How effective is your organization’s secure communications strategy? It’s important not only to develop a secure communications strategy but to ensure that’s it’s working as planned.
How to Evaluate Your Secure Communications
How can you evaluate the effectiveness of your organization’s secure communications strategy? There are several steps you can take to make sure that you’re adequately securing your firms communications.
Perform Regular Cybersecurity Audits
One of the most effective way to evaluate your secure communications policy is to conduct regular cybersecurity audits focusing on your firms communications. A communications-focused cybersecurity audit should include the following activities:
- Identify the communications methods currently used in your organization
- Identify potential cyber threats to your communications
- Assess the cybersecurity currently employed for these communications – its strengths and weaknesses
- Assess how well prepared you are to defend against the threats you identified
Quantify Actual Attacks and Breaches
Look back over the past 12 months and identify any data breaches or cyberattacks on your organization, focusing especially on attacks on or using communications. Quantify the damage inflicted in each incident, as well as how long it took to identify, stop, and return to normal after each incident.
Employ Security and Information Event Management
A security and information event management (SIEM) platform collects log and event data from all of your systems, applications, and devices, including communications systems. A SIEM system, by consolidating and monitoring disparate data points, can detect suspicious activity and potential incidents within minutes.
Engage in Regular Penetration Testing
How effective is your communications security? Test it to find out. Use penetration testing to simulate different types of incidents and see how well your current communications security defends against them. This helps you identify potential vulnerabilities and take action to prevent them from occurring in the real world.
Compliance with government and industry regulations is a big part of your secure communications posture. Use compliance tracking to identify any areas of noncompliance and then take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation. (According to Hyperproof’s 2022 IT Compliance Benchmark Report, 66% of organizations had noncompliance issues in the past three years.)
Monitor Select Communications
Finally, you can get a handle on the effectiveness of your secure communications plan by monitoring select communications between employees. (Make sure you alert them beforehand that their communications may be monitored, of course.) This will give you an idea of how much confidential information employees are sharing and over which communications media. Employees need to share a certain amount of sensitive information to perform their normal job duties, but shouldn’t be sharing confidential information to people outside the company.
What Your Secure Communications Strategy Needs to Include
Every organization needs a proactive secure communications strategy. You can’t evaluate the effectiveness of your communications security unless you know what you’re measuring against. Here are some of the key elements that your secure communications strategy should include.
You need to think of your secure communications needs in a holistic fashion. So-called unified communications (UC) encompasses all the technologies your employees use to communicate with each other and with professionals outside of your organization— video conferencing, text messaging, email, phone calls, and more. You should also include file sharing as part of your UC plan, as employees need to share files for effective collaboration.
Personal Use Restrictions
It’s important to put some restrictions on how your organization’s communications are used. This is especially important if you have a large number of employees working remotely who may use company devices for personal use or personal devices for company use. You need policies that spell out just what company resources can and cannot be used for personal activities, as well as how personal devices can securely interface with official corporate communications.
Secure communications requires secure authentication to protect against unauthorized users. This includes requiring strong passwords, frequently changing passwords, and employing multi-factor authentication (MFA), which alone can prevent up to 90% of unwanted cyber incidents.
Zero Trust Access
In addition to secure authentication, you should discourage unlimited employee access to all communications. Instead, employ zero trust access to restrict communications only to those employees who need it.
Finally, your secure communications strategy should employ end-to-end encryption for all communications and file sharing. This ensures that even if communications are hi-jacked mid-stream, malicious actors won’t be able to decode message or file contents. This may be the most important component of your secure communications strategy.
Let Wickr Help You Strengthen Your Secure Communications Strategy
When it comes to strengthening communications security, turn to the experts at Wickr. Our secure communications and collaboration platform employs robust end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that all text, voice, and video communications remain secure both at rest and in transit. Make Wickr a part of your organization’s secure communications strategy.
Contact Wickr today to learn more about secure communications strategy.