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Information Security SWOT Analysis
WHAT IS INFORMATION SECURITY?
Information securities are those well articulated actions taken to make sure our information is secure. We secure our information to preserve its basic characteristics which are: availability, accuracy, authenticity, integrity, utility and ownership.
It is not my intention here to go into detailed explanation of these terms but, to explain what information security SWOT analysis is.
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Every Entity has strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats facing it. Any attempt made towards maximizing the opportunities brought by our strengths and to minimize treats caused by our weaknesses are known as SWOT analysis. Therefore, SWOT analysis is an old popular method that managers use to get a quick insight into a company’s strategic situation.
It is believed that an effective strategy equals the attainment of minimizing the negative effects of weaknesses and treats. And that will at the same time help maximize the gains that will come from the strength and opportunities of organizations if things are properly done.
INFORMATION SECURITY SWOT ANALYSIS
For an organization to effectively carryout an information security SWOT analysis, certain factors needs to be considered.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN INFORMATION SECURITY SWOT ANALYSIS
Technologies offer great opportunities as well as treats as far as information security is concerned. Technology evolves in seconds in this our modern age. What you see as an opportunity today quickly becomes a treat within few months or weeks. A company that thinks her information is secure and goes to bed quickly regrettably notice that her information has been compromised if steps are not taken to cushion the effects of information technology treats.
In the same vein, technologies create opportunities on a continuous basis- these opportunities can be tapped into to provide more (reasonable) security to our information. A company ask herself, are we in a better position to grab the opportunity that technology provides in order to adequately checkmate the treats that comes along with technological breakthrough.
Companies should also take stock of their resources (strengths) and weaknesses in the area of information security. Questions like; what are those strengths that we have that we can tap into to protect our information? Do we have workforces that are more technologically savvy? Are we putting our assets to maximize use? Has our information database been hacked? Etc. Companies should take a more philosophical view of placing more importance on questions than answers.
Environmental/ natural factors
Environmental and natural factors need to be considered while carrying out information security SWOT analysis. Though, the down side effects of environmental and natural factors are mostly outside the control of company’s management but, focus shouldn’t be lost on taking advantage of opportunities provided by environmental/ natural factors.
Most uncontrollable information security treats comes as a result of natural factors like earthquake, volcano, flood, etc. The aim of every company should be on one thing – reducing the effects of these natural disasters.
Again, this cannot effectively be handled if we don’t take stock of our strengths and weaknesses.
Political/ governmental factors
Government regulations and policies always have effects on the information security SWOT analysis of a company. The privacy laws for example affect the informational security need of a company.
These effects can be negative or positive. It is negative when it will lead to compromising a company’s information. Care should be taken to ensure that the downside effects are reduced
Human/ Entity factors
Human factor is in fact the most important factor to consider while formulating security strategy. Human factor controls every other factor that I have mentioned in this article. Take cyber crimes as an example, who are those that perpetrated it? There are times when a company’s competitor’s poses treat(s) to an organization’s information. Competitors may for example send a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack to their competitor just to pull them down.
Part of the solution here is to maintain a good number of techie staff to help reduce the effects of these human factors.
The psychological effect our information security policy will have on our customers (both potential and existing) needs to be taken into consideration before implementing any information security strategy. How available are our database is to our customers can make a lot of difference. Banks for instance need to give access to a customer’s online banking account on a 24/7 basis and this no doubt poses a lot of information security treat that will need to be countered by some other measures- like employing a multifactor authentication method of access control.
Financial information security factor is the last point that I will be considering in this article. The cost-benefit-analysis of any information security strategy that a company wants to adopt and implement is another factor that needs to be seriously looked into. A balance between; financial information access, control, security and cost should be highly pursued in order to have an effective and efficient information security strategy.
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To the success of your information security SWOT analysis!