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Data Security Management: Cybersecurity Best Practices for Information Security Governance

Updated: May 9

Information security governance serves as the cornerstone of an effective cybersecurity strategy, providing a framework for managing and protecting your sensitive and proprietary data assets. Let’s explore the fundamentals of information security governance, review critical parameters, and learn best practices to fortify your defenses against evolving cyber threats.

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The need for secure data storage is growing exponentially with organizations flooding cloud servers with new business information, millions of personnel and health records, research notes, proprietary project plans, schematics and other intellectual property, not to mention social media posting which opens to the door to a whole other realm of vulnerability.


So much data, yet so often, as we at Gold Comet have discovered, such inadequate protection.


Truly protecting your data requires a resilient approach to DSPM – data security posture management. Your DSPM program should do as exactly as the title says, govern your information security.


We are far beyond the days when simply installing an anti-virus program was a strong enough deterrent to system infiltration. Robust DSPM requires an understanding of the requirements for a secure system in today’s sophisticated technology environment and the implementation of best practices to maintain that system and mitigate breach.



Defining Information Security Governance


Information security governance refers to the overarching framework and processes that organizations implement to manage and protect their information assets. It encompasses policies, procedures, roles, responsibilities, and controls aimed at safeguarding data integrity, confidentiality, and availability. At its core, information security governance aligns business objectives with security goals, ensuring that security measures support and enhance organizational objectives while mitigating risks.



14 Critical Parameters in Information Security Governance


1. Cyber Security Certifications:

   Certifications such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) validate the expertise and competence of cybersecurity professionals. Organizations should invest in certified professionals to bolster their security posture and ensure compliance with industry standards.


2. Phishing Email:

   Phishing remains one of the most prevalent cyber threats, wherein attackers use deceptive emails to trick users into divulging sensitive information or installing malware. Robust email filtering solutions, user awareness training, and simulated phishing exercises are essential to mitigate the risks associated with phishing attacks.


3. CISO (Chief Information Security Officer):

   The CISO plays a pivotal role in overseeing the organization's cybersecurity strategy, aligning it with business objectives, and abating emerging threats. Establishing clear reporting lines and empowering the CISO with adequate authority and resources are crucial for effective information security governance.


4. Privileged Account/Access Management (PAM):

   Privileged accounts grant elevated access privileges and are prime targets for cyber attackers. Implementing robust privileged access management controls, such as regular access reviews, strong authentication mechanisms, and least privilege principles, helps mitigate the risk of unauthorized access and insider threats.


5. Information Security Certifications:

   Certifications like ISO 27001, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework provide internationally recognized frameworks for implementing comprehensive information security management systems (ISMS). Adhering to these standards enables organizations to establish a systematic approach to managing and securing sensitive information.


6. Network Security Key:

   Network security keys, such as encryption keys and access control lists, are essential components of network security. Employing strong encryption algorithms, regularly updating keys, and restricting access based on the principle of least privilege are vital for safeguarding network assets. For example, Gold Comet’s quantum-integrated solution employs patented 256-bit object level encryption which encrypts each individual data element, an exponentially more secure measure than the standard practice of encrypting an entire volume of data with one encryption key.


7. Cyber Security Information and Policy:

   Developing comprehensive cyber security policies that outline acceptable use, incident response procedures, data classification, and access control measures is imperative for effective information security governance. Regular policy reviews and updates ensure alignment with evolving threats and regulatory requirements.


8. Data Security Policy:

   Data security policies define the rules and procedures for protecting sensitive data throughout its lifecycle. Implementing encryption, data masking, and access controls, along with data classification and handling guidelines, mitigates the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.


9. Network and Information Security:

   Network security encompasses measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and secure configurations to safeguard network infrastructure from external threats. Combining network security with robust information security controls ensures comprehensive protection against cyber threats.


10. Insider Threats in Cybersecurity:

    Insider threats, whether intentional or unintentional, pose significant risks to organizational security. Ever heard of a “god account?” System administrators often have blanket access to all information and network processing, including access to or knowledge of user passwords and the ability to modify privacy controls and access permissions. As an insider with authorized access, a rogue administrator can damage the network and hide the evidence from detection.


Here again is an area Gold Comet’s solution has addressed:  Our patented platform prohibits god accounts and requires coordinated action among two or more administrators to complete certain network administration tasks. Implementing user activity monitoring, access controls, and behavioral analytics helps detect and mitigate insider threats before they escalate into security incidents.


11. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):

    Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two forms of authentication, typically a password and a one-time code sent to their mobile device. Implementing 2FA mitigates the risk of unauthorized access, especially in remote or cloud-based environments. Gold Comet’s solution employs multi-factor authentication (MFA).


12. Information Security Threats:

    Information security threats encompass a wide range of risks, including malware, ransomware, insider threats, and social engineering attacks. Conducting regular risk assessments, threat intelligence analysis, and vulnerability scanning enables organizations to proactively identify and mitigate emerging threats.


13. Incident Management Policy:

    An incident management policy outlines the procedures for detecting, reporting, and responding to security incidents effectively. Establishing a dedicated incident response team, defining escalation procedures, and conducting post-incident reviews enhance the organization's resilience to cyber threats.


14. Data Security Management:

    Data security management involves implementing controls and processes to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, disclosure, or alteration. Encryption, access controls, data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, and secure data disposal practices are integral components of data security management.



Best Practices for Implementing Resilient Cybersecurity Processes


Risk Assessment and Mitigation:

Conduct regular risk assessments to identify and prioritize potential threats and vulnerabilities. Develop mitigation strategies and allocate resources based on the risk levels to proactively address security gaps.


Continuous Monitoring and Threat Detection:

Implement robust monitoring tools and techniques to detect anomalous activities and potential security breaches in real-time. Employing intrusion detection systems, security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms enhances threat visibility and response capabilities.


Employee Training and Awareness:

Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices, including identifying phishing emails, safeguarding sensitive information, and adhering to security policies. Conduct regular training sessions and simulated phishing exercises to reinforce security awareness and promote a security-conscious culture.


Regular Audits and Compliance Checks:

Schedule and regularly conduct periodic audits and compliance checks to assess the effectiveness of security controls and ensure adherence to regulatory requirements. Address any non-compliance issues promptly and implement corrective actions to maintain a robust security posture.


Incident Response and Recovery Planning:

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines roles, responsibilities, and procedures for responding to security incidents. Conduct regular tabletop exercises and drills to test the effectiveness of the response plan and enhance incident response readiness.


To summarize, information security governance is essential for protecting your organizational assets from cyber threats and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures, you’ll mitigate risks, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain trust and credibility with your stakeholders. And by incorporating best practices such as employee training, continuous monitoring, and incident response planning, you can build resilience against evolving cyber threats.


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