What Is A Cyber Security Strategy and How Can I Develop My Own?


Creating and implementing a cyber security strategy takes careful consideration, but could be the difference between successfully fending off cyber threat actors, and losing important company data.

Failing to align your company goals, cyber security architecture, and your strategy could result in gaps in your network, and therefore allow a way for attackers to penetrate your infrastructure.

Ultimately, your strategy acts as another piece of your cyber security puzzle with the goal of ensuring your systems and policies are up to date.

Therefore, in this post we have outlined the importance of a cyber security strategy, and provided the steps for how to develop your own.

So, let’s get started with a definition.

What Is A Cyber Security Strategy?

A cyber security strategy is ultimately a plan that outlines exactly how your organisation will continue to secure and protect your data in a climate where threats are increasing.

In order to combat cyber attackers it’s essential to select and implement the best practices that align with the security goals of your company.

For example, it may be that your more confidential company data isn’t well protected as passwords aren’t strong enough, and this may be a focus for your strategy.

A cyber security strategy can help you to establish a baseline for your entire company’s security architecture, meaning from there you are able to adapt your framework and policies as threats grow and change.

It’s important to note that your strategy is not set in stone, it must be adapted and adjusted to fit the current cyber environment.
magnifying glass on keyboard

What Is the Importance of A Cyber Security Strategy?

As cyber attacks are increasing, cyber security strategies have never been more important in order to stay ahead of threats.

Developing a strategy for your company allows you to see exactly what the current threat landscape looks like and what that means for your company.

For example, by identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses within your network and security architecture, you will be able to implement your newly created strategy to plug those gaps and keep threat actors at bay.

Not only is the number of attackers growing, but the mobile work-force is increasing now more than ever, therefore stretching company networks and data out to the homes of employees.

A cyber security strategy can come in useful whether your organisation is remote or office based, however taking devices home and stolen passwords can become an issue due to home-working.

Therefore your strategy is vital to ensuring protected data and security for your company at all times.

How to Develop A Cyber Security Strategy

Every strategy will be different for each company, so it is important not to follow the strategies of other companies as your goals will likely be different.

Creating your cyber security strategy is similar to planning a project, including exactly how your company plans to keep data safe, and being proactive about combating cyber threats.

Therefore, we have highlighted the key steps and aspects to consider when creating your strategy, to ensure all components align.

Carry out a Risk Assessment

First of all, carrying out a risk assessment allows you to assess, identify and improve the overall security standing of the company.

This first step allows you to assess exactly what threats are present in your environment, and how well-equipped your organisation is to manage and combat these threats.

Risks and threats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, therefore this is an important first step.

This risk assessment also allows your company to identify the most valuable data, and how it should be stored in the future for the best protection possible, and from here you will be able allocate resources to the right areas.

Failure to conduct a thorough risk assessment will put your organisation in danger of becoming an easy target, as you may be unaware of confidential and important information that isn’t securely stored.

Set Out Your Security Goals

As with all cyber security, your strategy must align with your security goals.

For example, if you are looking to minimise external threats but all of your past incidents have been internal, you may need to shift your focus.

Therefore you should base your goals on how well-equipped you are against threats, or in other words, your security maturity.

This can be done by analysing your current cyber security architecture and past incidents, and it is even possible to use a self-assessment tool such as CSIRT Maturity, or Cavalry to measure your organisations security capabilities.

Once you have landed on exactly where your focus should be in terms of cyber security, it’s important to then set reasonable expectations.

Implementing your cyber security strategy is a project in itself, and therefore budget, timelines, resources and ability to execute all need to be taken into account.
multiple devices on a table

Evaluate the Technology In Use In Your Company

The systems and technology within your organisation play a huge part when it comes to cyber security, as each system should meet the best security practices.

Your should ask yourself:

  • What devices are in use?
  • How are they being protected?
  • Are the resources to keep them secure available?
  • What software is in use?
  • What are the most regular risks?

Resources must always be available to protect your systems, devices and softwares in use to mitigate any threats that may come your way.

It may be that within your strategy, technology may need to be made a priority, for example updating software within systems, or creating extra layers of protection such as multi-factor authentication.

When evaluating the use of systems within your company a key area to assess is how resources and data flow in and out of your organisation.

Therefore, it’s essential to document what each piece of information is and when it arrives, in order to keep track of what is coming in and out and who has access to your network.

Choose A Framework That Is Right For You

Much like cyber security strategies, there are so many framework options available to put to use within your company.

There are some more common than others, the most well-known being:

  • NIST
  • ISO 27001 and ISO 27002
  • SOC2
  • GDPR

Your organisation is unique and therefore should implement a framework that aligns with your security goals, and provides the best guidelines and standards based on your objectives.

One framework may focus entirely on how to prevent insider threat, and if you have previously been a victim of external attackers multiple times, another framework may suit your company better.

Ultimately the framework you choose will provide guidance on how to continuously measure and keep on top of cyber security, and how safe your organisation is.

Review Security Policies

Security policies are there to set standards and ensure it is clear exactly how your company deals with threats.

It is important to conduct periodic reviews of the policies in place at your company, as they should continually be working inline with your framework, architecture, and security goals.

Another way to ensure your policies are understood across the company is to train your employees in security principles.

This can be done by hosting expert guest speakers, holding presentations, and using a training application or software based on the policies used within your organisation, such as the TLR training bootcamp. This ensures everyone is kept up to date and understands how security works within your company.

keyboard letters spelling scam

Create A Risk Management Plan

Creating a risk management plan helps to outline all of the potential risks to your company, and how you will deal with them if a breach is attempted.

Not only this, but this will help your company predict and analyse the type of risks that may occur.

Risk management within cyber security, usually consists of four stages:

  • Identify – this involves assessing the environment around you to detect where possible risks could arise from or infiltrate your company network.
  • Assess – analysing identified risks and seeing what kind of threat they pose and how this would affect your company.
  • Control – set out the methods, procedures, and processes that will be put in place to mitigate risks.
  • Review – consistently evaluate the methods in place to ensure they are working and make necessary adjustments.

This can ultimately act as a foundation for your incident response plan, as you will better understand typically where risks are coming from and what part of your network they are targeting.

Whether you are dealing with internal risks such as stolen devices or passwords, or external threats such as Vishing or malware attacks, this plan allows you to set out the correct procedures to prevent threats of all kinds.

Implement and Evaluate

Once you have completed the relevant steps and implemented your cyber security strategy, you must consistently review your strategy to ensure it continues to work.

Vulnerabilities will always evolve, as will threat actors, and this may cause future problems for the security of your data.

Therefore, your strategy, along with your policies and architecture should be updated according to the risk climate, in order to fight back against attackers.

Annual risk assessment is often a good idea, as this can help to analyse how well your strategy is working, and minimise risks.

This way you should be able to stay on top of where the gaps in your strategy are at regular intervals.

What Is A Cyber Security Strategy and How Can I Develop My Own?

A cyber security strategy is an important component of your organisation’s overall data protection.

Without a solid strategy in place it will be difficult to ensure the protection of confidential and private information, whether that belongs to you, your employees, or your clients and customers.

As with any project, you need to establish a foundational plan that can help you to outline exactly where you need to focus your efforts in terms of data protection and remedying vulnerabilities.

At TLR we are experts in helping companies to protect their data, and understand how to deal with cyber threats. We can help your organisation go from strength to strength when it comes to cyber security, by helping to detect vulnerabilities, and training your team to align with your company framework and security goals.

For more information about our services, and how we can help you to prevent threats and protect data at all costs, get in touch with our team today.

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Written by

Dave Roberts