Top 10 Elements for Developing a Strong Information Security Program

Information security program illustrationSafeguarding information systems that use, transmit, collect, process, store and share sensitive information has become a top priority. The goal—to design and deploy a secure system that prevents impact to operations and assists in recovery from adverse situations—is the same from federal agencies to the private sector.

Information security (InfoSec) is a broader practice that encompasses all information flows from end-to-end. It encompasses other components, including data security that focuses primarily on protecting unstructured data in storage from unauthorized access, use, loss or modification. Information security is not a fixed practice; it is dynamic and evolves as the threat landscape becomes more sophisticated.

Today’s digital risk and compliance profile requires developing an information security program based on a well-structured plan that includes people, processes and technologies, and focuses on the protection of information and information assets. For years InfoSec professionals have focused on the three basic concepts of confidentiality, integrity and availability —referred to as the CIA triad— and the additional aspects of privacy, authentication and authorization.

These concepts depend on the design, development, implementation and management of technologies and processes. Information security requires strategic, tactical and operational planning. To support these plans, components such as prevention and detection mechanisms, access management, incident response, privacy and compliance, risk management, audit and monitoring, and business continuity planning are all necessary to a successful security program.

Achieving the goals set during the strategic, tactical and operational planning requires these key elements for the successful implementation of an InfoSec program:

  1. Focus on the full program, rather than just certain aspects.
  2. Align your security program with your organization’s mission and business objectives as well as an industry-standard security controls framework, such as ISO 27001 or the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.
  3. Implement meaningful and enforceable InfoSec policies and procedures.
  4. Develop a security risk management program.
  5. Apply defense-in-depth measures and assess the security controls to identify and manage risk.
  6. Establish a culture of security through the development of a sound security awareness program.
  7. Measure your information security program by developing meaningful metrics.
  8. Develop and implement an incident response plan that includes training your staff and periodically testing your plan.
  9. Continuously monitor your environment and infrastructure by deploying tools and processes
  10. Review your program at least annually and be prepared to anticipate, innovate and adapt as the risk and threat landscape evolves.

Developing an information security program can be a large undertaking—it requires support, resources, and time. A strong and sustainable information security program also requires having the right talent and tools. Partnering with an experienced security solutions provider and integrator with proven methodologies in the field is an ideal way to supplement your in-house resources and skills.

Sirius can help you ensure the proper execution of your strategic goals. Our seasoned information security professionals have broad experience and skillsets to help your organization successfully develop and implement an information security program to strengthen your security posture. Reach out to your Sirius representative or contact us today to get started.

By |2021-05-20T13:31:02-05:00May 24th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on Top 10 Elements for Developing a Strong Information Security Program

About the Author:

Thomas Eck is the Director of Security Programs and Strategy at Sirius.