The Magnificent Seven Components of a Solid Cyber Defence Plan

The expanded threat surface and the advanced capabilities of cybercriminals are threatening the success of digital transformation. Cybersecurity and risk management have become an essential component of business continuity and overall resilience. Businesses are fighting a daily battle to keep attackers out of their systems and data. The only way to achieve that is to have a solid cyber defence plan which will act as a deterrent.

Just like intruder alarms deter thieves from breaking into our homes, a cyber defence plan is about being a tougher nut to crack than the criminals are willing to deal with. Cybercriminals are always seeking the easiest way into business networks. If they think that the ROI of trying to infiltrate your network is low, they will seek other businesses which may have weaker defences.

The 7 components of your cyber defence plan

Having a well-defined and concise plan is the alpha and the omega to any project. Security stakeholders and executives must make sure they understand what elements need to be protected, why they have value to the business, and why they would have value to threat actors.

Businesses need to consider the following seven components when building their cyber defence plan.


1.    Gain clear visibility of your environment

If you don’t know your assets and resources, you can’t protect them. Identify and classify all your data and assets that are valuable not only to your business but also to threat actors. Intellectual property, personal data, medical records, financial information, credentials are valuable for criminals. In addition, you should identify all your blind spots and insecure endpoints which threat actors can exploit to gain access to your systems.


2.    Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility

Cybersecurity is no longer a task of the IT department. Everyone must adhere to cyber hygiene best practices. This is even more important as employees will continue to work from anywhere. Establish and enforce robust authentication policies and methods, vulnerability and patch management processes, and keep all your systems up to date to mitigate known risks.


3.    Adapt your security to your threats

As the threat landscape evolves, so should your security controls and policies. Leverage actionable threat intelligence to gain insights on threats to your business environment and apply it to evolve your security posture.


4.    Build detection and response

Remember that there is no 100% bulletproof solution, so prepare for the worst-case scenario and build capabilities to detect and respond to threats to your systems.


5.    Build a risk-based decision-making process

With cyber-risks threatening business operations, it is important that all decisions are informed based on risk mitigation and reduction. Cyber risk management should be integrated across all departments.


6.    Empower your employees

Traditional training for simply raising awareness is not sufficient. Instead, you should focus on building the security skillset of all your employees and promote a cybersecurity culture.


7.    Practice, practice, and learn from your mistakes

Make frequent drills of your security plan. Track down mistakes made and learn from these. It is much better to make mistakes during an internal drill, than letting your adversary discover those security holes.

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