Information Security Governance Best Practices
Information security governance sounds like a corporate term buried deep in a 50-page human resources manual that nobody ever reads. However, blowing this term off as irrelevant can mean the difference between a company that gets hacked and suffers irreparable harm and one that comes out of the chaos with minimal damage.
The reason for such stark differences in outcomes is because information security governance is interwoven throughout the entire company rather than something left up to the IT team or executives. While an IT team implements the company's hardware and software along with any security protocols, security governance instructs them on what to implement, how it will be enforced, and what to do in the event of a security breach.
It isn't just the IT team that's under the watchful eye of security governance. All departments within the company must follow security protocols laid out by the board of directors and executive management team. There may also be a committee dedicated to security governance. These teams must ensure all of the following:
- Monthly review of security policy
- Update/revise security policy based on new threats
- Ensure security-related documents are up to date for employees
- Express that all employees, including management, are responsible for breach of security either by accident or malicious intent
- Department managers are responsible for defining acceptable levels of risk based on their operations and cost to the company in the event of any hack
- Use only verified software vendors
As you can see, security governance, when done right, knows no bounds. It reaches into every crack of the company and shines a light on its security flaws. This is not to show bad practices of any department but instead to bring them up to speed with current company security policy.
In addition, all departments are actively involved in following security procedures. While the IT team certainly plays a big role in implementing the security policy, they do not develop the security strategy in isolation. They are part of the committee that meets regularly to discuss the current security protocol and any updates it may need.
In the event the company is hacked, each department should know exactly what to do. Information will flow fast to the people who can help. The security governance committee, board of directors, and executive management will be informed immediately that there has been a breach. Because of protocols laid out by the committee, the breach will be contained as much as is possible by the affected department's employees.
A company without this type of preparedness have a worse outcome. In fact, it's common for employees to try and hide the breach if it is related to their incompetence or even if it was an accident. By the time IT, management, or anyone who can do something about the problem finds out, it has already spread and gotten out of control.
Specific to companies using communications software, there are strict security guidelines they must follow.
How Does it Work With CCaaS and VoIP Software?
Companies using security software, such as Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), have certain communications security protocols that they must follow to maintain the integrity of their customers' sensitive information. Encrypting voice calls and voicemails, controlling access to data, using SSL for data in transmission are a few ways companies can ensure their data is safe.
Choosing the right communications provider is another way to protect your business. Cloud communications providers vary in the services they provide. High-grade security is a specialty that not all cloud providers offer. Going with a provider that doesn't meet your security demands will put your customers' data at risk, no matter how good your security governance is.
Information security governance establishes a mandate for everyone in a company to follow for cybersecurity preparedness, and it's not isolated to one team in your business. All departments and employees must take responsibility when it comes to following security protocols, especially in the event that there is a security breach. Choosing a communications provider that offers high-grade security features will help ensure that customer data stays safe.
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