A Strategic Guide To Develop A Cyber Action Plan

Any organization, regardless of size, is not at all exempt from cybersecurity threats. Having a well-crafted proactive, seamless, and flawless plan of controlling measures is non-negotiable. It eliminates the potential cybersecurity storm, which costs the reputation and revenue as well. 

Although many advanced technologies bring more convenience, it also makes organizations more vulnerable to cyber-attacks because of the effort put in by cybercriminals who continue evolving, making their movements unpredictable.

To negotiate the cybersecurity breaches that all organizations are facing currently, the CIOs and CISOs must ensure that their system and network are undoubtedly protected by an integrated cybersecurity plan.  This plan is specific in terms of reliability and predictability because recovering from a cyberattack is an uphill battle. 

However, having the right people with the right plans at the right place helps to restrict, respond to, and recover from a security breach. Furthermore, it will make your organization less of a target, mitigate the risk of a breach, and lessen the impact of cyberattacks.

Let’s find out how cybersecurity experts shed light on this pressing issue and address the most crucial considerations for companies while developing a proactive cybersecurity plan.

A glimpse of Cybersecurity Plan – How To Initiate The Process

First of all, a cybersecurity plan should support you to shift from a reactive to a proactive stance. This strategy must include a security base that assists you to create a customized action plan that prevents cyberattacks on organizational and employee data. 

To initiate the process of upgrading your cybersecurity strategy, conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment. RedMonocle’s Cyber Risk Assessment helps determine the needs or success of your cybersecurity program and policies. 

RedMonocle risk assessments follow NIST guidelines (the industry standard) to conduct interviews and documentation analysis to determine the current state of the security program of the organization.  This IT security planning makes decision-making around people, processes, and technologies more streamlined.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need Precise and Proactive Cybersecurity Plan

It’s one thing to have a generic cybersecurity plan, but when that plan has to come into action, points of failure are disastrous for enterprises due to overlooked gaps. Here are five reasons to create an in-depth, proactive cybersecurity plan:

  • Look Before You Lose – By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. The cybersecurity tool or software your organization has in place is important. But what’s more important is how your secure information is managed. RedMonocle’s cybersecurity plan is based on the critical resource, function, or operation that could be impacted by a sequence of potential business disruptions. 
  • Inspire Confidence In Every Customer – Consumers are becoming much smarter and more aware of the importance of the data that they are sharing with the companies. To that end, as customers become more connected, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are becoming increasingly vital aspects of every business.
    Cyber breaches cause not only a loss of internal and client information but can also damage your organization’s reputation. It is difficult for organizations to recover from cyber-attacks. Therefore, adapting and maintaining a reliable, robust, and integrated cybersecurity system is a unique selling point that appeals to customers and business partners. Failing to address your vulnerability to data breaches could diminish that trust and ultimately impact your business bottom line.
  • Protect Your Highly Valuable & Highly Sensitive Information – The advancing technological landscape and increase in software adoption mean more information and data spread across the internet. All that sensitive information is invaluable to cybercriminals, which is why it is crucial to protect it using robust cybersecurity tools and software.
  • Reduce The Cost of Data Breaches – Cyber-attacks are more bizarre in the real business scenario than actually imagined. The aftermath can be varied from minor security breaches to the loss of the business and its customers. The average cost of the breach is around USD 4 million, causing more than just business disruption. Oftentimes, companies are unaware of the cyber risks within their IT environment and fail to have any cybersecurity corrective measures in place until it’s far too late. Every organization needs to prioritize its security threats and address them if they care about the cost of a data breach. 
  • Employees Could Either Be a Security Risk or an Asset – The behavior of employees is critical to assess for a comprehensive data security plan. In such strategies, awareness building, employee training, and incentives for employees to behave responsibly when dealing with data and communication devices should be included. There should also be procedures and safeguard techniques for mitigating any risk against cybersecurity threats. 

