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Cybersecurity Documentation: First Line of Defense Against Cyber Threats

    a businessperson signing contracts at a desk, representing the importance of cybersecurity documentation in the digital age

    In a world where the number of security breaches continues to rise, cybersecurity documentation should be the first line of defense for every organization regardless of industry, size, or country. Even with the latest security tools, the right personnel, and any other security measures in place, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated day by day. Without proper preparation, employees are left vulnerable as to what decision to make before, during, or after a security incident occurs, which means frustration and panic can take over. Proper documentation can guide employees through a security incident, by providing direction regarding security procedures, establishing good communication among teams enabling them to respond faster, improving decision making, and reducing any further damage. It also provides clarity for each employee in the entire organization, not just the incident response, team

    Today we will discuss some standard technical writing documents to help mitigate data breaches in your organization.

    Cybersecurity Documents

    Cybersecurity solutions require and generate a great deal of documentation. From policies, procedures, guidelines, standards, and more. These documents must be written in a clear and precise manner that is tailored for both internal and external audiences such as employees, clients, investors, business partners, stakeholders, and others. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to what documents you should have, here are some fundamental policies, procedures, and plans to build a successful security program.

    • Information Security Policy a company’s rules and guidelines that ensure employees adhere to security protocols and procedures to minimize any security risks. These protocols may include safeguarding any corporate information, IT assets, security strategies, and other preventative measures.
    • Business Continuity Plans – detail the procedures and processes an organization must take to continue operating in the event of an emergency. Organizations must regularly update this document, due to the wide range of threats. Each BCP is unique and must be tailored to coordinate with business objectives, security measures, and the emergency being faced so it can restore operations essential for business continuity and minimize any damages.
    • Disaster Recovery Plans – is made in conjunction with business continuity plans. This describes what specific steps are taken to resume business operations after a disaster has struck such as natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and any other events. Disaster recovery plans include who is managing the response, how and when you do testing, whether it’s drills or orchestrated threats. and how often you monitor and update information as the business operation changes.
    • Security Awareness Training – human error is responsible for many successful data breaches. This is why cybersecurity learning programs or awareness training must be implemented to teach employees how to recognize different types of threats and how to respond accordingly. As cyber-attacks evolve, so must employees’ understanding of how to identify them. Training should involve interactive learning to keep employees engaged furthermore it must be consistent so it can be effective. Awareness training can cover how to handle devices, types of security threats, and other cybersecurity solutions.
    • Incident Response Policy An incident response (IR) plan similar to a disaster recovery plan in that it too specifies the roles and responsibilities in the event of a disruption. However, IR plans focus more on IT and security occurrences. In an IR plan, it is a priority to reduce any damage caused by data breach whether it is regarding business operations, financial losses, or customers’ data. Also, monitoring and updating security information are important as the digital landscape continues to change and cyberattacks become more frequent and advanced.
    • Risk Assessment Standard and Procedures – the process of identifying, analyzing, and evaluating any cyber risk so your organization can prevent data loss, avoid data breaches, save money, stay compliant, and gain knowledge for future assessments. 
    • Change Management Policy – describes how to document and enforce any changes regarding security measures and procedures throughout the organization effectively. Any change that takes place should not impact business operations or customers in any way.
    • Data Backup Policy – an action plan that outlines the guidelines in the case of data loss, deleted or corrupt files, or some other cybersecurity event. This includes implementing strategies on how to restore important documents and how to resume business services after an emergency has occurred, which type of backup that best serves your organization.
    • Remote Access Policy The COVID-19 pandemic has produced more security challenges as the workforce is working remotely. So, this policy describes how employees handle organizational systems remotely. This may include how to store devices securely, the guidelines of BYOD with unauthorized apps, and visiting non-work-related websites. maintaining strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, accessing third-party service, email security, and other regulations.

    Proper documentation should not be an afterthought, it is the determining factor in how employees react throughout the organization and how much damage can be stopped in the event of a breach. So ineffective documentation will lead to a higher risk of successful cyber-attack, consistently updating documents, technology, and practices will mitigate any risk.

    Conclusion

    With the growing threat of cyber threats, cybersecurity documentation plays an important role. It is essential staff members in every department can do their job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Making sure to prevent further financial and reputational damages. Organizations that have the right documentation in place can mitigate risks and recover quickly should a breach take place allowing for business operations to continue.

    How can EDC help?

    If you need policies, standards, and procedures for common frameworks such as NIST, HIPAA., GDPR, FISMA, and more, at EDC we have the technical writers to keep your documents accurate, up to date, and compliant. We offer high-quality documentation that will prepare every employee on the latest tactics and techniques cybercriminals use to gain unauthorized access to your data. Whether you need a cybersecurity strategy or need assistance updating an existing one. With 20 years of experience, the highly skilled technical writers at EDC can transform your documentation and management systems so you can prepare, prevent, and protect against the next cyber threat.

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of cybersecurity documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Kimberly Jones

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