The future of cybersecurity is NOW.

How to create a security compliance program

Ines Guerra · 6 min read


According to the findings of the Digital Trust Survey 2022 report, more than half of the companies surveyed expect incidents to increase above this year's record levels. This threat is already reflected in their budgets: 69% of companies expect to increase their cybersecurity investments, compared to 55% last year, and 26% expect this increase to be 10% or more.

Why is cybersecurity so important today?

Years ago, talking about cybersecurity was not a common thing. Companies had more important things to worry about. Cybersecurity is a term that has become popular in recent years due to the high rates of digital attacks. More and more companies are choosing to hire companies dedicated to\protecting the company and customer data. But do you know

WHAT IS CYBERSECURITY?

The concept of cybersecurity is applied in different contexts, from business to mobile computing. Cybersecurity refers to the set of procedures and tools implemented to protect the information generated and processed through servers, devices, computers, networks, and electronic systems, avoiding digital attacks.

The increase in measures and implementation of such strict digital security measures in recent years is because there are more connected devices than people, and attackers are becoming more ingenious, faster, and divided into many categories.

  1. The goal of network security is the practice of protecting a computer network from intruders, targeted attackers, or opportunistic malware.
  2. Application security focuses on keeping the software and devices free from threats. The risk of one of the applications being compromised could threaten the access of the data it is intended to protect. At design, adequate security starts at the earliest stages long before a program is implemented.
  3. Information security protects the integrity and privacy of data, both in storage and in transit.
  4. Operational security encompasses the processes for managing and protecting data resources.Users' permissions to access a network and the procedures that determine; "how and where data can be stored or shared fall into this category."
  5. When a company suffers an attack and suffers data loss, disaster recovery and how the company recovers in the shortest possible time define how an organization responds to a cybersecurity incident that causes its operations to stop and data to be lost. Recovery policies mark how the organization restores its functions and information to return to the same operational capability as before the event.

The end-user education and training process is part of people's most critical cybersecurity factor. If good security practices are overlooked, it would be easy to introduce a virus into an otherwise secure system accidentally. Teaching users everything they need to know to reduce risk is the first step; removing suspicious email attachments, not connecting unidentified USB drives and other essential lessons is critical to the organization's security.

It can also save your company large amounts of money. This graph shows the estimated average cost of cybercrime that cyber-attacks produce. And how this has increased in recent years. The concern of the companies is not only growing because of the security, the economic issue and how expensive a cyberattack can be, make the efforts to stop these practices even more important.


 Here is the graph showing the increase in the cost of these cyber attacks over 6 years


COMMON TYPES OF CYBERSECURITY AND INFORMATION SECURITY

Hardware security

Hardware security is of all types of computer security, the most solid and robust. It also supports the essential systems as an additional security filter. Typical examples are firewalls or proxy servers. Hardware security modules (HSMs) are less common, which provide cryptographic keys for encryption, decryption, and authentication.

Software security

One of the biggest risks we face is the daily exposure to Internet connections. An entry point for attackers is often implementation errors, faulty design, memory overflow, etc. Thanks to software security, we protect you from malicious hacker attacks. Therefore, trying to avoid security holes, the most important thing is to protect the software from the first moment of its life cycle, the creation, and the website's design.

Network security

Network security is a type of computer security designed to protect the network and all connected devices. It covers the network from threats such as viruses, or Trojans, spyware, massive data, and identity theft, zero-day attacks, hacker attacks, denial of service attacks. But what differentiates network security from the rest is that the network protection strategy also requires software and hardware and various levels of security. In this way, if the network is attacked, the other levels of security will continue to function.

THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF THREATS IN THE NETWORK

Phishing

Phishing is a prevalent practice today, involving sending fraudulent emails that look like emails from reputable sources. The main goal is to steal sensitive data, credit card numbers, login information, etc. This is the most common type of cyberattack. To reduce attacks, there are some measures such as; education, teaching, and training of users. That would help detect the origin of this type of email and never share sensitive data by mail. Another is a technological solution to filter malicious emails. 


The trend is still high, and it is expected that this type of cyber attack will continue to grow.



Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software. It is designed to demand money by blocking access to files or the computer system until the money required is paid. The worst part is that paying the ransom does not guarantee to recover the files or restore the system.

