One crucial cornerstone often underestimated in the wider conversation surrounding information security is the significant role played by strong governance. This blog post aims to unravel the often-understated significance of governance in maintaining a robust information security system for your business.
Delve into how an effective governance framework not only provides armour against potential threats but also embeds a culture of security that empowers everyone from top-level management to your individual employees to make security-conscious decisions. We’ll cover five compelling reasons for strong governance and also discuss the value of ISO 27001 certification in this context.
What Exactly Is IT Security Governance?
IT Security Governance is a subset of corporate governance that focuses on providing strategic direction, ensuring your company sets and achieves security objectives, manages prevalent risks/threats appropriately, and uses available resources (tools, personnel) efficiently. Consider governance as providing a structure of practices, procedures, and policies used to oversee and manage IT security.
IT Security Governance establishes clear lines of responsibility and accountability for information security throughout all levels of your business. Governance outlines who is responsible for what, where authority begins and ends, and how you should measure outcomes. Without the glue of effective governance in place, a cohesive and robust cybersecurity program is much harder to run.
Some key elements of IT security governance include:
● Strategic alignment: Ensuring that IT and security strategies align with, and support, business objectives.
● Risk management: Identifying, assessing, and managing the risks to IT and information assets.
● Resource management: Ensuring your company uses its IT and security resources efficiently and effectively.
● Performance measurement: Monitoring and reporting on IT and security performance to ensure that business objectives are achieved.
● Value delivery: Making sure that IT and security investments generate value for you.
These key elements of IT Security Governance establish the necessary structures that enable IT to operate effectively and securely.
ISO 27001 and Governance
To improve governance and address information security risks, your company can consider adopting and applying an information security policy and Information Security Management System (ISMS) that aligns with ISO27001 and is capable of receiving independent certification. This standard represents the only public framework for information security management that’s been developed independently.
Adherence to ISO27001 does not guarantee exemption from legal liabilities, but it does demonstrate a company’s commitment to employing best practices in IT governance. This commitment not only aids in carving out a competitive edge for your business but also serves as a way to strengthen defences against various identified threats.
Business Benefits of Good Security Governance
1.Establishes a Strategic Framework
Strong security governance sets the direction, scope, and speed at which your security initiatives should proceed. This strategic framework also aligns with your organization’s overall goals and objectives, which ensures that information security does not hinder business operations but rather supports them.
2. Improved Risk Management
Governance is key to effective risk management because it allows organizations to identify, assess, and respond to information security risks in a structured way. Governance sets the policies and procedures that determine how you prioritize and mitigate risks. This proactive approach helps organizations minimize the impact of security incidents and avoid costly data breaches.
3. Achieve Regulatory Compliance
Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is a critical aspect of information security, but it’s not exactly easy without a structured approach. And as society becomes increasingly digitized, there is more concern than ever about getting more laws and rules in place to ensure private data remains protected and away from prying eyes. Governance helps ensure that your company understands its obligations under laws like GDPR or HIPAA and takes the necessary steps to meet them. Compliance ensures you avoid hefty penalties, protect your company’s reputation, and maintain customer trust.
4. Better Resource Allocation
Solid governance in IT security is key to ensuring that you allocate and use available resources effectively and efficiently. By setting priorities and addressing risks systematically, governance helps to focus limited resources on the most important security issues. Good governance also helps your company track the effectiveness of its security spending, enabling it to adjust its resource allocation as needed. Without strong governance, companies often end up with security tool sprawl where they buy expensive point solutions without considering their overall use in the broader, birds’ eye context of prevalent risks.
5. Incident Response Planning
Effective governance helps you better plan for information security incidents. Governance establishes the procedures for identifying, reporting, and responding, all of which many companies still struggle to complete efficiently considering the average incident response engagement takes two to four weeks. The structure that good governance provides to your incident response process reduces the time to detect and respond to an incident, which limits both the damage and the cost of recovery. The clear communication structures and roles provided by good governance can be particularly important during a crisis.
Don’t Just Demand Good Governance from Within
As supply chain risks continue to grow and companies outsource some of their security functions to managed service providers, it’s vital to demand good governance from those outside your company that you do business with. Especially companies with access to your systems or data. Look for certifications like ISO 27001 to increase your confidence that your partners and vendors have strong IT security governance.
At DIESEC, all of our services are backed up with the reassurance of strong governance.
We’ve taken the steps to get ISO 27001 certified so that you can rest assured our pen testing, social engineering, and other services are underpinned by a coordinated approach to protecting systems and data.