10 Steps to Improving Your Cybersecurity Performance

2021-10-07

10 Steps to Improving Your Cybersecurity Performance

What are cybersecurity goals?

Is it the measurement of number of users and corresponding results compared to the number of password resets? Good cybersecurity is highly valued, but it can also be difficult to achieve for many organizations.

The key to good cybersecurity is consistency. Anyone can be the next target by cybercriminals, but a high-performing cybersecurity team can meet the future threats through different sets of cybersecurity tools in combination with a will balanced cybersecurity education and awareness program.

 

1. Start with the right mindset and strategy

Your mindset how you approach cybersecurity can greatly impact the outcome. If you don’t think you will be successful, you will be right. It usually takes several years to increase your cybersecurity awareness and you will achieve it with increased cybersecurity know-how inside your organization. If you aren’t there yet, try creating an annual cybersecurity-strategy-plan

Your strategy should include a vision board where you assemble pictures and phrases of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. It helps you remember the WHY your organization needs to take cybersecurity seriously and it is a powerful exercise for visualizing success.

2. Improve your cybersecurity with an emphasis on your vertical market

The level of understanding you have in regards to how your business runs, gives you credibility and trust when you are positioning your product or services. When you’re looking to improve your cybersecurity performance, strengthening your cybersecurity mindset (specifically in the vertical market you are in) is critical.

Ciptor ITSAFE Cyber security Expert Tobias Gurtner says:

"You need to understand how critical your cyber defense is for your business before you can set your business goals. As a decison maker for your companies Cybersecurity, the key to success is to understand how hackers are approaching their targets, what their intentions are, and how you can accommodate and fit your cybersecurity strategy into that."

You can take small steps to improve your cybersecurity each day. Try reading credible cybersecurity publications or digging into relevant reports for deeper understanding.

3. Get organized

One of the biggest factors in cybersecurity is ensuring you are focused on the right task at the right time. Chances are if you don’t allocate time to complete work (such as putting it on your strategy) it’s unlikely to happen.

If organising isn’t your strong suit, get help quickly. Ask an organized cybersecurity team member to walk you through their workflow to give you some ideas. If you are spending mental capacity trying to juggle too many priorities, such as resetting passwords or adding users to all web and mobile applications your organization are using, it will be hard to focus on your cybersecurity goals, which can hinder your overall performance.

4. Review your role and position

As a cybersecurity leader you are assigned with a budget and activity metrics that will help your business to achieve their overall goals. Some organizations publish these numbers so CIO’s can compare their budget with high performers. Reading the data and incorporating it into daily activity is key.

Ciptor ITSAFE Cybersecurity Expert Mikael Zaman Rodin, offers this advice:

"Understand what your ‘cybersecurity macros’ are. Most people are familiar with macros, or macronutrients, in the context of healthy eating. In that instance, you track how many carbs, proteins, and fats you eat to better understand what you’re consuming and help you reach your goals. This same thought process applies to cybersecurity.

Think of your metrics and KPIs as your macros. If you don’t understand what metrics or KPIs you need to overachieve, then you’ll have a hard time measure your performance. The metrics you need to hit could be vastly different than the other reps on your team.

We once had a client that was ‘doing everything right’ but still missing a lot of tasks. We pulled some data and noticed that their password reset percentage was 50% higher than a regular client. After implementing a password self-service concept, they were able to handle all tasks on time.

Understand that your personal definition of success may be different than that of your peers. This is why knowing where you stand according to metrics that are most relevant for you is important information for improving your performance as a Cybersecurity Team.

5. Set concrete goals above and beyond

Most business want to overachieve their budget, so setting business goals that exceed expectations provides flexibility for your business. If your goals are not written down, they are not goals, they are dreams.

Defining what you would like to achieve, how you would like to achieve it, and then sharing this information within your organization will help you to reach the goals.

6. Build a business cybersecurity development plan

The great part about a cybersecurity is that there is a lot to learn. The best way to accelerate your development is to create a personal development plan that defines what cybersecurity skills you want to improve within a specific amount of time.

I suggest picking one or two specific skills and applications to focus on each month and documenting the steps you take to show improvement over time.

Work with your cybersecurity team and your suppliers to build a cybersecurity training plan to help get you to the next level – particularly if cybersecurity awareness is new in your company.

Asking your employees to fill out cybersecurity training template and to see videos for you is a concrete way to show you want to grow in your role as a cybersecurity leader.

7. Find a cybersecurity coach or mentor

Having a cybersecurity expert or confidant outside of your organization can provide valuable perspective. An experienced cybersecurity expert with relevant experience will likely have more bandwidth and valuable perspective that can support your development in ways you might miss.

8. Track your progress in quantitative and qualitative ways

Document your success. Track your cybersecurity performance on a weekly and monthly basis so you can have evidence of your progress. Additionally, tracking cybersecurity threats, authentication events, users not logged in for the past 10, 15 or 30 days, user thay have been locked out, workstation event etc... and your own progress can provide a high-level understanding of your performance and how it relates to your organization’s success.

9. Take a creative approach to problem-solving

There is no singular path to success, and your ability to think creatively can serve you well in the long run.

Ciptor ITSAFE Cybersecurity expert Mikael Zaman Rodin says:

"Your ability to think outside the box could be the difference between being hacked or not being hacked”. Your ability to think creativity does matter no matter in what stage of the cybersecurity process you are in.

One of my favorite examples of creativity is during demo prep. If we are preparing to show a customer how our platform is going to revolutionize their way of going passwordless, why not take the time to sign up them up in our demo environment. This takes only 5 minutes and provides relevant information about how we can improve their process."

As a cybersecurity leader, it’s your job to solve your business problem. The more creative you can be in your approach, the better.

10. Celebrate your wins

Your daily work is filled with ups and downs and many employees focus too much on improving their weaknesses. Improving individual performance also means celebrating your wins — no matter how big or small they are.

When you achieve a goal or improve a skill, share your success with your team. Every win counts and celebrating each one gives you the momentum you need to keep going.

 

 

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