Management Guideline – Cyber Security and ISO 27001

Is your organisation prepared for a cyber attack? With cyber-attacks becoming more sophisticated by the day, companies find themselves losing net profits and having to deal with the leakage of sensitive technical information.

In fact, with the latest data breach of big Australian companies such as Medibank, Optus, and MyDeal, millions of customers’ data got exposed to hackers. In addition, cyber crimes such as ransomware, business email compromise, and software supply chain compromises are increasing. The results? Costly interruptions to operations, legal liabilities, and reputational damage.

Simply installing the latest technology as a shield against cyber-attacks won’t do the trick. On the contrary, organisations need to invest in their cyber-security to guarantee business continuity and generate revenue. That’s why business managers are responsible for understanding the cyber-security risks within their organisation and taking steps toward efficient protection.

In this guide, we’ll analyse the steps you should make toward more effective IT risk management. We’ll review what questions managers should ask when implementing or assessing a cyber-security strategy and provide fundamental insights on IT security tasks to ensure compliance. We will also talk about how certification against ISO 27001 can complement your IT security program. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Why Should Managers Invest in Cyber Security Strategies?

How your organisation manages data greatly impacts the confidence and trust of your customers, partners, and stakeholders. In addition, it shows that you remain compliant with the regulatory bodies and take data protection seriously. Cyber attacks can disrupt business operations, incur significant incident response costs, and damage your organisation’s reputation. Moreover, they might raise stakeholder or regulatory actions. That’s why proactivity is key. Investing in cyber security strategies adds an extra layer of protection against cyber attacks. Additionally, it provides employees with a step-by-step plan of action that they can implement immediately instead of freezing or panicking. With a clear cyber security strategy, you’ll be one step closer to understanding your company’s exposure and preventing human oversight.

Questions You Should Ask About Cyber Security

In order to manage cyber attack risks, you first need to understand which IT systems are critical to your business and how their data might get exposed. Here are some crucial considerations for establishing a cybersecurity strategy:

1. What Are Your Most Valuable Assets? The first step toward developing a cyber security strategy action plan is identifying which digital assets are the most valuable to your company. These could be anything from networks to devices and company systems. Spotting the more vulnerable or vital assets to your business core will help prioritise their cyber protection.

2. What Types of Data Does Your Business Collect? To create an efficient IT security plan, you must first know what types of data your company collects, where they are stored, and who can access them. So the best way to identify them is to conduct a data audit. Firstly, create asset categories such as software, apps, and intellectual property, along with an employee and customer record. Then, add a cost estimation for recovery of the stolen or lost assets, and you’re ready to go!

3. What Are Your Company’s Threat Levels? To understand where your business stands in terms of cyber security, you’ll need to conduct a security assessment. Specifically, you need to analyse your hardware and networks, examine your storage infrastructures, and spot vulnerabilities in your supply chain. For example, if third parties are supplying critical software to your organisation with remote admin access, they could pose a threat to future cyber attacks.

4. Have You Assigned Roles for Risk Management? Taking the time to assign roles and responsibilities for cyber security risk management will help your personnel have a guide in times of crisis, know who to turn to, and achieve faster solutions to current problems. For instance, your organisation should appoint a risk management committee where each member manages a step of the cyber-security strategy action plan. Your Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) will be managing the committee and helping everyone stay on board.

5. Have You Created a Cyber Security Incident Response Plan? Now that you have identified your most important assets and assigned roles to your staff, it’s time to create your cyber-security strategy action plan. This will be like a manual, with a set of instructions to guide your staff on how to respond to various cyber-attacks. Through this methodical approach, your personnel will follow clear actions to reduce exposure or mitigate the vulnerability.

How Should Management Mitigate Cyber Security Risks?

