Information Security Governance
16
Apr

What Is Information Security Governance and Why Is It Important?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cyberattacks and threats are among the most vital concerns which affect most organizations worldwide. There is visibly an increase in the number of cyberattacks, and vast volumes of confidential and sensitive data have been compromised as a result. Cybersecurity has often been a misconception being viewed only as a technical problem, but the actual solution is entirely dependent upon good information security governance. Information security governance is the process of how organizations monitor, handles, and controls Information security.

What Is Information Security Governance?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines information security governance as “involvement and maintenance of framework to assure that information security strategies support business objectives and are consistent with applicable laws and regulations through adherence to policies and internal controls, and provide assignment of responsibility, all to manage risk”.

What Is Information Security Governance

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It can be classified as Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), where Governance is responsible for maintaining and managing IT operations that support the goals of the business; Risk ensures that any risk associated is identified and resolved with no or minimal damages caused; and Compliance which ensures that the activities comply to the laws and regulations impacting the system and also that resources and data are used and handled securely.

Information Security Governance vs. Information Security Management

It is essential to understand the difference between information security governance and information security management. Information security management deals with the decisions related to mitigating risks, decision making and recommends security strategies. In contrast, information security governance deals with the accountability framework. It ensures that risks are mitigated and ensures that the security strategies recommended by the security management are associated with the business objectives. Information security governance consists of good risk management, comprehensive testing and training, reporting controls, and accurate accountability to achieve the organization’s cybersecurity goals. A good governance plan helps transform an organization’s security aspects and can result in the following:

  • Organized and prioritized utilization of all the resources (time, money, efforts, etc.).
  • Good concession in terms of information security policies of the organization. Lower uncertainty rate.
  • Decision making based on structure rather than opinions.
  • Transparency in terms of accountability and improvised information protection methods.
  • Ample resources in terms of due diligence conducted by the organization leading to a better notion when challenged with legal consequences.

To have exceptional information security governance, it must be supported with an exponential framework. The framework should be able to support and safeguard the organization from the constantly evolving cyber threats.

The framework is established to deliver the following goals:

  1. Familiarise with the various cybersecurity approaches and deliver a common language.
  2. Build an enhanced level of cybersecurity that fulfills the organization’s needs.
  3. Plan and allocate sufficient funds for the implementation of the framework.

Implementation of Information Security Governance

Information security governance implementation is based on the framework formed by the organization. The framework is a recognized policy, which is the base foundation on which information security governance is built. It helps in the detection, identification, and mitigate cyberattacks.

Implementation of Information Security Governance

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The core structure of the framework consists of the following:

  1. Identification: Identifying the most critical functions of the business, identifying the resources necessary for the working of the functions, which cyber threats can be associated with the functions.
  2. Protection: The organization should contain the threats and their impacts from increasing, which can be achieved by implementing cybersecurity safeguards and security.
  3. Detection: Detection of cyber threats or incidents before they could affect the organization can be achieved by deploying detecting and monitoring controls.
  4. Response: Responding to a cyberattack incident by minimizing the impact of the damage and resolving it simultaneously.
  5. Recovery: The ability to recover and restore after an incident has occurred and resolve can be achieved by good recovery planning and resilience capability.

To be able to implement an information security governance strategy, the following practices should be followed:

  • An information security policy should be developed, consisting of all the critical and necessary functions covering all the cybersecurity areas. Security activities should be administered based on the requirements, encompassing regulatory laws, policies, etc.
  • Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined for every personnel based on the organizational policies. The senior managers should establish the foundation of the framework.
  • Employees of all levels of management should be adequately trained to carry out the appropriate roles and responsibilities. Employees should be held accountable for their actions they do related to information security.
  • Information security should be a part of all the other management levels of the organization. The policies and procedures should be discussed with the shareholders of the organization for a successful implementation.
  • Security policies should be constantly updated by the senior officers concerning the growing number of threats to maintaining security.
  • A well-planned development lifecycle is adopted. It develops specific metrics which are tracked and reported to the higher officials in regular intervals of time.

Information Security Governance Management

Information Security Governance Management has many aspects which result in efficient and adequate management. The following are the steps followed to manage and maintain security governance:

  • Take a risk-based approach: decisions made concerning security are made based on risk. Organizations should incorporate information security risk management with the corporate risk model.
  • Establish the direction of investment decisions: Identifying and establishing the right investment plan is very much essential. Management must ensure that security is incorporated with the organization’s current processes.
  • Ensure compliance with internal as well external requirements: ISG must incorporate relevant laws and policies. A risk-based security program should pursue new rules and procedures without a doubt that General Data Protection Act (GPL) would provoke the organizations that do not have a security program.
  • Promote a positive security environment: It is essential to create awareness among the employees about why is Security Governance critical and how to maintain it. The organization can organize security training programs to create awareness and train the employees for the same.
  • Performance analysis: Analysis of the information security performance should be monitored regularly and analyzed to ensure that they do not go against the organization’s rules and policies. With regular updates of security policies, a secure environment is established.

Information Security Governance Maintenance

It is essential to maintain information security governance. The base guidelines are constructed based on the company’s laws and regulations and incorporate a mitigation plan in case a cyberattack is encountered. Information security is an indispensable aspect for an organization, and hence it is vital to have a proper security governing strategy. Security governance of an organization is maintained in the following ways:

  • Understanding the necessity of the of information security governance
  • Addressing the threats and risks with the appropriate mitigation plans
  • Ensuring coordination between the various levels of management
  • Ensuring the standards are based on the organization’s needs.
  • Senior officers, like CISO officers, should monitor and plan security policies based on the previous observations made.
  • Organizations should ensure that legal measures and considered and incorporated at all times.
  • Risk assessments of a cyber threat should be evaluated and analyzed by the CISO officer to ensure security.

Information security governance is an important aspect that needs constant evaluation and monitoring to protect the organization from cyberattacks. Governance elaborates the accountability framework, which is responsible for mitigating the risks caused. Information security governance is monitored by the organization’s CISO officer and is responsible for assisting, developing, reviewing, and organizing security policies. It is essential to have successful security governance to protect the organization’s data against external or internal threats. To handle the security governance and monitor and find accurate mitigation plans, one must be a trained CISO officer. Many certification courses can be opted to become a trained CISO officer. One such course is the EC-Councils Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO), which offers an extensive in-depth course about the roles and responsibilities of a CISO.

Become a Certified Chief Information Security Officer now!

References

  1. https://blog.eccouncil.org/what-is-ciso-roles-responsibility-career-salary-and-requirement-for-becoming-ciso/
  2. https://ermprotect.com/blog/information-security-governance/
  3. https://www.cio.com/article/3206607/what-is-grc-and-why-do-you-need-it.html.
  4. https://www.educause.edu/focus-areas-and-initiatives/policy-and-security/cybersecurity-program/resources/information-security-guide/toolkits/information-security-governance#InformationSecurityGovernance-org
  5. https://www.cybersec-news.com/data-privacy-and-risk-management/information-security-governance

FAQs

What is information security governance?
SHow is information security governance implemented?
Information security governance implementation is based on the framework formed by the organization. The framework is a recognized policy, which is the base foundation on which information security governance is built. It helps in the detection, identification, and mitigate cyberattacks.

Read more: What Is Governance Risk Management and Compliance?

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