020 and how they could have been prevented. Read about our findings in What You Need to Know About Avoiding Data Breaches.
A Partner You Can Trust
At AISN, we don’t believe that ‘one-size-fits-all’ is the way to offer cloud solutions. Our business model is built on the belief that our clients deserve customized cloud platforms designed to meet their specific compliance, security and operational needs. If you have questions about the cloud or cloud enable services, we can assist. Our experts are always happy to discuss your needs. Get in touch with us today.
Download the PDF of ’13 Best Practices for Information Security’ now.