Security Governance and How It Applies To Cloud Communications
With the rapid adoption of new technologies in all areas of business operations, organizations have become more vulnerable to IT security risks and cyber attacks.
A breach in security can impact a company's reputation, erode customers' trust, cause costly downtime, and lead to hefty penalties if the incidence is due to a failure to comply with industry standards.
Establishing a set security governance protocol to protect sensitive data is critical for businesses of any size. Here's what you need to know:
What's Security Governance?
Security governance refers to how organizations control, direct, and communicate their cybersecurity risk management activities. It's also known as information security governance or IT security governance.
The goal of security governance is to coordinate the security protocol within the entire organization and provide a framework of standards, processes, and activities to protect it against cyber attacks and data breaches.
Security governance involves taking inventory of an organization's information assets, as well as the development, implementation, and updating of policies, standards, and processes to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of such data.
Data classification, risk management, and risk analysis tools are used to identify threats and categorize assets so organizations can understand their vulnerabilities and implement the necessary security measures to protect sensitive information.
What's Covered By a Security Governance Protocol?
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a security governance protocol. The following factors could affect the design and implementation of security governance in an organization:
- The size and complexity of the organization.
- Resources available for implementation and ongoing oversight of the protocol.
- The nature of the business and the level of security required.
- External considerations such as regulatory compliance, legal or contractual obligations, and industry-specific requirements.
Regardless of the design, extent of coverage, and formality of the security governance protocol, it should follow these best practices:
- Associate security measures to the organization's business objectives and priorities.
- Develop a framework that fits into the organization's overall governance policy such that information security is integrated with other business priorities and protocols, such as health, safety, and financial governance.
- Specify individuals that are responsible for enforcing of the protocol at all levels.
- Ensure accountability while empowering responsible individuals with the authority and resources to implement the protocol.
- Create a feedback mechanism for ongoing updates and improvements.
When designing a security protocol, you should include the following components:
- A cybersecurity risk assessment that provides an overview of the security requirements of your organization.
- A cybersecurity strategy that encompasses people, process, technology, and compliance.
- An enterprise and security architecture framework that aligns with and supports the organization's business structure.
- A plan for regular security audit and intrusion testing.
- Compliance with industry regulations and security controls.
- A plan for backup, recovery, and continuity to ensure IT resilience so the organization can recover from incidences of all sizes with as little downtime and financial impact as possible.
Security Governance For Cloud Communication Technologies
While the extensive use of cloud communication technologies, such as VoIP, UCaaS, and CCaaS, has helped companies expand communication capabilities and enhance collaboration while reducing cost, it has also introduced a new breed of security concerns that needs to be addressed with an appropriate security governance protocol, which should cover the following:
- Authentication and identification, both at device and user level, to ensure proper access control.
- The use of VoIP security technologies such as signaling security to protect the data and media security to protect the actual content of the communications.
- Voice communication protection levels and corresponding protection goals, which can vary based on categories such as “for internal use only,” “confidential,” and “strictly confidential.”
- VoIP security technology mapping, which identifies the appropriate technologies for VoIP implementation based on the required protection level.
- The installation of VoIP-ready firewall, the use of anti-virus software, and the adoption of encryption protocols to deter eavesdropping and unauthorized access to sensitive information.
- Physical protection of VoIP components and hardware, which can also be points of unauthorized access.
Using the latest technologies can help you ahead of the curve in today's competitive business environment. It's important to ensure that the proper security protocols are put in place so you can protect the safety of sensitive information and minimize the risks associated with data breaches.
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