Aligning security objectives with business objectives

This is about developing information security master plan, the concept is the fact that when you develop a plan you begin by starting risk assessment, not a risk assessment from security stand point but from a business standpoint. You go through that process by interviewing various executive getting their input and understand what they believe are the risks that the business is exposed to. Then you take that way and evaluated risk and see what you can do to develop a plan to mitigating those risk, sometime the plan requires disciplines outside of security which you can’t ignore  and you make sure you adopt total business approach and also involve other groups such as HR, IT, marketing/business areas.

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It is important to put together a total plan and then you go back to executive.Present to them how you might mitigate those risk and in some case, you might be able to eliminate but usually can eliminate risk by outsourcing particular issue to somebody else. At least you should develop a plan and based on that you can define cost vs benefit involved.

You should always do a master plan of 12-18 months or as frequently as you do your business plan and based on the priority you can split the cost on the year to year or month by month basis. The key important aspect is to tie the plan to the risk and demonstrate how your spending is reducing the risk. By doing that you are not just getting management to approve the expenditure of the money, you are getting them to approve reduction of risk, which something they understand much better than addressing by technology needs (e.g.  asking to by security camera for data center or adding DLP technology).

It is important to have annual risk analysis conducted before your budget cycle so that if there are any new risks identified, you have time to put together a plan to address that. If there are no new risks at least you are reminding the executive that why you are spending the money.

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