How to Create a Successful Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybersecurity Strategy

Have you ever pondered what constitutes a successful cybersecurity strategy? In this essay, I’ll outline all the elements I believe are essential for staying one step (or more) ahead of hackers in a scenario where cyberthreats are always changing.

What Is a Cybersecurity Strategy? 

A cybersecurity strategy is a plan developed by an organisation to lower cyber risks and safeguard its assets from online threats.

Cybersecurity strategies are typically developed with a three to five-year vision, but it is obvious that they should be updated and reevaluated frequently. They must include tools and best practices to handle the changing threat landscape and defend the business from both internal and external threats because they are “live, breathing” documents.

An effective cyber security plan emphasises the right techniques and technologies for anticipatorily identifying, classifying, and minimising cyber threats.

Why Do You Need a Cybersecurity Strategy?

To be completely honest, you cannot afford to not have a solid cyber security plan. With constant breaches, code leaks, and credential disclosures being reported practically daily, a major breach episode is more a question of “when” and “how serious” today than it is of “if” in any company. In fact, only in 2021, “the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches increased by 15.1% from the previous year.”

There is also the issue of privacy laws; if you don’t take the necessary efforts to protect your data and the data of your clients, you could be held legally responsible for the harm caused by a data breach. Trust me, this is not how you want to spend your time and money.

Hence, having a solid cybersecurity plan and taking all necessary precautions are the only ways to establish cyber resilience and protect your business from potentially disastrous consequences.

10 Steps to Build an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy

In order to create a successful cybersecurity strategy, the following questions must be addressed first:

Preliminary questions


Are you dealing with time-consuming tasks that take up the majority of your IT employees’ time (manual patching, sloppy admin rights management)?

Do you have a work from home policy (or hybrid), possibly even a bring your own device policy, and do you struggle to maintain your endpoints and network secure in the face of ever changing threats?

Do you have trouble finding, hiring, and keeping cybersecurity experts to assist you in establishing and maintaining your company’s cybersecurity posture?
Are nation-state attacks, supply chain attacks, or deep fake technology causing you concern?

Are you worried about the complexity and amount of compliance rules, and unsure of whether your business complies with them all?

Before beginning to design an effective plan, it’s critical to be completely aware of your difficulties and your goals.


Another critical point you must address before developing your cybersecurity strategy is knowing what resources you can employ in terms of people, tools, and financial means and what resources you need in order to fulfil your goals.


You must unquestionably monitor market activity and prioritise your list in order to respond to this opening inquiry.

For instance, Gartner projects the following over the coming years:

  • more privacy regulations for consumers;
  • The unification of cloud services and private applications into a single vendor SSE platform;
  • Standardization of Zero-Trust;
  • New regulations for ransomware payments and negotiations;
  • Human casualties as cyberattacks aftermath.
  • Personally, I also expect to see:
  • A stronger focus on unified endpoint management / consolidated platforms;
  • Increased compliance regulations and enhanced security with Privileged Access Management and Zero-Trust;
  • A much greater focus on ransomware prevention.

Also, you should keep an eye out for newly discussed themes in the market because cybersecurity providers may already be working on solutions to many of the problems and risks facing the sector and making your job even easier.

Set your goals

Setting cybersecurity business goals is the first step in creating a successful cybersecurity strategy after addressing all the prerequisites. Setting realistic expectations requires considering your company’s capacity to perform as well as your resources, timing, budget, and other factors.

Risk and assets inventory 

The following action is to carry out a thorough inventory of all your digital assets, personnel, and suppliers.

Data, assets, and stack mapping.

  • Public, private, exclusive to internal use, protected by intellectual property, and compliance-restricted data are examples of data categories.
  • You must consider software, systems, users, and identities when speaking of assets.
  • Identify all offline and online network exit and entrance points, make sure network configurations are available and current, and keep a watch on any contractors or outside vendors that may have access.


The function of cybersecurity frameworks is to provide the methods and architecture needed to safeguard the vital digital assets of your business.
Frameworks are essentially summaries of every cybersecurity measure a company has implemented. These include goals, objectives, and rules. But, they can be altered to match your unique business goals. Also, choosing the best structure may be aided by the risk inventory already discussed.

The most popular cybersecurity frameworks are the PCDA Cycle, ISO/IEC 27001, NIST CSF, and ISO/IEC 27001:


The identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery are the five primary components of the NIST CSF Framework. Federal agencies are required to use NIST CSF, the most well-known framework on the market.

