How to Develop a System Security Plan

January 1, 2020

What is a Security Plan

A network security plan defines how a computer, network or information system will be secured and protected from threats such as worms, viruses and unauthorized users. Typically, the IT departments of businesses that rely on network security will implement these plans. Organizations that receive federal funding may also need to provide a system security plan to meet standards.

Although security plans can be complex depending on infrastructure and organizational goals, every business should have one in place. For most organizations, developing a security plan is a smart way to protect business assets and keep the network up and running consistently.

Why It’s Important to Have a Security Plan

In recent years, the average network has expanded significantly, thanks to the development of cloud technology and IoT devices. As networks have grown, so has the network attack surface. With more entry points to your system, it’s more important than ever to have a strong security plan in place. Information systems are also increasingly essential to day-to-day business operations, making security crucial to preventing costly downtime.

Some organizations may also be required to have a security plan. If you store or otherwise handle sensitive data — such as medical information subject to HIPAA — you may need to take certain system security measures to remain in compliance.

Whether you’re required to write a System Security Plan (SSP) or simply want to improve your organization’s data security, thinking carefully about your current risks is a good place to start.

How to Develop a System Security Plan

The development of a new system security plan starts by evaluating your current security and its strengths and weaknesses. If you’ve faced any security threats recently, what caused them? How were they resolved? During this stage, you should identify all the physical and information assets you need your system security to protect.

Once you understand your organization’s current network security, you can begin developing your security plan:

  • Determine what level of security your network requires by conducting a risk assessment.
  • Come up with potential strategies for assessing gaps in security and test them if possible.
  • Write a detailed plan that outlines all company procedures related to network security.
  • Create a reasonable timeline and begin implementing the new system.

What to Include in Your System Security Plan

The system security plan you devise should include several essential pieces of information:

  • A list of authorized users
  • What each user is allowed to do on the network
  • The access control methods users will use to access the system
  • Known strengths and weaknesses of the system
  • Plans for addressing security weaknesses
  • System backup and restoration procedures
  • Any other information required by law in your industry

If this seems like a lot to tackle, that’s OK. Building security from the ground up can be an enormous job. That’s why DataSpan is committed to helping businesses like yours develop security plans that meet their unique needs.

Let DataSpan Help With Your Network Security Challenges

With 50 years of experience, we know how important a security plan is to the success of your business. We offer security assessment, consultation and implementation services to help you reduce threats against your network and achieve unparalleled performance. To get started, find your local representative or contact DataSpan today.