The Information Security Program Lifecycle | The #1 Step-by-Step Guide

By Adam Lori | Last Upload on April 12th 2022 | HomeCybersecurity Career The Information Security Program Lifecycle

Understanding the Information Security Program Lifecycle is very important because it’s what focuses on keeping sensitive info, IT assets and data safe and away from anyone else. With that being said, it’s important to understand the steps that are a part of the Information Security Program Lifecycle and also their importance throughout the entire process.

Understanding the Cybersecurity Risk Framework

The Cybersecurity Framework was created specifically to reduce all the potential cybersecurity risks. The Information Security Program Lifecycle is influenced by this framework, since it integrates many important ideas and features into it, while making sure that everything is implemented appropriately. The framework delivers voluntary guidance, and it fosters risk and cybersecurity communication, while keeping risks low at all times. Something like that will always make a huge difference to focus on.

The Information Security Program Components & Communication Plan

The Cybersecurity Framework was created specifically to reduce all the potential cybersecurity risks. The Information Security Program Lifecycle is influenced by this framework, since it integrates many important ideas and features into it, while making sure that everything is implemented appropriately. The framework delivers voluntary guidance, and it fosters risk and cybersecurity communication, while keeping risks low at all times. Something like that will always make a huge difference to focus on.


This framework has 3 main components, namely the framework core, implementation tiers and profiles. The framework core is bringing a set of cybersecurity activities that are set into categories and they are intuitive, while also acting as a way to boost communication between teams. It doesn’t have any technical knowledge, everything is simplistic and easy to understand. The Core parts are Functions, categories and subcategories.

You can find 5 functions that are high level, recover, respond, detect, protect and identify. Categories are created to help cover the cybersecurity objectives for a business. And lastly we have the subcategories which are 108 in total. These are different because they are driven by an outcome and you can use them to either establish or enhance a cybersecurity program.


The second component would be implementation tiers. These show how the practices exhibit the entire process and implement it wisely. On top of that, tiers are anything from partial to adaptive, and you have a specific rigor degree. You also get to see how the integrated risks are implemented into the larger risk decision base. The thing to keep in mind here is that tiers are not seen as maturity levels. Instead, the organization has to identify the right tier and also ensure that the chosen level is actually meeting the right goals, while lowering cybersecurity risks.

Lastly, we have the final component of the framework which would be the framework profiles. These are a way for the business to align its organizational objectives and requirements, all set against the framework core outcome. The main role of these profiles is to help optimize the cybersecurity framework so it can serve the framework adequately and always convey the best experience and results. Since the framework is voluntary, there’s no good or bad way to do this, which is certainly something to keep in mind.  Thanks to profile creation and gap analysis, it’s now possible for businesses to create a very good cybersecurity solution.

The Main Steps of the Information Security Program Lifecycle

Nowadays it’s very important to ensure that our information is safe and away from prying hands. We have information anywhere from governmental offices to businesses, social media and so on. Every business needs to find ways to protect its assets and data. Which is why it’s crucial to understand the Information Security Program Lifecycle and its steps. It makes it easier for us to learn how to protect sensitive data, while also preventing any possible problems that might arise in the long term. Here are the steps you need to follow.


Identify is the initial step for the Information Security Program Lifecycle. The main role for this step is to identify the type of data or information needs to be secure. If you don’t know what data is very important to protect, then you won’t be able to ensure everything is handled appropriately. The main focus at this particular time is to figure out what information you want to keep safe. In order to do that, you need to understand the network architecture, see how many servers you have, what apps are running and so on.

Ideally, you want to assess things like:

  • The existence of cyber security tools like web app firewalls, general firewalls and others
  • Does the data center/ server room have any access restriction?
  • What materials/assets are seen as a top priority
  • What OS is running on the servers
  • What apps are installed on the server
  • What hardware devices are being used

The best way to access this information is to create an IT audit. This will help assess the infrastructure adequately. In addition to that, there are a variety of security testing tools you can use. Network Mapper is a great example, because it conveys great features, and it can be super easy to adapt to your own requirements all the time. It’s already used by a multitude of network/system admins.


This is the second Information Security Program Lifecycle step, and here you want to evaluate the assets owned by the business. It’s the most complex and important step of the entire process, and it helps cover things like vulnerabilities, servers and systems. Assessing these is extremely important, since you can fully identify any possible problems and adapt accordingly to these requirements.

System Reviews

These reviews are important because they focus on specialized things. These include stuff like gathering info, checking for outdated software, finding various warnings, security systems that were in place and many others. All of these are incredibly important, and they do bring in a massive set of benefits.

