A cybersecurity standard is basically a set of techniques and principles that help you protect your cybersecurity assets. Just like cybersecurity and digital marketing frameworks, adopting a cybersecurity standard will help you understand the risk your company faces and provide guidelines on how you can manage your risks. It can also help you keep your business asset safe from cybersecurity attacks.
With dozens of cybersecurity standards around and each has different requirements, choosing the right cybersecurity standards for your business can become a daunting challenge. How can you choose the right cybersecurity standards for your business in such a situation? By considering some of the important factors.
In this article, you will learn about seven critical things every business must consider before adopting cybersecurity standards.
Many companies bite off more than they can chew when selecting a cybersecurity standard. To prevent this from happening to your business, start by outlining the scope. Next, define which departments and employees will be affected by the standard. Finalizing the scope early can prevent the scope from growing out of proportion. Scope creep is one of the main reasons why a project fails because it increases the amount of time and money required to complete the project. That is why it is important to lock down the scope early, so it does not grow out of proportion.
Cost is an important factor that influences the decision of which cybersecurity standard you choose. If a cybersecurity standard has a high cost of implementation, it can detract many businesses from opting for that standard. Instead of looking at the cost, businesses must also consider the ROI it brings. If the ROI is higher than the higher cost is justified. Think about the benefits you can get by implementing that cybersecurity standard (more on that later in the article).
Most businesses might be tempted to implement comprehensive cybersecurity standards such as ISO 27001. What they don’t realize that it will increase their cost and make it tough for them to comply with all its guidelines. Instead, it is better for businesses to think about how a cybersecurity standard can benefit their business. Even if they are selecting a comprehensive standard, they should look at which aspects of that standards they will focus on instead of focusing on the complete standards.
You can easily do that by analyzing your business and industry requirements. If you are a financial institution, then you might be more interested in complying with the encryption part of ISO 270001. If the cybersecurity standard you are planning to choose offers benefits such as a faster sales cycle and drastically minimize the risk of cybersecurity attacks, then you should go with it.
Choosing a cybersecurity standard that does not align with your business goals and fits in your cybersecurity environment can lead to a disaster. Select a cybersecurity standard that helps you grow your business and coincide with your business goals. For instance, if you have an E-commerce business which doesn’t offer credit card payment option to its customers then being complying with PCI-DSS standard can help you generate more sales and deliver more convenience to your customers as they can pay using their debit and credit cards.
Similarly, you can win back customer trust by complying with GDPR and ISO 270001 will tell them that their data is in safe hands irrespective of whether it is stored on a database or cheap dedicated servers. You can also use third-party tools that let you automate and streamline your manual processes so you can pass the compliance audit. These tools can replicate internal audit functions, which would help you achieve continuous compliance. This way, you don’t have to design internal audit functions yourself or make necessary adjustments at the eleventh hour.
Customers are more demanding than ever before. If you tell them that you have achieved compliance with cybersecurity awareness, they won’t be impressed and ask you for proof. This is where security certification from relevant bodies can help you convince them. Ask yourself, Is compliance with security standards enough or you might also have to acquire security certifications? You will also have to convince top management as acquiring these certification means extra expenses. On a positive note, acquiring a relevant cybersecurity certification can save you from some future audits.
When it comes to choosing a cybersecurity standard for their business, most businesses will opt for what’s popular or what’s adopted by their competitors. Unfortunately, this formula does not work. You should choose a cybersecurity standard based on your business needs.
Ask questions such as “Are you capable enough to meet the strict guidelines by that cybersecurity standards?” or “Is your staff well trained or prepared to take upon this challenge?” If the answer to both these questions is no then, you should first train and prepare your staff by enrolling them in training courses offered by bodies that make those standards.
You can also take advantage of train the trainers offered by consultants. Additionally, you can also run an experiment by implementing the requirements of security standards and see how employees react. Prepare them to conduct self-audit because it will help you to create the necessary documentation and collect evidence to successfully pass the audit.
Acquiring a cybersecurity certificate or complying with a cybersecurity standard does not mean that your job is done. It is a continuous process that will never end. These certificates can expire over time so, it is important that you keep renewing your security certificates and comply with the latest changes made to cybersecurity standards. Make sure you document all your compliance activities and maintain a record for them. This will make it easy for you to renew your security certificates.
Which factors do you take into account when choosing a cybersecurity standard to implement in your organization? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.