Creating a Cybersecurity Strategy: A Consultant’s Perspective

Last updated Jan 15, 2024  |  Published on Nov 22, 2023
by Haley Glover

Developing a cybersecurity strategy is essential for building up the resilience of your organization’s security posture. Working with a cybersecurity consultant throughout this process is a valuable resource for organizations. These consultants help organizations navigate the complexities of cybersecurity by analyzing their security posture to develop a comprehensive, tailored strategy that best suits the organization’s needs. This empowers organizations to make informed decisions on their cybersecurity strategy, prioritize investments, and bridge the gap between existing security measures and the complex protection required to remain resilient to evolving threats. 

Define your Needs 

With the continuous advancement of technology, no organization is immune from evolving cyber threats. Whether your organization needs guidance or a full-cycle strategy development approach, a cybersecurity consultant can enhance your security posture at any stage. If your organization is unsure of the current security posture, partnering with a cybersecurity consultant can help to clarify your cybersecurity strategy and the business’ maturity.  

Understanding the NIST 800-53 Framework 

NIST 800-53 is a cybersecurity standard and compliance framework that is continuously updated as new technologies and processes evolve. Many security providers will suggest tools that resolve one aspect of a security portfolio, whereas NIST 800-53 covers the full range of technologies, processes and policies. Although federal organizations are required to ensure their providers are in compliance with this framework, any organization can use or implement NIST 800-53. Any third-party vendors or organizations may need to comply with this framework if they work with the public sector, as it shows the necessary steps have been taken to secure their organization. With this framework being available to all, it allows organizations to share a common standard and shared language.  

Conduct a Gap Analysis 

To ensure your organization is aligning with industry and compliance standards, conducting a gap analysis serves as a critical step. The NIST 800-53 framework is a strongly recommended guideline to follow when looking to improve the security posture of an organization, even if the organization is not required to adhere to the compliance standard. Partnering with a consultant provides an in-depth analysis of your organization’s security posture and can help identify risks the business may have previously overlooked.  

Analyze the Results 

After reviewing hundreds of security controls in place, a cybersecurity consultant can analyze these assets and determine how sensitive and business-critical each asset is. As not all vulnerabilities pose equal threats, consultants act as great guidance for organizations to help weigh risks based on potential impact and likelihood, enabling organizations to allocate resources where they matter most.  

 For government agencies who are looking to become FedRAMP or StateRAMP authorized, undergoing a Third-Party Assessment Organization (3PAO) audit is a rigorous process to showcase adherence to strict security standards. Receiving consulting prior to the audit is much more affordable in the long run, making a cybersecurity consultant a great partner for the preparation of a 3PAO audit.  

Implement Best Practices 

Collaborating with a cybersecurity consultant is more than just compliance; it is about investing in a resilient future. Once an organization has the right security controls in place, they must incorporate the best security practices into their organization. Some of the best practices to incorporate include managing access control, implementing security awareness training throughout the organization, and continuously monitoring all controls. This partnership empowers organizations to navigate the complexity of cybersecurity with confidence, bridging the gap between existing security measures and the intricate protection necessary to combat evolving threats.