When it comes to strong cyber security it’s important to not only have the right technological tools in place, but also a dedicated team that is experienced and prepared to handle any incoming breach with the utmost precision. Assembling this team can involve choosing existing IT personnel to take on new roles, or it may require that you hire externally – depending on your current resources. In either case, there are certain guidelines that should be followed in order to ensure a smooth and effective implementation.
The first step in putting together a cyber security team is gaining a clear and accurate understanding of exactly what this group will be responsible for. This will help you further define each team member’s individual duties, who will handle what, which points of escalation will exist and how the group will work together. The more thought and preparation you put into this task, the better equipped your organization will be to prevent and address any and all incoming threats swiftly and effectively.
Successful cyber security teams will:
- Closely monitor all systems for breaches
- Consistently audit and assess existing strategies to identify any areas of potential vulnerability
- Stay abreast of and proactively prepare for emerging threats
- Research and evaluate new software options
- Conduct regular penetration testing
- Document all security incidents
- Develop and continuously improve on best practices for cyber security
- Serve is a central point of communication for both incoming reports of cyber security incidents as well as to disseminate critical information about security incidents to the appropriate parties
- Promote awareness across the entire organization about the critical importance of cyber security and how to proactively prevent incidents from occurring
- Continually hone and update current policies, procedures and systems to ensure maximum protection
Once you have a clear picture of what’s expected of your cyber security team, the next step involves getting them prepared and arming them with the resources they need to do their jobs most effectively. To accomplish this, you’ll need to begin by thoroughly training them on the location and proper use of existing cyber security tools that are currently in place within your organization. You’ll also need to facilitate access to critical data and any relevant information so that in the event of a potential threat, the situation can be handled without unnecessary (and costly) delays.
Your cyber security team should also be briefed on the appropriate notification and escalation policies. In other words, who is responsible for handling which tasks, who should be notified in the event of a legitimate security breach and which personnel will be tasked with making critical decisions. Having the right technology in place, such as an automated incident response strategy, can significantly improve in this area, as such a platform can provide a central point of communication and offer visibility for better ownership. It can also ensure that the right parties are always notified automatically to prevent costly bottlenecks and mitigate damages.
The cyber security team infrastructure will ultimately depend on the size and nature of your organization. Obviously, for smaller firms, there may be a good deal of shared duties and having a dedicated team may be more challenging. In these instances, automated incident response tools are especially helpful in bridging the gap and addressing areas of staff shortages. For larger enterprises, most cyber security teams are made up of at least the following key roles:
- Team Lead
- Incident Lead
- Associate Members (IT contacts, management, legal representative and/or PR specialist)
Once you’ve got your team in place and have outlined the roles as well as their duties and responsibilities, the last step is developing a documented strategy for managing the incident response process. We recently shared an article entitled The Best Way to Manage Your Company’s Cyber Security, which includes some helpful advice and best practices for establishing a solid defense against cyber-attacks.
Finally, make sure that the team you’ve assembled and the cyber security policy you have in place is adequately supported by the right technology. Today’s online criminals are far more sophisticated than those of the past, and their attacks are relentless. The only way to effectively protect your firm is to meet them where they’re at – essentially, fight fire with fire, by using tools like automated incident response.