Malware

Malware is a type of intrusive software designed to gain unauthorized access or cause damage to a computer. It attempts to invade, injury, and disable computers, computer systems, networks, and devices, often by taking partial control of a device's operations.

Data Breach

A data breach is an incident that exposes confidential or protected information; it is the disclosure of confidential, private or sensitive information in an unsecured environment. It can occur accidentally or as a result of a deliberate attack and can involve the loss or theft of bank or credit card account numbers, personal information, passwords or email, etc.

Every year, millions of people are affected by data breaches, and their scope can be of different magnitudes. A cybercriminal may hack into the database of a company where you have shared your personal information. Or an employee of that company may accidentally expose your information on the Internet. In addition, criminals can access your most important personal data and profit from it at your expense.

Social engineering

Social engineering is a tactic that adversaries use to trick you into revealing your confidential information. They may ask you for payment or gain access to your data. In addition, combine this type of social engineering with any of the threats mentioned above to predispose you to click on a link, download malware, or trust a malicious source.


The three main cyber threats in Latin America, with very similar percentages


You must create a security compliance program

Data breaches are inevitable; they can happen to any business or organization. When cyber threats occur, it is often difficult for your employees to access the tools they need to do their jobs; your company can see its business activity destabilized and lose revenue generation.

Therefore, everyone in the company or organization must have a role to play in managing risk and practicing compliance with security and privacy regulations that are frequently updated and constantly changing.

The number of cyber-attacks has grown exponentially in recent years, so now would be an excellent time to establish a security compliance program.

Here are 5 ways to create an security compliance program

Train the team

Whether your company is small or medium-sized, training your team to minimize exposure to these cyberattacks is vital. Also, depending on your business, you may want to consider creating a compliance team to assess and monitor cybersecurity. As your company continues to move its business operations to the cloud, cybersecurity will not exist in a vacuum. Therefore, it will be best to create a cross-departmental workflow and make it known to all IT departments.

Enable risk analysis and controls

A good and timely risk analysis will help your company comply with cybersecurity with a risk-based approach to a cyber-attack on which area or which sensitive data to attack. Here's how risk analysis works:

1.Identify all information assets and the systems, networks, and data they access.

2. Assess the risk level of each type of data by determining where high-risk information is stored, transmitted, and collected.

3. Establish risk tolerance by determining whether to transfer, reject, accept or mitigate risk.

After establishing your risk analysis, you will need to install the controls and ensure cybersecurity compliance. Based on your risk tolerance, you must determine how to mitigate or transfer risk.  Your controls may include: firewall, encryption, password policies, employee training, insurance.

 Establish policies

When you establish policies, you ensure that you implement cybersecurity compliant policies. Your policies will document your compliance activities and controls, thus serving as the basis for any internal or external SOC2, HIPAA, or other required audits.

Create and update policies and procedures

Creating an efficient risk assessment plan allows your organization's compliance team to update and adjust specific policies and procedures or create entirely new ones. That's a good thing because many regulatory agencies want their compliance department to provide details on how policies and procedures can work with their installed cybersecurity programs.

Monitor and respond relentlessly

Considering that cyber threats are constantly evolving, all compliance requirements must do the same. If these are not one step ahead of the dangers, it will do no good to ensure data security because it will be straightforward for hackers to get to it. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal data using existing strategies rather than finding new vulnerabilities (also known as zero-day attacks, which we will discuss in the next post). An example of this is when they combine two different types of ransomware to create a new, more powerful, and "lethal" ransomware. Companies and organizations must stay several steps ahead of these cyber threats. Organizations must do more than continuous monitoring, which only detects new threats. Their security compliance program must also respond to threats before they become irreparable damage or a data breach. 

Conclusion

It's never safe enough; cybersecurity attacks are growing out of control, and hackers are putting more and more effort into getting the data they want. As cybersecurity continues to evolve, your company must have the most sophisticated and appropriate tools to ensure compliance. It's no secret that improving cybersecurity and preventing cyberattacks is a goal of nearly every company. We affirm that it is much better to stop them and put all our efforts in the early stages of the process, such as design so that cyber attackers do not have it easy and give up before they get what they want. 

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