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Cybersecurity Compliance Frameworks That CISOs Should Consider

Posted on October 31st, 2019

As a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), your job includes knowing everything about cybersecurity, particularly your own company’s. A security compliance framework makes it so that all of your data, your clients’ data, and your employees’ data is safe and devoid of any danger—or, if there is danger, there is a plan for how to deal with it so as to minimize risks and regain control of the aftermath of the attack.

Compliance frameworks are not only important at the federal level, but at your everyday office-level too. Here are a few suggestions for secure tactics you can add to your framework at your company’s level.

Create mandatory backups

You may think backing up all of your sensitive files and personal data would be counterproductive—after all, it does create a second copy of extremely private information. As long as you have that backup secure and safe, though, it could help if a cyberattack or other threat targets you. Around 60% of smaller companies that lose their data shut down within half a year, unable to recover. Prepare yourself and ready a backup so you are not caught unaware.

In the event of an attack that wipes out all of your data, you could be left with nothing. If you have a backup, you can rely on it when times are tough or amid an emergency to keep all of your sensitive information safe. In short, you will not lose everything. Creating backups is especially important for small businesses. Small businesses—those with under 1,000 employees—comprised the majority of victims of data breaches in 2017, at a whopping 61%.

If you have a compulsory backup period—that is, a time dedicated to backing up your sensitive data whenever you feel that the backup needs to be updated—then your files will remain up-to-date and safe in case of an emergency. Encrypt those files, so that they are not open-access to everyone.

Compulsory security measures

Setting a standard for those impacted by your company—both employees and clients—will allow you to ensure that your data is kept private and secure, while also serving as an easy way to keep track of who is complying with, and who is ignoring, the security compliance framework.

By creating a standard for both your employees and your clients or users, you build trust and respect. Both employees and clients can benefit from just a few simple tricks to keep their information safe.

1. For employees

Routine password changes could benefit your company immensely. 65% of companies that have at least more than 500 employees have never been told to change their passwords. In order to ensure their account’s cybersecurity, employees should be prompted to change their password frequently, when applicable. One drawback to this could be that an employee could forget his or her password after changing it so many times, but other measures can be undertaken to keep track of current passwords.

Occasionally, universities enlist this kind of security compliance framework. Every few months, a notification alerting employees that it is time to change their password could be sent out. Changing passwords regularly to a unique code with numbers and special characters is a well-known defense against hackers and anyone who may seek to leak your private information.

Another way to keep your data safe is to make sure that you are operating in a tight-lipped office environment. Remind your employees not to share sensitive information with anyone, whether on social media or face-to-face. The fewer outsiders know about your company and its potential vulnerabilities, the better.

2. For clients and users

A good company always puts its clients and users first. An easy way to keep your clients’ data safe is to send out email reminders stating that you will never ask for their password and advising them to always check the URL before submitting any sensitive information on a website. This practice would benefit them not just on your website, but on all other websites they access.

Similar to the employee suggestion, users need to have a safe and secure password too. If possible, you should create a guideline reminding users when they sign up of what a strong and secure password is.

Practice full disclosure

Transparency is always the best policy when it comes to involving your employees in your cybersecurity plans. Let them know what you expect of them, as well as any changes you wish to make to past policies or due to past incidents that you would like to avoid occurring again.

If employees have questions, answer them. If they want to bring an idea to the table, let them. Employees who feel valued at their job are 59% less likely to look for another job in the following year. Your workplace will thank you for generating such a welcoming and understanding environment.

There’s a chance that certain employees may not know as much as others about cybersecurity. As CISO, it is your responsibility to keep your coworkers and employees informed and on top of things. After all, around 29% of employees believe that the CISO is responsible for Internet security. You serve as a leader and are the best choice when it comes to explaining cybersecurity compliance framework policies that employees may not understand.

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