What is a Security Program

What is a Security Program?

triangle displaying information security program confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the essential dataHaving a security program will help you ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your client and customer information, as well as your organization's essential data.

Today, the risk of security incidents and potential breaches is higher than ever before. Breaches affect large numbers of financial organizations, healthcare organizations, and public-sector entities. But any company in any industry could be a potential target.

Protect Your Data with a Strong Information Security Program

Whether or not you deal with data like customer financial information or healthcare information, your data could be the target of an attack.

Your own financial records, key information, or other confidential information could be an attractive target for attackers as the information they could potentially sell or manipulate in other ways to make a profit.

Regardless of your organization's size or the type of data that you handle, your responsibility is to mitigate the risk of having it lost, altered, or stolen.

The Core Features of Security Program Development

A well-built information security program will have multiple components and sub-programs to ensure that your organization's security efforts align to your business objectives.

The four characteristics of a successful security program should make up the foundation of your security program development efforts:

four approaches to cyber security

  • Establish a benchmark for security. Security should be defined in your environment through your security policies, standards, program, and process documentation. Your benchmark is the current state of your information security program, which will act as the basis of all future measurement.
  • Measure against the benchmark. As your organization conducts assessments, you should measure against the initial benchmark to see how your security program is performing.
  • Enable informed decision-making. Your security program should communicate with key stakeholders and management individuals to provide them with the information they need to make information security decisions.
  • Support the execution of decisions. Once organizational leadership has made a decision, the security program should implement them and perform any of the other security-specific tasks to support the business.

The individual components and sub-programs of your information security program will vary based on your organization's objectives and regulatory requirements.

There are certain components and documentation that every security program should have, including:

    • Charter — Your charter is an organizationally-approved document that defines how your security program will work in the context of the overall organization, with things such as scope, mission, mandate, and other things.
    • Policies — These define how your organization will address security issues. Policies are generally derived from your requirements and provide standards and guidelines for your program.
    • Processes — Your processes are the procedures that help ensure your security program is both repeatable and efficient. This document will help you identify the business rules, roles and responsibilities, and tools your organization will use to perform security activities.
    • Measurement — This is one of the most important security program components, as measuring how your program is performing in your environment will help you determine what improvements need to be made.
    Each of these security program components and documentation can be applied to specific domains such as information security governance, risk management, compliance, incident management, and other sub-programs that your organization deems important.

An information security program can be tailored to any size or type of organization. To get more information about security programs or to start taking the steps toward creating one for your organization, contact the team of experts at CISOSHARE.

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