Technological advancement and globalization call for organizations to use efficient methods to safeguard their information. Singh, Gupta, and Ojha (2014) say that companies require information security management to guarantee the safety and value of their data. In the past, high-profile companies have been victims of cybercrimes, prompting regulators and legislatures to recommend formulation policies to govern sharing of information.
Organizational leaders acknowledge that data is an invaluable asset, thus there is a need to protect it. This paper will discuss the responsibility of executives in information safety governance. It will also discuss the outcomes of the information security management program and the best practices for protecting organizational data.
Information Security Governance
Information security governance refers to the structure by which companies manage and regulate the use and sharing of data. It helps to mitigate risks, ensures the accomplishment of strategic goals, and facilitates the utilization of company resources. The senior executives and board of directors must protect organizational data and ensure that it is utilized according to its intended purpose.
IT Governance Institute (2006) alleges, “Information security must be an integral and transparent part of enterprise control and be aligned with the IT governance framework” (p. 11). The senior executives are obliged to address all information security issues that might arise in an organization. As per IT Governance Institute (2006), the board of directors is tasked with ensuring that information security is an integral component of organizational governance. This board should make sure that information safety control is fused with other organizational processes that are meant to maintain essential resources.
It would be difficult for senior executives and the board of directors to implement an effective information security program if they do not understand the desired outcomes. Therefore, these leaders must identify the goals of information security governance and work towards their realization (Singh et al., 2014). Moreover, they must oversee the execution of information security programs. The board of directors and senior executives must regularly appraise an existing security program to ascertain its effectiveness.
Outcomes of Information Security Governance
The components of information security governance include organizational procedures, structures, and leadership. These elements work together to guarantee the safety of information. According to Safa et al. (2015), communication is significant to the success of information security governance. All stakeholders who are involved in safeguarding organizational data must communicate effectively and devote themselves to dealing with security challenges that might arise. According to IT Governance Institute (2006), information security governance results in five critical outcomes.
It helps to align a company’s information safety with its business plan, therefore facilitating the realization of organizational goals. Information security governance guarantees openness and comprehension of data safety costs, policies, strategies, and service levels. It delineates the policies that an organization should observe to realize its objectives. Moreover, information security governance facilitates the creation of an information technology continuity strategy, which aligns with business goals.
Risk management is another outcome of information security governance. As Safa et al. (2015) argue, information security governance outlines the measures that an organization ought to take to preserve its interests. Globalization and technological growth have intensified competition between multinationals and created room for information breaches. Therefore, organizations require ensuring that their information does not fall in the wrong hands. Government institutions and banks store and use sensitive information, which could have devastating implications if accessed by unauthorized personnel like hackers. Information security governance helps these institutions to establish protective measures to uphold their data. Moreover, it enables organizations to alleviate risks that might arise in the event of a data breach.
Information security governance defines how organizational resources are utilized. Singh et al. (2014) cite efficient management of corporate resources as one of the outcomes of information security governance. Organizational leaders leverage information security infrastructure and knowledge to create security plans to facilitate efficient utilization of resources. Information security governance helps in performance measurement.
It allows companies to establish ways for detecting threats to data safety. Additionally, it helps in the creation of a system that evaluates and gives feedback on the accomplishment of organizational objectives. Soomro, Shah, and Ahmed (2016) identify value delivery as a critical outcome of information security governance. Information security governance enables an organization to implement a set of safety procedures, which help minimize vulnerabilities.
Effective information security governance helps organizations to assure investors, employees, and clients that they are dealing with a secure company. Organizations ought to take several measures to guarantee the safety of their data. The following are some of the best practices that companies can use to execute and manage information security governance programs.
- Employ a comprehensive approach to strategy: Organizations should understand the potential impacts of information security governance programs before their implementation. Singh et al. (2014) claim that it is imperative to conduct a company-wide analysis to determine the data that requires protection. Moreover, all stakeholders must be involved in the development of an information security governance program.
- Conduct employee training and create awareness: Employees are unlikely to adopt safety measures if they do not understand their value. Therefore, an organization must train employees on how to implement a given security program and sensitizes them on its benefits.
- Monitor and Evaluate a security program: Information security governance should be appraised regularly to determine its success. It would enable organizational leaders to identify policies, which do not work and employees who violate established guidelines.
- Ensure there is communication between parties: All stakeholders should be allowed to share information with the management team. Singh et al. (2014) contend that limiting interaction between employees may deny them a chance to share critical information concerning security governance.
- Promote alertness and flexibility: Information security governance should evolve according to changes in the digital landscape. Senior executives must appraise the security program to determine its strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.
Items to Address
The senior management should address numerous factors when implementing and managing information security governance programs. The following is a list of things that require consideration. The items are arranged in their order of priority.
|People||Determine if current employees experience problems safeguarding organizational information||Budgetary support|
|People||Identify the employees who will be affected by the information security governance program||Information management governance team|
|People||Decide on how to communicate the expected program to employees||Human resource team|
|Process||Establish how people will utilize their information||Information management team|
|Process||Determine how information security governance with affect operations||Backup systems|
|Technology||The security program might require technology to function effectively||Enterprise content management (ECM) system|
Information security governance is critical to an organization because it restores investors’ confidence and boosts the company’s relationship with customers. The board of directors and senior executives must know a company’s information resources and their potential impacts on business performance. The outcomes of information security governance include strategic alignment, resource management, value delivery, performance measurement, and risk mitigation. Organizations should ensure that they have the requisite human capital and technology to implement information security governance programs.
IT Governance Institute. (2006). Information security governance: Guidance for boards of directors and executive management 2nd edition. Web.
Safa, N. S., Sookhak, M., Von Solms, R., Furnell, S., Ghani, N. A., & Herawan, T. (2015). Information security conscious care behaviour formation in organizations. Computers & Security, 53(1), 65-78.
Singh, A. N., Gupta, M. P., & Ojha, A. (2014). Identifying factors of “organizational information security management”. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 27(5), 644-667.
Soomro, Z. A., Shah, M. H., & Ahmed, J. (2016). Information security management needs more holistic approach: A literature review. International Journal of Information Management, 36(2), 215-225.