5 Tips for Guiding Your Clients in Developing an IT Security Strategy

In recent years, you have likely seen an in demand for Security as organizations and workforces evolve in accordance to current events and new working environments. As a company’s workforce grows, CISOs and CIOs know they need upgraded Security solutions to protect their organizations from threats. This is where you come in as a Trusted Advisor. However, it’s not where your job should end. To truly establish your brand as an expert guide in Security, you can’t simply help your customers find the right solution and then call it a day. Clients now need additional support in creating a true IT Security strategy. If you can provide that assistance, you’ll guarantee they continue working with your brand to upgrade their organization’s technology.

So, now that an up-to-date Security solution has been implemented at a client’s organization, what are your next steps? The solution is a great start. However, it needs to be part of an overall strategy that explores how to identify risks, protect against cyberattacks, and respond if an attacker manages to get through. Though it seems extensive, the framework of a Security strategy is simple as well as effective. But if the organization you’re working with hasn’t taken any proactive steps to develop a Security strategy, they’re not alone. According to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, which surveyed more than 550 US IT and IT Security practitioners, 69% of respondents said their company’s approach is “reactive and incident driven.” Acknowledging the need and working to develop an IT Security strategy already puts an organization on the right track to success.

But first, what is a Security strategy?

A Security strategy is a preparatory framework that an organization can implement whose main purpose is to protect the organization from potential threats. A successful strategy should pinpoint and align Security goals with actionable steps to execute those goals. It should also work in unified harmony with any existing or incoming Security products and services. This can help achieve full protection across the organization. Keep reading for helpful tips to offer clients while guiding them through their Security strategy.

Don’t Start from Scratch

Organizations who attempt to build their Security strategy without already-existing frameworks are just making things more difficult for themselves. As your customers embark on the development of their strategy, point them toward existing frameworks that can be a helpful guide for them to build off of. CIS Controls, ISO, and NIST are the three most common Security frameworks. These are great jumping-off points to help your customers get started on their own strategies.

Consider Your Company’s Assets and Legal Needs

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. No two companies are the same, and therefore, their Security strategy shouldn’t be either. Remind your customers that they don’t have to set up a framework that protects everything. In fact, attempting to do so would likely be fruitless. This would likely only result in a strategy stretched too thin to successfully protect much of anything. Instead, start with the compliance standards they’re obligated to follow, as well as what assets they most want to protect. These can usually be identified by examining how the organization generates revenue and what could disrupt that. Lost or corrupted data are two examples of disruptors.

Encourage Buy-In

It’s not enough to simply create or even implement a Security strategy if your workforce isn’t on board. As you help a customer develop their strategy, encourage them to bring in members of the team that may be outside of IT, even if they’re not familiar with Security. Each department in the organization should have its own specific plans in place to identify, protect, and respond to threats. Bringing in stakeholders from the departments early on can help ensure ultimate success. The individuals in each department know the technology and software they’re using to complete their day-to-day tasks better than most outside employees, so allowing them to carve out what their specific strategy will look like will be more successful than someone attempting to do so with an external perspective. Plus, this helps inspire early adoption of the Security strategy. Departments can own their own frameworks, giving them a larger stake in its success.

Regularly Examine and Update Your Strategy

The study from Ponemon Institute also found that 40% of its respondents don’t track or measure their company’s IT security posture. This is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make while executing their Security strategy. To develop and implement is one thing, but Security is a constantly evolving technology. As cyberattackers get more mature, your customer’s strategy must grow and evolve as well. Consider setting up a regular check-in with your Security customers. Use these times to see if they need guidance or support in updating their strategy in accordance with changes to the Security landscape.

Emphasize Visibility

What good is a Security strategy if a company’s workforce is neither aware of it nor correctly following it? Emphasize visibility throughout your customer’s organization. They can send out regular updates on their Security strategy progress, as well as helpful aids like this Security term explainer, which can bring unfamiliar employees up to speed with the importance of a Security strategy. It’s also helpful to make connections to demonstrate this importance. For example, in 2021, the average ransomware payment was $572,000. Helping quantify the impact a Security breach could have on an organization can lead to better adoption of good Security practices.

As a Trusted Advisor to your clients, you know the importance of not only finding the right Security solution to meet their goals and keep them protected from threats but following it with an effective Security strategy that takes into account their unique business model and needs. Use these tips to guide your customers as they upgrade their Security framework. Plus, don’t forget to connect with AVANT, your number one resource for Security opportunities! We are here every step of the way to help you find, guide, and close even bigger and better deals, to power your business forward.