Although adopting a risk management plan seems like a non-negotiable, it can still be a daunting task. To make this process easier, we’ve rounded the most critical steps toward a successful cyber security strategy action plan:

1. Routinely Update and Patch Systems Your organisation should establish the processes and tools to identify vulnerabilities regularly and patch systems and applications together. Additionally, your monitoring should be ongoing to spot any regulatory changes and ensure alignment with external controls. Finally, try to automate tasks to reduce costs, increase workplace efficiency, and decrease the risk of human error whenever possible.

2. Establish Password Policies Employing a password policy requiring a minimum length of complex passwords is a must for your cyber security strategies. Especially adding a multifactor authentication (MFA) could make it even harder for attackers to gain access to applications and systems. In addition, make sure to apply the same policies for remote desktop users to avoid leaving them vulnerable.

3. Use the Latest Technologies Multiple cyber-attacks result from non-updated technology systems and software. To ensure your organisation’s protection from network mismanagements and misconfigured firewalls, you must ensure that your systems are always up-to-date and secure.

4. Limit Employee Access Most of the time, cyber-criminals gain access to organisations by gaining control over internal employees’ accounts. As a result, they cause widespread damage to the whole business environment. To avoid that, make sure to limit access internally to minimise the risks of a cyber incident.

5. Acquire Cyber-insurance to Safeguard Your Business In the instance of potentially costly outcomes, cyber insurance comes at hand. So as part of your cyber security strategy, make sure to purchase a program that’ll cover first-party losses and third-party claims. This will give your organisation liability coverage in case of data breaches and help you in lawsuits or damaged reputation.

6. Get Certified With ISO 27001 The ISO 27001 certification might seem intimidating initially, but it will enhance your organisation’s ability to protect data. Implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) certification will train you to be at the forefront of your organisation’s security by identifying, assessing, and removing threats. The latest version of the standard has recently been released and is focused more on new and relevant evolving security challenges. ISO 27001 is a must for your cyber security strategy, placing your business in high regard.

What Are the Benefits of ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 stands at the heart of your cyber security preparation by defining the processes, technology, and people necessary for risk management. Here are the most essential benefits :

● Decreases the number of cyber attacks — ISO 27001 provides strong protection against cyber-attacks with ongoing due diligence.

● Reduces the need for frequent audits — With ISO 27001, your company demonstrates adequate security without needing regular audits to prove it.

● Helps you stay on track with data protection — As organisations grow, employees lose sight of cyber security guidelines and eventually forget their responsibilities. ISO 27001 requires an annual risk assessment, which can help the staff get back on board and make changes where necessary.

● Doubles partners’ trust — When it comes to data protection, trust is paramount. ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that your organisation handles data with integrity and enhances its protection through new policies.

● Helps validate providers — Companies with ISO certification are considered of quality and trustworthy. This helps pre-qualify providers with confidence instead of later discovering an insufficient IT security policy.

● Helps companies comply with legal requirements — An essential part of your IT security control is compliance with legal, contractual, business, and regulatory requirements. ISO 27001 sets the necessary security controls to ensure compliance with other security guidelines such as GDRP (General Data Protection Regulation) and NIS (Network & Information Systems).

Ready to Simplify Your Cyber Security?

In summary, every organisation ought to have a cyber security strategy action plan to ensure reliable defence against cyber attacks and quick data recovery. By identifying your company’s critical data assets and taking steps toward IT security, you demonstrate a commitment to protecting customers’ data. This helps earn their trust and build your business’s reputation.

Companies should have an appointed manager in charge of incident responses to ensure timely decision-making and good communication. These executives will ensure proper role assignment and risk delegation to the personnel, so everyone knows what’s expected of them. Remember, good preparation is key.

Hopefully, this guide will be your stepping stone toward more efficient cybersecurity strategies. It is essential for ISO 27001 certification to be included in this strategy as it provides assurance via regular system reviews by an independent certification body such as GCC. This is the fastest way to protect digital assets and gain liability coverage. Check out Global Compliance Certification ISO 27001 certification services by visiting and take your first step to more efficient IT risk management.