Keeping Up With Changing Security Standards: An Essential Practice for Cyber Safety

Security Standards: What professionals and businesses need to know

In the age of digitalization, security has become one of the top concerns for businesses across all industries. This is not surprising given that a company's sensitive information, financial data, and other confidential documents are often stored online. Therefore, implementing adequate security measures has become a must. Unfortunately, keeping up with the constant changing landscape of cyber-security can be challenging, and so it is crucial to have a clear understanding of security standards to protect your business against cyber-attacks.

Security Standards: Defined

A security standard refers to a set of processes, procedures, and guidelines that companies use to secure their data and information. These standards often regulate cybersecurity practices such as network security, incident response and business continuity planning. Security standards typically address the framework for implementing and measuring protection technologies. In essence, security standards provide a uniform structure for organizations to follow in order to safeguard their data and systems.

Why are Security Standards important?

Businesses and organizations may choose to adopt security standards for a variety of reasons such as compliance with legal requirements, protection against data breaches, and securing intellectual property and confidential information. Security Standards serve as a roadmap for companies to follow to ensure their compliance with regulations and industry-recognized best practices. Furthermore, following security standards makes a business more resilient against cyber attacks and reduces any risks which may be inherent in their digital environment. In today's environment, data breaches can be extremely costly, and many small business find it impossible to recover. Security standards can also help protect your company's reputation from the fallout of a cyber breach, in addition to building trust between stakeholders, internal teams and external clients.

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Types of Security Standards

There are several types of security standards standards which have been developed to cater for different company sizes, industries and needs. Below are some examples:

1. ISO/IEC 27001

This globally acclaimed Information security standard is a framework that organizations can follow to assess risks and vulnerabilities and implement risk mitigating policies that are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. It provides detailed guidelines for implementing, maintaining and improving information security management systems (ISMS). By adhering to ISO 27001 guidelines, organizations can mitigate their risk of data breaches, phishing attacks and other security vulnerabilities.

2. HIPAA

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a US healthcare privacy law. This law sets security protocols for any healthcare entity or insurance provider that works with patient data, including electronic health records (EHRs). HIPAA compliance also requires a security breach notification to be provided to customers and regulators if there is a breach of sensitive data. The aim is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive medical data.

3. PCI DSS

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) is an industry-standard designed specifically for businesses that handle payment card information. PCI DSS sets the criteria for a secure transaction environment, from how card data is secured, who has access to it, and how data is recorded and stored. Failure to comply with this standard can result in high fines, damage to your reputation, and exclusion from doing business with major payment providers.

4. FISMA

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) sets the standard for information security in US government agencies and contractors. FISMA defines a risk management framework for federal agencies and their contractors, which includes risk assessment and risk management procedures. FISMA is designed to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of government information and information systems.

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Conclusion

Cyber-security threats have become a major concern for companies of all sizes. Security standards are a key part of a company's defense against these threats. Adhering to these standards helps organizations mitigate risks and comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Implementing security measures to protect your business can help you avoid data breaches, stiff penalties and reputational damage. With a clear understanding of these standards, businesses and organizations can ensure they are best placed to protect sensitive data and secure their digital environment. Whether you are a small start-up or an established enterprise, it is essential to embrace security standards as a key part of your cybersecurity strategy.

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