Posted by Tyler Chancey, GCFA on

Tyler Chancey is a seasoned cybersecurity professional currently serving as the Director of Cyber Security at Scarlett Cybersecurity Services, With a solid foundation in Computer Software Engineering from the University of Florida, Tyler holds a repertoire of certifications that underscore his expertise. These include the prestigious Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert and Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate, showcasing his mastery in Microsoft's enterprise solutions. Tyler's commitment to comprehensive security is further evidenced by his CompTIA Security+ certification, demonstrating proficiency in core cybersecurity principles. Additionally, his GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA) credential attests to his advanced skills in forensic analysis—an invaluable asset in today's complex cybersecurity landscape. Tyler's dedication to staying at the forefront of industry standards is evident in the active pursuit and maintenance of these certifications, making him a trusted authority in the field.

Cybersecurity Governance

Do you want to create a cybersecurity governance program for your organization? Are you looking for the right information to make your strategy?

Cybersecurity governance relates to the strategies used by any organization to protect its IT infrastructure. It's an acknowledgment by the top management that the organization is vulnerable to cyber threats. The actual process is much nuanced and entails a number of factors that we will discuss. In short, cybersecurity governance: 

  • Is a set of policies and standards
  • Differs from one organization to another
  • Needs a careful analysis of your present threats and security protocols
  • Is usually a management-related activity
  • Needs adept knowledge of latest cybersecurity threats and developments
  • Differs from programs such as operational cybersecurity as it's a daily activity
  • Needs transparency and setting accountability across stakeholders
  • Faces challenges like lack of expertise and budget

You can learn all about cybersecurity governance and its nuances in our blog. So, sit tight as we take up each topic one by one and explain them to you. By the end of this post, you will become an expert on cybersecurity governance. 

So, let's start with the most important question. 

What is Cybersecurity Governance?

Cybersecurity governance is a crucial element of any cybersecurity program. According to the Center for Internet Security, governance includes all the policies and processes used to fight cybercrime. That includes detecting, responding, and preventing cyber threats. 

Cyber Risk Management Group calls cybersecurity governance the most basic element of any cybersecurity program. It may be known as other names, but the goals are the same-

  • To acknowledge risks faced by an organization
  • To fully understand the risk profile the organization faces
  • Documented commitment to put in security measures

The National Cyber Security Centre gives a simple definition of cybersecurity governance. It includes all the means used by an organization to fight and prevent cybercrime. 

Cybersecurity governance is not the same for all organizations. Every organization needs to assess its vulnerabilities and then come up with a cybersecurity governance program.

Is Cybersecurity Governance the Same as Operational Cybersecurity?

Some organizations may not make a difference between operational and governance cybersecurity. However, there is a subtle difference you must be aware of.

Cybersecurity governance is more focused on planning and strategies. Operational cybersecurity, on the other hand, involves day-to-day activities to prevent and fight cybercrime.

Making the difference is not essential if you have a solid cybersecurity plan. Your team can then implement the strategies on a daily basis for successful cybersecurity governance.

How to Develop a Proper Cybersecurity Governance?

You can't follow any standard procedure for cybersecurity governance. Every organization is different and needs a tailored approach to govern its cybersecurity.

However, some common tenets can help you devise excellent cybersecurity governance. Here are some tips to help you out-

  • Tie your security approaches to your organizational objectives
  • Identify and empower staff to carry out cybersecurity decisions
  • Set up accountability
  • Ensure a process of feedback

You should first take a look at the probable threats that apply to your organization. You can then devise fitting strategies to counter those threats. 

Why is Cybersecurity Governance Essential?

The executive management of an organization is responsible for cybersecurity governance. 

A proper cybersecurity governance program can protect your organization from cyber threats. The program provides a clear direction and set of policies to combat threats that exist online.

Additionally, security governance programs identify the available resources to fight cybercrime. You can make the best use of your resources and even take proactive steps to prevent attacks.

A clear and effective IT security governance program also protects your infrastructure and data. It can help you protect sensitive business information and customer data. Plus, you are better equipped to track and combat the latest malware.

Cybersecurity governance programs even help businesses achieve their objectives. For instance, a software development firm needs to protect its development environment to create products safely. A solid program can also increase the reputation of the company and instill confidence in investors. 

You may also experience your share prices going high.

What are the Steps to Create a Cybersecurity Governance Program?

We don't have any one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to governing your cybersecurity. You need to take a good look at your organization and threats to begin. However, we are going to present some fundamental steps you can follow. 

Establish Your Current Status

You need to run a risk assessment program to track your cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This will help you identify gaps and create a strategy to fight those.

Review Your Cybersecurity Policies

Do a thorough review of your policies and processes to fight cybercrime. Some of your policies may be outdated or not fit for current threats. 

Review your policies and update those that are not foolproof.

Understand Your Priorities

You should identify what you need to protect, including your data, apps, or systems. You should look at security from an entrepreneur's viewpoint and identify the investments you need to secure.

Provide Training

Every stakeholder responsible for cybersecurity should be equipped and empowered. Each of your employees should know the standards and how to act in case of breaches. You may need to invest in training your staff and making them aware of your governance program.

Monitor and Improve

You can never be completely sure when tackling cybercrimes. As a result, you always need to be proactive and monitor your systems, apps, and data. Additionally, review your strategies and policies regularly to understand the gaps and make them resilient. 

Is Cybersecurity Governance Only Applicable to Businesses?

Cybersecurity governance is an approach based on a set of principles. You can use the process for any organization or even governments. It doesn't always have to be a business to adopt a governance program. Any organization that needs to protect its users, data, systems, or networks can adopt cybersecurity governance.

You can follow the principles of security governance to create a protection plan for any entity or agency.

What are the Challenges of Cybersecurity Governance?

Establishing your cybersecurity governance program may make you face a few challenges. They will also vary based on your industry, but some challenges seem common. Here are the common barriers to a successful governance strategy-

Limited resources: Not all organizations have the budget or resources to implement a successful governance program. Plus, you may also need to invest in expensive cybersecurity tools and solutions.

Lack of standardization: Standardizing your policies and processes is crucial to keep malware and hackers at bay. Not all management can create standard procedures or implement them across the hierarchy.

Lack of awareness: Each of your employees should be aware of cyber threats applicable to your organization. Unless your staff is careful, even the most foolproof governance initiative can fail. 

Is Cybersecurity Governance the Same as Cybersecurity Transformation?

Cybersecurity governance is not the same as cybersecurity transformation. Governance is a set of policies and procedures put in place to protect an organization from cybercrime. 

Cybersecurity transformation is a long-term process and represents the shift from one stable state to another. Cybersecurity governance helps in getting an organization get matured and empowered to combat cybercrime. 

Or in other words, security governance facilitates cybersecurity transformation. You can only achieve the systematic shift when you get your governance right.

Final Thoughts

Cybersecurity governance is a set of policies and processes to protect an organization from cyber threats. You can create an IT security governance program by following a few basic principles. The effort should be taken by the top management involving every stakeholder. Standardization is also important, and there shouldn't be any deviations from set procedures.

Every business or organization needs proper governance to protect its investments. A fitting program also helps you get proactive and take full control of your cybersecurity. 


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