How to Write a Winning Cybersecurity Strategy for a Data Center
Imagine you have been asked to guard a pile of cash. How would you go about protecting it – leave it out in the open or place it in a hidden safe?
Obviously, the second option sounds better.
The same choice basically applies to data centers. They contain valuable resources that need the best protection. That’s why more companies put protection policies in writing to ensure maximum compliance.
In this article, you’ll learn how to write a comprehensive data center cybersecurity strategy, ready to be shared with everyone in your organization.
1. Identify Cybersecurity Standards
Many businesses have a hard time with where to start and focus their cybersecurity strategies. One of the reasons for that is a lack of or poor awareness of the current cybersecurity standards, procedures, and policies.
Standards like ISO 27001, HIPAA, and those by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are a good point to start building your document around. Research those standards and choose one to use. Better have an IT person with you to explain technical concepts.
For example, ISO 27001 is a widely used standard for information security that ensures:
- Proper assessment and management of data security risks and threats
- Consistent reinforcement of physical security standards
- Regular test and audit of data center security.
Having an ISO 27001 or other data center certifications demonstrates your company’s commitment to compliance with the latest contractual and regulatory data security standards. Adopting such a standard means having a comprehensive strategy for protecting data security.
That’s why you can choose to adopt a data center cybersecurity standard like ISO 27001 and use your strategy document as a way to share its requirements with your personnel.
Expert Review: Why ISO 27001 is a Must for Financial Organizations, by Albert A. Ahdoot, Director of Business Development at Colocation America.
Having an ISO 27001 or other data center certifications demonstrates your company’s commitment to compliance with the latest contractual and regulatory data security standards. #ISO #Cybersecurity #Strategy Click To Tweet
2. Describe the Threat Landscape
Before writing your strategy, you need to research the so-called “threat landscape.” Put simply, it’s the environment in which your business operates, which also includes cyberthreats.
Every company or organization with a data center needs to do this analysis. Especially the ones in the middle of IT transformation but lacking proper data security knowledge; for example, with classrooms becoming increasingly technological, educational institutions need to assess their risks associated with storing student data.
So, the threat landscape includes the analysis of:
- Your customers and threats that might occur during processes involving the data center
- Your products or services and potential cybersecurity issues they might be vulnerable to (or already are)
- The history of cyber threats that affected your data center and the entire organization
- People who might benefit from attacking and undermining your data center’s security.
Also, consider doing some research about your competitors’ threat landscape, too. Check what threats they faced and what data center security issues they had in the past. It’s possible that your company might face the same issues, so it’s better to learn from the experiences of others.
3. Consider a Zero Trust Policy
Zero Trust is a policy that protects a company’s data from cybersecurity threats and breaches by establishing strict identity verification standards for everyone accessing data center resources.
No one is trusted by default. Under this policy, not even the CEO has any data access privileges when accessing data. Everyone has to go through the process of verification – be it a multi-factor authentication or micro-segmentation – so no exceptions are made.
Here’s an example of a security architecture with Zero Trust policy enforced by Policy Administrator. As you can see, this stakeholder grants access to all users on the network.
Zero Trust is a policy that protects a company’s data from cybersecurity threats and breaches by establishing strict identity verification standards for everyone accessing data center resources. #ZeroTrust #Cybersecurity Click To Tweet
Zero Trust makes perfect sense for data centers. When a business colocates with a data center, only selected employees need access to its resources.
You can also restrict the access for those selected employees, using the “least privilege” principle. It states that users’ access rights should be restricted to the data they need to do their job, only during business hours.
When writing about Zero Trust in your cybersecurity strategy, make it clear that it’s a policy, not a technology. Data security standards and tools are the means for supporting Zero Trust, so there’s no single method for implementing it.
4. Evaluate Your Organization’s Security Maturity Level
The security maturity level defines how well a company adheres to the latest cybersecurity practices and standards. This is an important section to add to your strategy because it can help with finding more opportunities for data security advancement.
The security maturity level is a part of the Security Maturity Model, which has five levels indicating how well an organization implements and optimizes cybersecurity processes.
These five levels are:
- Data security-related processes are random, unorganized, and ad-hoc. The success of these projects heavily depends on individual efforts and knowledge of people implementing them
- Repeatable. The metrics and basic standards for completing and managing the processes are in place. Yet, the performance assessment and feedback on those processes is very limited and often unusable
- Defined. Processes are well-described, understood, and acknowledged as important business procedures
- Managed. Specially assigned persons collect feedback and direct it to a special team in charge of measuring, controlling, and responding to security issues
- Optimizing. The processes are well-optimized, and the management works on evaluating them and optimizing them further.
You might have an idea of where your business stands in terms of data security maturity. But if you need to determine the level of your company, check this.
|Indicators||Security Maturity Level|
|– Everyone treats cybersecurity as a problem that IT folks should deal with|
– the cybersecurity is very underfunded and understaffed
– basic data security processes.
|– many data security-related improvements are considered and funded|
– some processes are reported to the management
– some monitoring security processes are in place.
|– there’s someone in charge of cybersecurity|
– there are some capabilities for detection of cybersecurity issues and response to them
– the cybersecurity team has autonomy from the IT department
– there’s an essential cybersecurity incident response plan.
|– the company identifies and responds to cyberthreats|
– the processes are automated and integrated with other organizational procedures
– some threats are seen early
|– the organization can withstand serious cybersecurity problems and extreme attacks|
– cybersecurity is a major part of the organizational culture
– there’s a large cybersecurity department reporting directly to the top management.
Keep in mind advancing to a higher level also means increasing your cybersecurity budget. Take a look at this guide to know how to plan it properly and save maximum costs.
With cybersecurity becoming a day-to-day struggle, there’s never enough security measures you can implement. A clear, documented strategy for protecting your data center is a major measure because it establishes standards and outlines actions in case any issues occur.
Choosing a reliable data center hosting provider with the highest level of compliance and security is the first step to make the strategy work.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea of where to start writing a strategy for your business. Let your data be safe!
With cybersecurity becoming a day-to-day struggle, there’s never enough security measures you can implement. A clear, documented strategy for protecting your data center is a major measure because it establishes standards and outlines… Click To Tweet
Dorian Martin is a content writing specialist working at best paper writing service. He is an author of numerous guides on copywriting and blogging for business for small businesses. He spends his free time trying to catch new trends in content writing and SEO.