ISO/IEC 27001

The widely adopted ISO/IEC 27001/27002 cybersecurity standard mandates (assumes) that a business utilising ISO 27001 would have an information security management system (ISMS) in place.

To be certified as ISO 27001-compliant, organisations must show auditors that they are implementing what the ISO refers to as the “PDCA Cycle.”


ISF is a practical, business-oriented manual that helps identify and manage IT risks in organisations and supply chains. It focuses on current and potential cyberthreats and helps companies develop cyber security standards, procedures, and policies.


Planning (defining policies, objectives, processes, and procedures for risk management), doing (implementing InfoSec policies, procedures, and other practises), checking (monitoring, evaluating, and comparing process performance to policies and goals), and acting are the four steps of the PCDA cycle (implementing corrective and preventative measures in accordance with management evaluations and internal audits).

Security policies

An effective cybersecurity strategy must include security policies. In order to maintain the privacy, accuracy, and accessibility of data and resources, all employees are required to abide by a set of defined policies and procedures.

Examples include the workstation policy, permissible usage policy, and remote access policy. Including the following as well:

  • Password specifications;
  • Minimum access permissions and zero-trust;
  • IAM & credential management;
  • Vulnerability management;
  • Sensitive data protection;
  • Tracking and identifying any suspicious activity.

Technology and automation

Cybersecurity and technology automation go hand in hand. Without automated technologies, cybersecurity simply does not exist in the modern world. They considerably lower the risk of cyber security attacks by automatically configuring security systems using artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically spot such hazards.

An automated cybersecurity system will find a potential threat and destroy it rather than just producing an alarm to alert a human security specialist to take action. AI and machine learning are used by automated cybersecurity systems to determine the best course of action to take in the event of an attack.

Automation is used in cybersecurity to swiftly identify viruses that are already present in your network, correlate data, and build defences quicker than attacks can spread.

Incident response plan

An incident response plan outlines all the procedures and duties of the incident response team, as well as all the measures that must be performed to prepare for, detect, contain, and recover from a cyber security incident.

Preparation, identification, containment, eradication, recovery, and a review of the lessons gained are the five primary stages of an incident response plan; further information on these steps may be found in one of our previous articles on incident response.

Cyber insurance

It can be difficult and confusing to choose a cybersecurity insurance provider, but I can guarantee you that it is crucial.

The liability of your company for a data breach containing sensitive client information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver’s licence numbers, and health records is typically covered by cyber insurance, according to Nationwide.

A general liability policy, which only covers bodily injuries and property damage brought on by your goods, services, or operations, sometimes excludes cyber insurance.

When selecting cyber insurance, what should you take into account? The following four steps are crucial:

  • Analyze the attack surface and cyber hygiene risks of your architecture.
  • Recognize your third-party risk and keep insurers in mind. They are a link in the value chain and a convenient target for cybercriminals.
  • Be careful when selecting a supplier; brokers and insurers must be fully cognizant of their customers’ needs.
  • Remember to automate whenever you can – it will help you in worst-case scenarios.

Provide security training

No matter the size of your business, whether it be a small business or a large corporation, security awareness training is a crucial part of a successful cybersecurity strategy.

Regularly scheduled and mandated security awareness and training programmes can significantly speed up the application of security regulations.

Provide training courses that teach your workers how to recognise the warning signs of phishing and social engineering as well as what to do if they unintentionally click on a rogue link.


Following its planning and implementation, your cybersecurity strategy must be regularly evaluated.

Vulnerabilities will continue to expand as long as threat actors create new attack methods, therefore you must regularly review and test your cybersecurity strategy to make sure it keeps up with the changing threat landscape. Any vulnerabilities that can emerge when security threats change can be found and fixed with the help of an annual risk assessment.

Final Thoughts

You can build a business that is equipped to face both present and future security risks by creating a solid cybersecurity plan.

It is essential to keep in mind and follow all of the instructions given:

  • Answer the preliminary questions;
  • Set your goals;
  • Make a risks and assets inventory;
  • Choose a security framework;
  • Develop and implement security policies;
  • Choose automated technologies as your ally;
  • Develop an incident response plan;
  • Select a cyber insurance policy;
  • Provide security training to all your employees;
  • Constantly evaluate and update the cybersecurity strategy.

Keep in mind that all an attacker needs is one successful attack to start a large issue.