Steps Involved While Developing Your Cybersecurity Plan

From identifying your key assets and threats to setting achievable targets, here’s how to develop your comprehensive cybersecurity plan and what considerations to make: 

  • Identifying Key Assets and Threats – The first and the most important phase in developing a cybersecurity plan is to identify key assets you’re going to protect. Simultaneously, it requires the active consideration of your current context, as well as risk assessment and threat management of the current business and or cybersecurity processes.
  • Prioritizing Assets, Risks, and Threats – Prioritize the assets, threats, and risks with the appropriate approach depending on organizational requirements. Here are three basic questions you need to answer to identify your top risks:
    1. What are the risks and threats in your organization?
    2. What are the main concerns of your organization regarding cybersecurity?
    3. Which risks and threats would harm your organization the most?
  • Setting Achievable Goals – While a cybersecurity plan should determine all activities that the organization would need to identify the goals that will be truly achievable. Cybersecurity policies will drive the rest of your cybersecurity efforts. The organization should focus on critical and high-risk areas as they are a matter of priority. 
  • Documenting Cyber Policies & Linking Goals To Business Objectives – This is the essential phase where you document your protocols, processes, policies, and every procedure. Then the organization should identify the business reason for each goal highlighted. Never forget the business side of your cybersecurity plan because each of your plans will have an impact on your organization.
  • Testing For Vulnerabilities – Here the company needs to examine whether your cybersecurity plan works perfectly or not. Waiting to find out when a breach occurs will be too late and too risky. Therefore, testing your plan is mandated. You need to perform a complete assessment of your security system to ensure that your cybersecurity plan is still relevant, up to date, and effective. Cyber threats are continuously evolving, so your cybersecurity plan should evolve also. 

Connect the dots between cyber risk and immediate business value

The more you know about your security breaches and control measures, the more you can reinforce effective procedures for cyber governance, risk, and compliance. RedMonocle guides you to connect the dots between quantified cybersecurity risk and immediate business values.


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Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Vice President of Growth

Nichole Kelly brings over two decades of experience in growing organizations top line and bottom line revenue. As one of the leading marketing influencers she is the author of "How to Measure Social Media" and has traveled the world teaching marketers how to build and execute ROI-driven marketing strategies at every major marketing conference. Also an entrepreneur, Kelly was also the founder of SME Digital, a digital marketing agency that was sold to Renegade Marketing.

Kelly leads an active life of service and is the founder of The Bipolar Executive blog and podcast. This project is  designed to help shift the conversation around mental illness to one of mental wellness in Corporate America. 

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Saint Leo University.

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Chris Schroeder

Vice President of Engineering, Co-Founder

Chris Schroeder has over 25 years of experience in large complex IT environments from the Fortune 500 to the federal government. Chris has an extensive technology background in mobility, infrastructure operations, and data analytics. Schroeder is a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of App47 and the Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of RealOps (sold to BMC).

Chris is an active volunteer in his community coaching boys and girls lacrosse, supporting high school STEM programs, and serving on the Pastoral Council. 

Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Radford University and a Masters Degree in Technology Engineering from George Washington University.

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Sean McDermott

President & CEO, Founder

Sean McDermott’s curiosity for advancing technology began at his first job as a network engineer/architect installing and managing the first private internet for the U.S. Department of Justice. At a time when the internet was just taking off, McDermott was at the forefront and has continued to be on the cutting edge of technology leading Fortune 500 companies through the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the 2008 recession. Sean has over three decades of experience working with CIOs in the Fortune 500 to trail blaze innovation and protect the IT infrastructure of the largest commercial and federal organizations in the world. 

McDermott is a mission-driven, serial entrepreneur who founded Windward Consulting Group, RealOps, Inc. (sold to BMC), App47 and RedMonocle. He is also the founder of the Windward Foundation and Alzheimer’s Caregiver Alliance, an organization dedicated to easing the burden of caregiving for individuals and families touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

McDermott is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and has been featured in Security Boulevard, TechRepublic, IT Visionaries, APM Digest, Inside BigData, DevPro Journal, IT Toolbox and more. He  holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a Masters in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America. 

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