A cybersecurity strategy is a high-level plan for how your organisation or country will secure its assets during the next three to five years. The rapid change in technology means that these days you end up revising it due to the dynamic nature of threats and technology.
One example of a public strategy is the UK Cyber defence strategy. It is a multifaceted plan focused on strengthening UK Cyber defences and shaping a more secure cyberspace globally.
Below are the key focus areas:
Vision and aims
Its vision is to ensure core government functions, are resilient to cyber attacks, solidifying the UK as a sovereign nation and responsible cyber power. This vision is complicated by the various private companies that are responsible to delivering key infrastructure and services.
One of the key aims is to significantly harden critical government functions against attacks by 2025, and make all public sector organisations resilient to known vulnerabilities by 2030.
The strategy revolves around five strategic pillars:
- Defending the UK: Bolstering national cyber security capabilities, including offensive and defensive operations, threat intelligence, and incident response.
- Investing in people and skills: Building a diverse and skilled cyber workforce, enhancing public awareness, and encouraging ethical cyber practices.
- Leading the global response: Strengthening international partnerships, promoting a secure and open cyberspace, and disrupting malicious actors.
- Empowering business and the public sector: Assisting businesses and public organisations in improving their cyber resilience, encouraging innovation, and fostering collaboration.
- Shaping the future of cyberspace: Advocating for responsible norms and regulations, promoting technological solutions, and addressing emerging threats.
The strategy outlines numerous initiatives to achieve these goals, including:
Establishing a cross-government program to address priority areas.
Creating an Office of Cyber Security (OCS) for strategic leadership and coherence.
Setting up a Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) for centralised monitoring and response.
Investing in critical national infrastructure protection.
Promoting research and development in cyber security technologies.
Launching public awareness campaigns to educate individuals and businesses.
Overall, the UK’s cyber defense strategy demonstrates a comprehensive and proactive approach to tackling the complex challenges of cyber threats. It aims to not only protect the UK’s own interests but also contribute to a more secure and stable cyberspace for all.
How organisations should define their strategy
Crafting a solid cybersecurity strategy requires careful planning and consideration. Below is an easy-to-follow process to help you define your strategy.
Assess your risk
Conduct a risk assessment this should enable you to Identify your assets and determine which g systems are critical to business success. You can understand your security posture, and evaluate your threats and risk tolerance.
Define clear and specific goals
Establish priorities: Focus on protecting your most critical assets and data.
Set measurable goals: Define metrics to track the effectiveness of your strategy. There is a saying in security which is funny – quantified security is no security which stems from poor metrics that people chase and yet provide little to no security benefits so its key to ensure that metrics are well defined.
Ensure that there is alignment between cybersecurity strategy with business objectives. It can be good to align to established frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27001, or CIS Controls for guidance. Create a roadmap that allows you to see and measure progress towards the relevant goal.
Implement and monitor
Develop a clear action plan: Assign roles and responsibilities for implementing the strategy.
Invest in necessary tools and technologies: Utilise security tools to monitor systems and detect threats.
Train and educate employees: Foster a culture of awareness and responsible cybersecurity practices and most importantly good cyber hygiene.
Review and update
Regularly review and update: Continuously monitor your strategy’s effectiveness and adapt to evolving threats.
Track progress on your roadmap to ensure that key milestones are reached and when missed reprioritisation is done.
Support the strategy
Get buy-in from stakeholders, particularly senior stakeholders: Involve leadership and employees in the process to ensure commitment.
Communicate effectively: Share your strategy and its key principles with all levels of the organisation.
National Cyber Strategy 2022: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-cyber-security-strategy-2022-to-2030
Government Cyber Security Strategy 2022-2030: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a78a991ed915d04220645e2/uk-cyber-security-strategy-final.pdf
National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC): https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/