Corporate organizations’ concern for cybersecurity continues to grow each day – especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) because they are the most vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore, companies have assigned roles and responsibilities to cybersecurity professionals to mitigate the threats of cyber attacks.
With each passing day, the world has become digitalized, and all commercial activities are done on digital media. As a result, cyberattacks have increased which is seen in the form of fraudulent emails, ransomware, malware, etc. Therefore, board members of many different companies have taken the risks, dangers, and expenses to implement a proper, functioning cybersecurity plan.
Each organization requires a different set of security protocols because every network operates differently. Therefore, companies adopt different strategies that suit them to fulfill their needs. Most organizations only pay attention to security needs after a breach has occurred or when ordered to do so by a senior executive. However, this is not an efficient or optimal method to protect your organization. These types of organizations do not have a proper security plan that provides long-term safety. They are always vulnerable to attacks because their security measures are all short-term and temporary.
There are also other companies such as financial institutions or banks that must focus on security needs to meet the obligation of compliance. Many different organizations must meet compliance measures, especially when they hold private information of a consumer. The primary industries affected by this are the financial and health care industry. Companies working in this organization need a long-term security plan to ensure the safety of their information and data.
However, your security plan should not “just meet compliance measures.”
“If better is possible, good is not enough.” – Benjamin Franklin
To truly ensure the safety and security or your organization, you must go beyond meeting compliance measures. Just like how we have increased and improved our security measures, hackers have also improved their skills in penetrating into our system. Furthermore, merely meeting compliance measures may result in overlooking other security vulnerabilities in your system. For your organization to be completely secure, you must have a security system that will provide a comprehensive look into your organization’s system.
Roles and Responsibilities in Cybersecurity
Everyone inside and related to your organization is affected by the state of your cybersecurity. As such, each role related to cybersecurity has their own unique responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your organization.
1. Executive Leadership
C-suite executives hold the final decision on an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. They analyze the organization’s cyber risk, review security data and reports, and determines the cybersecurity initiatives and budgeting. They also supervise and manage the cyber-related projects to ensure the cybersecurity plan is moving in the right direction.
In particular, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is responsible for the overall organization’s information and data security. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Security operations: Real-time analysis of cyber threats.
- Cyber risk and intelligence: Helping employees and board members understand potential security threats.
- Program management: Manage and maintain security programs and projects such as updating security patches.
2. Steering Committee
Steering committee consists of representatives from each business department, including but not limited to executive leadership, IT, finance, marketing, legal, HR, etc. Each committee member analyzes the cybersecurity policies, procedures, and impact to determine the best course of action for the company’s cybersecurity strategy.
Together, the steering committee evaluates and monitors all cyber-risk management activities to ensure the organization’s cybersecurity aligns with its overall corporate risk profile. As such, the committee requires professionals from each department to ensure they properly understand the effect of cybersecurity in each field.
Additionally, the cybersecurity steering committee must regularly communicate with the auditor or auditing committee to understand specific risks they must address and who is responsible for dealing with those specific risks.
Cybersecurity strategies require a third-party consultant or regulator to audit it to determine whether the plan is effective. The auditor is not directly related to the business’ daily operations, which allows them to give and objective view of the company’s cybersecurity strategy. The auditor’s perspective will also help the strategy improve by identifying holes or vulnerabilities in the plan that can only be seen from an outsider’s perspective.
With their knowledge of cybersecurity and information security, auditors can detect cyber threats and identify vulnerabilities in the company’s network. They conduct interviews and cooperate with the company’s executives, managers, and IT professionals to improve security compliance and reduce risk.
4. Information Security Analyst/Specialist
Information security analysts examine the security problems and find solutions in the organization’s network. They identify security threats and develop strategies to ensure the organization remains secure. The security analyst analyzes data to prevent cyber hackers from entering the system. They provide recommendations on what to change after a flaw or issue has been discovered and evaluated. However, the security analyst does not actively implement the change themselves.
5. Security Administrator
Unlike a security analyst, the security administrator ensures the entire security system is running properly. They are responsible for updating the system, resolving issues, and setting up new users within the system. Security administrators also audit the business’ security posture and reviews the company’s cybersecurity to ensure there are little to no vulnerabilities.
Overall, the basic responsibilities of a security administrator are to ensure the organization’s cybersecurity system remains strong and updated. The scope of this role is dependent on the size, scale, and nature of the organization. Security administrators typically lead a team to maintain the digital security systems and prevent both external and internal breaches to all digital devices in the organization.
6. Security Engineer
Security engineers develop and supervise the security systems to help prevent cyber breaches. There are three types of security engineers that contribute to this cybersecurity planning: Network Security, Software Security, and Security Appliance. These engineers from different fields work together to create a secure software and IT environment.
Companies often combine the responsibilities of a security engineer with a security analyst. However, unlike a security analyst, security engineers are actively involved in building the security system that defend against cyber attacks. This includes firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other cybersecurity technology.
7. Security Software Developer
Security software developers writes the computer programs with the aim of safeguarding the network and data/information. Their responsibilities include understanding how to create and deploying security-based programs to protect the organization from both external and internal cyber threats.
Security software developers must work together with product developers and other security roles to better understand how to ensure the developed product will meet security compliance. They must have the technical knowledge of writing software as well as a thorough understanding of security threat analysis along with product development.
Each role in cybersecurity holds a vital responsibility to an organization’s cybersecurity landscape. To ensure the security of their organization, they must complete their responsibilities and more to improve the company’s security system. They must also continue to improve in their respective fields to ensure that the organization’s security is constantly updated and fully protected.
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