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4 Winning Behaviors of an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybersecurity strategies for business are traditionally cyclical multi-year plans measuring capability with risk determination models based on known threats, risks, and impacts. But how adaptive and forward thinking is your strategy? Does your risk response account for evolving threats?

Organizations are often moving toward a peer benchmark for maturity, and in many cases playing catch up due to scaling challenges, which makes it difficult to reach proactive or predictive postures. Implementing effective cybersecurity strategies becomes ever more challenging for many companies given dynamic threat landscapes, rigid change processes, and the worldwide industrialization of hacking by determined actors with advanced capabilities.

Cyber threat vectors change more frequently—recently demonstrating 12-24 month shifts—requiring organizations to develop new automated tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). We can expect the volume, velocity, and variation intensity to increase. We also expect future predictions for cyber threats to occur as foreseen and usually on schedule. Adaptability is essential, making it vital to maintain flexibility in budgeting and execution.

With these realities, here are four winning behaviors that organizations can employ to build effective, proactive, and predictive cybersecurity strategies.

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  1. Practice foresight, not hindsight that barely catches you up, and prepare for sophisticated and methodical adversaries. Anticipate their reconnaissance and surveillance of your systems, and don't be predictable in your business, IT, and security processes. Your adversaries understand our industries, IT and business processes, payment processes, data stores, technology, and security tools, and have industry blueprints that allow them to dissect our IT environments, blend into the processes, and infiltrate/exfiltrate without notice. Their attack signatures and behaviors will be less detectable as they circumvent signature-based controls.
  2. Adopt modern approaches and technologies designed to combat advancing threats. Tap the resources and expertise of cybersecurity technology companies and consultancies, who are investing huge sums of money to develop machine learning, integration, and automation technologies, and leveraging expertise to create strategies for implementation and return on investment.
  3. Embrace security budget flexibility outside of the annual process, which would expedite threat response to imminent cybersecurity dangers and exposures. Adopt a security approval process to streamline funding approvals to meet fiduciary responsibilities to customers and shareholders.
  4. Galvanize executive support and foster a culture of security excellence. Focus on achievements, and formally recognize leaders and teams that drive improvements. Doing so strengthens everyone's skillset and an organization's commitment to quality.