What Is Cybersecurity Governance? (Best Models & Frameworks)

In a world where millions of businesses are struggling to cope with the depth and breadth of cybersecurity, implementing effective cybersecurity governance is all the rage when starting or transitioning your business.

In today’s article, we take a look at all things governance, including what cybersecurity governance is, some key considerations you should look for and some models which we believe are the best to follow for peace of mind.

What Is Cybersecurity Governance?

Cybersecurity governance is a framework you should have to help develop, direct and improve your approach to cybersecurity, and the security of technology in general. Whilst this sums up cybersecurity governance, there are some guidelines and recommendations to achieve true cybersecurity governance. 

Cybersecurity Governance (Key Considerations)

When people refer to cybersecurity governance, there are some considerations and further detail that you need to be aware of. This term is often thrown around, but below are some key considerations.

Get a Real Understanding of your Exposure to the Public

The main reason businesses and organizations fail to protect themselves is that they lack the intelligence of what their true exposure is. Whilst someone may know every nook and cranny of their infrastructure and policies – this doesn’t mean someone hasn’t found a way to abuse it.

This understanding is something that should be taken into consideration and will benefit you and your business massively. This should be treated similarly to an audit, apart from going a little more in-depth. Find information such as;

  • Business Infrastructure, Systems, Software, and granular technical information. 
  • Vendor information (software, hardware, suppliers etc.)
  • Suppliers and Service Providers and their approach to cybersecurity governance.
  • Cloud Services
  • Staff and their views, as well as customers!

All of the above will contribute to getting an understanding of your risk, both direct (yourself and your business) and indirect (3rd parties).

Ensure Resources with Strong Capabilities

Ensuring that your teams can mitigate risk using cybersecurity governance is key – but they need to be properly equipped, up-to-date and capable of performing tasks that would uphold the governance.

Many people will likely be involved, but the people who are dealing with creating, upholding, and improving your governance models will likely be higher-up staff members or role-specific staff who have a defined job role within the cybersecurity team. This typically includes most board directors and even the CEO. 

Work Holistically with/towards a Framework

Having a holistic approach to your security governing is critical. When we say this, we mean that when you go ahead and build or work towards a framework, build it for effective security controls, but you should also look to reduce the confusion around your infrastructure. This reduction of noise, and complexity and a more direct approach to your security measures will do you much better in the long run and can often help keep your business afloat even when it feels like it’s sinking. 

Of course, securing and idealizing processes and policies in place will be great, however when using a framework such as ISO 27001, or bettering your governance you need to give yourself a full scope of what to review. 

How you can Work Holistically with/towards a Framework in Cybersecurity Governance

Work considering the Legal & Regulatory Elements

When looking at your cybersecurity governance, you need to include both legal and regulatory compliance elements. This can stretch as far as government and industry-standard regulatory elements, all the way up to high-end legal issues that you may cross should anything happen with your business.

Whilst this is rare, having the legal and regulatory compliance in place keeps you in line with government and industry standards and will put you ahead of the game, and keep your business safer and more secure overall.

Test your Governance Policies 

Now you’re using a cybersecurity governance framework or model, you can now say you are safe – right? This isn’t quite how this works, but you should definitely now test your processes and ensure your security posture is at its best. 

Whilst someone in-house could test your policies, changes, and other aspects – they may have direct knowledge of what to look for, and may not perform a hole-focused test. Getting outside help, or independent cybersecurity auditors to test and certify that your governance frameworks are being upheld would be a really good idea. 

Be Proactive with Community Contributions

Whilst any organization may know they’ve done all it can to protect itself using a modern and strong framework, there are still holes that an attacker can use. Whilst creating your policies and adhering to frameworks will help, being proactive using threat intelligence and being involved with the community to find other attacks happening within the industry can benefit your organization 10-fold,  and maybe even predict attacks, whilst strengthening your own policies. 

Read More: What is Threat Intelligence? 

Cybersecurity Governance Risk And Compliance

When drafting or reviewing your cybersecurity governance, there’s a good chance you’ll run into both risk and compliance. Whilst this might be fairly surface level, risk and compliance both play a major part in your governance protocols. 

FAQs on Cybersecurity Governance

What is the most important aspect of cybersecurity governance?

In cybersecurity governance, the most important aspect is basic security management controls. This includes items such as security policies, processes, and standards that you might use as a business or organization. 

Is cybersecurity part of governance?

In today’s day and age, security is now one of the bigger aspects of governance, and without it – we would be in a very vulnerable position. With that being said, cybersecurity governance is its own category, but for the most part, does fit in the wider governing schema. 

What are the 5 C’s of cyber security?

Many security experts mention the five C’s of cybersecurity. These are change, compliance, coverage, cost, and continuity. These refer to when a business makes a change or tries to evaluate its current infrastructure or tooling. 

Read More: 68 Terms to Learn for Cybersecurity Careers

Our Verdict

Overall, businesses and organizations from around the world really need to step up and protect themselves using the best cybersecurity governance processes, or even using models and frameworks to boost their chances of surviving and outliving cyberattacks. 

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About the Author

Charlie K

Charlie has been working with technology since the age of 6, and has skilled up on all things technical. Cybersecurity is one aspect that has never failed to disappoint. After several years in the industry, Charlie is branching out to help others get into the industry.

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