Server Reviews

During this process, experts will focus on acquiring server information. They will assess things like server license, OS, processor, HDD and RAM. They will also check remote access features, password policies, user IDs and many others. It’s also important to check the server settings during this time and see if there are any possible issues with the server, among many others.

Vulnerability Assessments

Once those reviews are completed, the security team needs to focus on finding vulnerabilities. These are where breaches can appear, and you want to address them wisely for the best results. During this time, the team will need to find security risks, and also take some preventative measures in order to ensure everything is handled appropriately.


The third step of the Information Security Program Lifecycle is all about design. During this step, the security team is focused on solving all the issues found during the assessment process. Then the security team will focus on creating adequate solutions that will help make the system available, durable and reliable in the long term.


With the new design, the system must ensure the workload can be continued. In order to do so, the system should have secondary and primary servers. The secondary one would start working right away and take the duties of the primary one if there are any possible problems.


System Security

Keeping the reputation of your business intact is crucial, and a potential cyber attack can damage that. Which is why it’s imperative to implement the best possible security measures. With that in mind, you do want to know why security is important for the organization. For example, it can help ensure that data is accessible and available, and it can also help reduce any sign of vulnerabilities. It can be just as efficient and it might also enhance the business revenue in the long run. It will also help enhance the reputation, protect systems from any threats and attacks, while keeping information safe.

The security system can work on different layers, all of which are focused on the idea of protecting the company. Using various techniques and solutions like encryption, antivirus or antimalware software, authentication systems, firewalls and SSL certificates are crucial and certainly something important to keep in mind.


Once the design phase is complete, then the next thing you want to focus on is finding the right way to implement those ideas. The team has to follow a deployment or implementation strategy, and here are the ideal steps that you should follow here.

Create the right plan

Before you do anything, you need to have a plan. This plan should focus on training your entire team, while also making sure that everyone knows how to prevent attacks and avoid any possible vulnerabilities. Additionally, you want to assist responsibilities and role, just to make sure everything is implemented in a proper manner and without any potential issues that can arise.

Assigning roles

When you want to ensure that the plan is implemented properly, you must assign every person adequate roles, depending on the situation.

Collecting resources

After that, the team must go ahead and collect the necessary tools. Here you want to ensure that all the stuff needed for the change plan deployment, like hardware devices, software, computer networking and many others are fully acquired and accessed properly.


Once the change plan is set in stone, your focus is to ensure that the entire process is working smoothly. That’s where testing comes into play. Now you need to test and see if any changes need to be made. They make the process easier and more cohesive, while preventing any possible problems that might arise.


If you want your system to be fully secure, then you need to take all the right protection steps. The reason why this is a very important step in the Information Security Program Lifecycle is because it assures you the system was implemented properly, everything was followed accordingly and the techniques and rules were applied in an adequate manner here.

During this step, the main role of the security team is to review the system and ensure that everything is working properly. They will also check and see if there are any possible risks. If there are any risks at this time, those will be removed properly.

It’s also the time when the information security teams will focus on scrutinizing any of the requirements or new changes that were added during the other steps. They will check the security guidelines and see if everything was appropriate or not.


Once the entire system is in place, you do want to be certain that everything is working correctly and without any issues. Monitoring is crucial, because this is the way you can identify any potential errors, leaks or problems that might arise. This is when you want to use the best monitoring tools or software, since they can do non-stop monitoring, while also assuring you that you get access to all the information that you may need.

During the monitoring process, there are some important aspects you need to take into account. These include things like updating the antivirus, apps and operating system so you have access to the latest security features and upgrades. You also need to enhance the awareness program, having cybersecurity workshops can be a great approach towards doing that.

The monitoring process also needs to focus on the network infrastructure. This mean checking the way the hardware devices are configured, if the firewall, switch, router and server are working as expected. Not only that, but during this process you also want to monitor the system with help from monitoring tools, although you can also do that manually if you want. This is also the time when you want to check for any vulnerabilities or risks that might arise. The monitoring process also assures you that the system is secure and you can also boost measures to counteract any security threats.



Understanding the Information Security Program Lifecycle is very important because it helps you identify what steps are required to complete the entire process. Not only that, but you can use this as the right means to not only improve the entire process, but also adapt it according to your needs. That’s why it’s important to ensure the entire Information Security Program Lifecycle is fully understood and properly implemented. Once that’s done and everything is added adequately, results can be very impressive, and the results can be really good. By following these steps, you won’t have a problem implementing and using the Information Security Program Lifecycle, and this will lead to much better and more consistent results in the long run!

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