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Best Practices in Information Security Management

May 19, 2022 / by Frederid Palacios

Information security is a critical component of any modern business, especially as cybersecurity threats grow more prevalent. That being said, it can be challenging for organizations to know where to start concerning their information security management. With so many options for security, how do you know which are the right fit for your organization's infrastructure and needs? Fortunately, we have accumulated the best and most universal information security practices so that your business can stay vigilant against cybersecurity threats. 

Data Privacy on Black-Golden Watch Face with Closeup View of Watch Mechanism.


1. Conduct a Risk Assessment


First and foremost, before you can begin implementing new security practices, you must take a moment to survey your organization’s current security status. Identifying any present security risks that your organization is facing is essential to eliminating these risks and fortifying the security of your ISMS. The best method to perform such an analysis is to conduct a risk assessment or internal audit

If your organization has achieved any information security certifications, it’s likely that you have already had to complete an internal audit. Even if you have yet to conduct one, it is never too late. Internal audits help organizations assess their current security status, identify any issues or risks, analyze security processes, determine the scope of their security, and more. 

Essentially, internal audits serve as a starting point for organizations to strengthen their security. After all, if you are not aware of your current risks, you can’t mitigate them. Once gaps in your security and other risks are identified, it is important to categorize them into levels of severity from low-risk to high-risk. Once this is done, you have a clear list of prioritized risks to address, significantly reducing threats to your ISMS. 


2. Continuous ISMS Monitoring


While identifying preexisting risks to your ISMS is critical, a more proactive approach is necessary for truly effective cybersecurity. Creating a secure information security infrastructure is not a one-and-done task but rather one that requires consistency. Cybersecurity threats are constantly rising, and if your organization is not proactive, they will penetrate the walls of your network. For this reason, continuous monitoring is vital to maintaining a robust and protected ISMS. 

Continuously monitoring your ISMS means that your organization is constantly aware of the current state of your ISMS, including maintenance, risks, and usage of your company’s network. Monitoring your ISMS allows your organization to be proactive about risks and updates, ensuring that your ISMS always performs as designed. This also ensures that you will not be caught off guard by any attempted breaches or hacks, giving you the time you need to defend your ISMS from unauthorized access. 


3. Perform Regular Backups


In addition to continuous monitoring, it is also vital that your organization perform regular data backups. Regular backups are the key to preserving sensitive data. Whether you experience a data breach or a simple misconfiguration, you could lose important and valuable data without frequent data backups. If this were to occur today, would your data be retrievable? If not, you need to perform backups more frequently. 

Performing regular backups is one of the most effective ways to recover quickly after a cybersecurity breach, in addition to retaining the trust of your clients. Fortunately, through automation, regular backups are not only possible but effortless! With an automatic backup cloud solution, organizations can rest assured that their information is safe and recoverable at no additional labor to their team members. As such, should an incident occur, they can recover quickly and resume business as usual. 


4. Staff Training


Often when we think of corporate information security, what comes to mind is external hackers actively breaking into a company’s network. While this occurs, more often than not, cybersecurity breaches occur due to cloud misconfigurations or internal human error. For this reason, staff training is a critical component of improving your organization’s information security management. 

When providing security training to your team members, it is important to educate them on what risks are present in your organization, why they constitute as risks, and what changes should be made to mitigate these risks. 

Discussing matters such as phishing attempts, proper authorization, and passwords may seem unnecessary but can work wonders to reduce significant risks in your organization. The more your team members understand your ISMS, the less likely they will contribute to unintentional data breaches. 


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5. Prioritize Privacy


Implementing proper security protocols is crucial for any organization, especially those with a remote or hybrid workforce. For companies with their workforce spread across a geographic region, security risks are heightened. 

For each team member working from home or on an insecure network, your organization faces the risk of a cybersecurity attack. As such, your workforce must understand the proper security protocols when working remotely to prioritize the privacy of your organization. Protocols may include:

  • Selecting secure passwords.
  • Implementing two-factor authentication.
  • Establishing a single point of contact.
  • Adopting advanced security tools on company-accessed devices.  


6. Employ a Zero-Trust Approach to Security


One security concept that is beneficial for organizations working from home, or otherwise, is the zero-trust security approach. Zero trust security is based on the belief that organizations should never automatically trust anything or anyone, whether inside or outside of their company. Instead, companies need to verify everything that tries to connect to their system before granting access. 

This practice significantly eliminates the risk of unknown and authorized users accessing your organization’s network, thus reducing the risk of cyberattacks and breaches. Combined with a wide range of preventive techniques, zero trust helps organizations to fortify their ISMS and reinforce their authorization practices. As a result, only permitted users can access the network and even specific data, significantly reducing information security risks. 


7. Outsource Your Security Needs


Managing your organization’s ISMS on top of their daily operations and processes can be difficult for an internal IT team to handle, especially if they don’t have specific information security experience. If this is the case, your IT team may be ill-equipped to handle this security revamp, resulting in inadequate protection and thus heightened risks. Fortunately, there is a way that your organization can obtain the high-level information security you need at no additional strain to your internal teams. 

By outsourcing your security needs to a managed service provider, you can conduct your business as usual while a team of security experts takes care of the more challenging and tedious projects. MSPs are not only highly experienced and trained in implementing these security practices, but they are available to you 24/7 year-round, ensuring that you always have the protection you need. 

For even more expert service, your organization can partner with an ISO 27001 certified MSP. The ISO 27001 certification is an internationally recognized certificate of information security standards. While the certification itself is an impressive achievement, it is the process of obtaining it that makes companies so remarkable. 

To become certified, organizations must undergo a lengthy internal audit process, in addition to risk analysis, staff training, thorough documentation, data classification, and more. Once the process is complete, the organization in question is significantly more fortified in its information security practices. As an MSP, with such training, they can help your organization achieve the same level of security, drastically reducing the risks of cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.


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Tags: Cyber Security

Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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