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The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Planning Your Cybersecurity, A Strategic and Confidential Advantage

Raymond Chabot

In today’s environment, cyber threats are rapidly changing and growing. Countless organizations fall victim and have to interrupt their production in order to manage a response to incidents. Criminal groups motivated by financial and competitive gains know no limits. Creativity, financial support: crime pays, especially if organizations are not prepared.

Implementing good cybersecurity practices is essential for the longevity of organizations. Statistics show a constant increase in the number of cyber-incidents, with hefty consequences for organizations, including definitive closures.

It’s a matter of risk management, affecting operations as well as governance and regulation.

Winning practices

Among practical challenges, the lack of competent labour resources leads to calling on occasional external consultation.

Occasional external consultation

The challenge of external consultation is non-continuous follow-up and, as a result, complex change management when monitoring processes, technologies and people.

Occasional consultation is a relevant service, for example to perform an audit prior to a merger or acquisition. It can also provide a road map as a starting point to help improve overall processes.

We can then take a look at managed services, offering integration over the duration and strategic guidance.

Managed services

Two axes should be considered when selecting the managed services option:

  • Actions to take immediately to address emergencies, i.e., implementing managed technology pillars, covering endpoint protection (workstations, servers), email channels, cloud storage and digital footprint on the dark Web.
  • Actions to take in the medium-term, i.e., implementing official policies, processes and standards, as well as an awareness program aligned with the previous strategies. This will help increase the organization’s maturity level and decrease the risk level.

Security and risk management program

As with any project, a security program’s success depends on the support and involvement of its leaders. It’s about protecting the organization’s resources and ensuring its resilience.

For businesses, risk management generally means a disaster recovery plan and insurance. It’s the same approach for technologies: an incident, prevention and insurance response plan.

Regulation and compliance

Quebec has recently enacted Law 25 (amended by Bill 64), a sort of integration of the European General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) into Quebec laws, in order to maintain a same level of commercial inter-operability with Europe thanks to aligned regulations, and to protect citizens’ personal data.

In Quebec, Law 25 requires all organizations to have an appropriate personal data governance, as well as a negligence-free security posture to avoid incidents and (hefty) penalties.

Key points

Lastly, it should be noted that it is essential to properly take charge of one’s security posture and take the following measures:

  • Prepare for incidents to mitigate financial, operational and reputational impacts on the organization;
  • Consider calling on trusted partners with vast cybersecurity expertise who will guide you and advise you on your governance and information security strategy;
  • Prevent obvious negligence by limiting risks and avoiding penalties resulting from amendments to Law 25.

With a proper security posture or good level of maturity, it’s easier to build relationships of trust with business partners and meet partners’ and clients’ compliance requests.

Have you begun implementing an official security plan for your organization? This is the starting point for implementing security controls in line with your risks and cyber-risks.

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