Cybersecurity Compliance 101
Cybersecurity compliance is a growing area of concern for many businesses. It is important that your business is aware of the requirements and has a plan in place to achieve compliance.
Cybersecurity compliance involves the following:
- Conducting risk assessments on your business, including the risks posed by external threats, such as viruses and malware, and internal threats such as insider misuse of confidential information.
- Creating an incident response team that can respond quickly to any incident. They should also be trained in how to respond to cyberattacks.
- Implementing an intrusion detection system that monitors the network and email traffic for unauthorized activity like a DMARC analyzer.
- Developing a strong cybersecurity strategy that includes best practices for developing security controls and training employees on how to use them correctly and how to stop online fraud.
What Is Cybersecurity Compliance?
Cybersecurity compliance is a set of standards that companies and organizations must follow in order to be considered “compliant.” These standards can vary depending on the type of entity or organization, but they generally include policies, procedures, and controls that ensure that a company is protecting itself from cyberattacks.
For example, if your organization uses emails as a mode of communication you need to implement email security and authentication protocols like DMARC to secure your email transactions and verify sending sources. A lack thereof can make your domain vulnerable to domain spoofing, phishing attacks, and ransomware.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your company is to make sure that your cybersecurity practices are up to snuff. You can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity violations—they’re the easiest way for hackers to get into your network and cause you serious harm.
But what is cybersecurity compliance, exactly?
Cybersecurity compliance is a set of best practices that companies use in their daily operations to ensure that they’re protecting themselves from cyber attacks. These best practices include:
- Maintaining a secure network
- Keeping systems patched and updated with security patches
- Safeguarding customer information and data
- Safeguarding your own data and email commmunications
Where to start with your Cybersecurity Compliance?
The first step in achieving cybersecurity compliance is to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.
What are your goals? What are the specific expectations of the organization or individual who is managing your cybersecurity compliance? Is it for the business itself, or is it for an outside entity that could be a government agency, an organization like the NSA, or even a third-party vendor?
If it’s for the business itself, then you’ll need to understand how your organization operates and how it interacts with other entities. You’ll also want to know what kind of data they are collecting and where they’re storing it. And if they’re using cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, or Oracle Cloud Platform (OCP), then you’ll need to find out if there are any security controls in place around those services.
If you’re working with an outside entity like a government agency or third-party vendor, then you’ll want to make sure that they have a good understanding of both your organization and its needs as well as their own process for monitoring and responding to threats. You’ll also want them to be familiar with the types of attacks that could happen against your company’s systems and how.
Cybersecurity Compliance Strategy: A Plan in Action
Let’s start with the basics: You need to keep your email system secure. That means password-protecting your email, even if it’s just a single password for your entire system. And you need to make sure that any external services that send or receive emails from your organization are also secure—and have the same password requirements as your internal systems.
Your company’s email system is a critical part of your business. It’s how you connect with prospects, customers, and employees—and how you send out important updates and announcements.
But it’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your company.
So if you want to make sure your emails stay private and safe from hackers, cybersecurity compliance is a must. Here are some tips for making sure your emails are up-to-date on cybersecurity compliance:
- Make sure you’re using encryption (SSL) when sending sensitive information through email. This helps ensure that no one can intercept or read what’s being sent between your computer and the intended recipient’s device.
- Set up password policies so that all users have unique passwords that are changed regularly, and never used in any other service or application on the same account or device as the email service provider (ESP).
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible so that only authorized people can access accounts with 2FA enabled—and even then only if they’ve been granted access before by someone else with 2FA already enabled
- Secure your email domain against spoofing, phishing, ransomware, and more by implementing email authentication protocols like DMARC, SPF, and DKIM
- Secure your emails in transit from the prying eyes of a man-in-the-middle attacker by enforcing a TLS-encrypted email transaction with the help of MTA-STS
The importance of Cybersecurity Compliance
There are many ways a company can be non-compliant with cybersecurity. For example, if your company has an outdated firewall, it’s possible that hackers could use your system as a waypoint for their malware attacks. Or if your network is not protected by two-factor authentication, you could be at risk of having your website hacked. Or if your emails are not authenticated, it can pave the way for spoofing attacks and phishing.
It’s important to note that compliance does not protect against all types of threat vectors. Cybersecurity solutions can help organizations prevent hackers from accessing their networks, preventing theft of intellectual property, protecting physical assets like computers and servers, preventing malware infections that may restrict access to critical systems or information, detecting fraud on online payment transactions and stopping other cyberattacks before they happen.
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