information security governance

What Is Information Security Governance?

You need effective information security governance (ISG) to ensure that your company creates effective information security policies.

We’ll find data everywhere – mobile devices, cloud, in transit. Indeed, data help many businesses improve their processes. However, hackers also see that as an opportunity to illegally access your data for their financial gain. In 2015, hackers exposed over 169 million personal records. That year also saw 700 publicized sectors across various sectors.

Hence, it is your responsibility to protect all information. A crucial way to ensure that is information security governance (ISG). ISG monitors the success or failure of your security program. Moreover, ISG makes sure that an organization achieves its objectives. It also manages risk and provides strategic direction. 

Furthermore, information security governance assigns roles and responsibilities. The board of directors and executive management are the ones mainly responsible for ISG. 

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What Information Security Governance Is Not 

Many people often interchange ISG and IT management. However, these two terms are different. Hence, you should not confuse these two terms. IT management mainly deals with making tactical decisions to mitigate security risks. It also deals with enforcing security policies. 

Meanwhile, ISG does not deal with the creation of policies. ISG is not the one responsible for policy enforcement. Hence, information security governance focuses on the oversight and creation of the program. To sum, ISG deals with strategy. On the other hand. IT management deals with tactical. 

Why ISG Is Important 

You need strategic measures to protect sensitive information. Such data is valuable to your competitors and criminals. Hackers use sophisticated and complex methods. Their methods are ever-changing. Hence, simply putting policies won’t do you any good. 

In the past few years, we witnessed high-profile hacks and data breaches. For instance, hackers stole an estimated 100 terabytes of data from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Additionally, hackers stole over 37.5 million personal records from Anthem, Inc. These examples show that no organization is safe from attacks. 

Furthermore, a data breach brings huge and long-lasting consequences. You might suffer from hefty fines and lawsuits. Also, breaches bring damage to your brand reputation. Hence, you’ll lose the trust of your customers and partners. As result, your company will experience revenue decreases. A 2016 Ponemon study revealed that the average cost of a breach is $4 million. 

We saw from the factors above that ISG is a must. An information security governance assure your clients and partners that they are working with a secured company. An ISG is vital now more than ever. You must ensure that the right employees have access to data. And of course, ensure that criminals don’t have access to sensitive data.

Indeed, all employees must uphold information security at all costs. However, it is the leadership’s main responsibility to establish information security governance. 

Best ISG Practices 

First, conduct a company-wide survey to see what data needs to be protected. Moreover, you must ensure that your strategy aligns with business and IT objectives. Furthermore, continuous training and education is a must. Afterward, continuously monitor your ISG efforts. Also, your employees must feel that you are approachable for any security concerns. 

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