Brief Insight into Security Program Management

Written by CISOSHARE

August 9, 2017

25 min read

When should you be investing in a security program?

  1. You aren’t sure if your company’s at risk.
  2. Nobody’s on the same page about security.
  3. Information security is only considered an “IT issue.”
  4. You don’t consider your security program in your budget.
  5. Your security program is all policy and no enforcement.
  6. You have no policy at all.
  7. The management team doesn’t follow the security program processes.
  8. You don’t have a plan for handling a security incident.
  9. Protecting customer data isn’t a priority.
  10. You haven’t updated your security program.

Imagine the following, your business is doing well and things are spinning along at a perfect pace.

You’ve read about another information security threat making the news, but you have remained untouched by any major mishaps. So you wonder: “Why invest in a security program? Is my organization really at risk?”

If you’re not sure whether or not your organization needs an information security program, read up on our list of red flags.

You Aren’t Sure If You’re at Risk

If you’re wondering whether or not your organization is at risk of a security breach, you probably are.

Your organization needs to understand the level of risk that your organization has accepted and how much risk you’re operating at.

Your Company Isn’t on the Same Page About Security

One of the reasons organizations invest in an information security program is to identify threats and creating a mitigating strategy.

The only way to identify these threats is by having a program and process in place that can help communicate key information to executive leadership in order to create that strategy.

Without any concrete information or data, your security program may lose funding or support from the management team. This results in other branches being affected, since security touches every aspect of an organization.

Maintaining effective communication with management and key stakeholders is the key to securing funding, approval, and resources that can help you secure client and company data.

Information Security is Viewed as an “IT Issue”

Sometimes, security is viewed as solely a technical concern, and it gets lumped in as an IT issue.

This is a huge mistake!

Your information security program touches every process, person, and department in your organization. Protecting sensitive data needs to be a company-wide effort, rather than something delegated to your technical team.

You Don’t Consider Your Information Security Program in the Budget

When a comprehensive information security program is implemented, your team needs to plan their security budget carefully.

Appropriately funding your information security program will ensure that you’ll have the resources put the proper systems in place to identify and handle threats.

Many organizations associate security as a sunk cost, which often leads to information security programs being underfunded. If your information security program is having funding issues, it’s likely that your leadership doesn’t see the value in building a more effective security program.

The best way to address this is by showing your program’s value. Communicate consistently, show them the information they need to make decisions, and show how your information security program compliments the company’s goals.

Your Information Security Program is All Policy and No Enforcement

Another sign that an organization needs to revamp its information security program is when the “program” consists of only policy.

Policies are documented rules that an organization self-imposes. If your organization has established some information security policies but never actively enforces those policies then the policy is useless!

…Or There Is No Policy At All

Even worse than having a policy that’s ignored is having no policy at all. If your organization has no policies around information security and data protection, then investing in an information security program will assist you in developing those policies.

The Management Team Doesn’t Follow Security Policies and Procedures

This is a definite red flag that an information security program needs revamping.

Employees notice when the people lecturing them on certain aspects of security aren’t practicing what they preach. This sends a contradicting message and makes the information security policies seem unimportant, which can be detrimental if you’re working to create a culture of security.

There’s No Plan for Handling an Incident

When a security incident occurs, an organization with a well-run information security program will have a plan that automatically kicks into action.

Time is of the essence when potential data loss is a possibility. If your organization doesn’t have a plan ready for a security incident, then you need an information security program.

Read: Learn more about the do’s and don’ts of responding to an incident.

Protecting Customer Data isn’t a Priority

Saying you protect customer information and actually taking the steps to do so are two completely different things.

If there’s nothing in place to actively protect your customer’s data, then you’re leaving your organization open to an attack and jeopardizing your trust with your customers. Have an information security program in place so you have actionable policies and an actual incident response plan at the ready.

You Haven’t Updated Your Information Security Program

Maybe you have invested in an information security program… several years ago.

If you’ve set up security policy and controls but have never gone back to revisit and reassess them, it’s time to make another commitment to revamping your information security program.

An information security program is a continuous process that needs to match an ever-changing threat landscape. As the nature of threats continue to change and your business’ priorities shift, you owe your company, employees, and clients diligence in maintaining your information security program.

If you’re not sure how to build and maintain a comprehensive information security program for your organization, contact CISOSHARE.

Our team has the experience and knowledge to help get you started!

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