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How Continuous Control Automation is Leapfrogging Continuous Control Monitoring

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In a world where automation is taking over fast food, driving, package delivery, and practically every other industry, why isn’t it more prevalent in the cybersecurity realm? For a sector inundated with cutting-edge technology in almost every other aspect, somehow risk and compliance management has fallen to the wayside. Employees and chief information security officers (CISO’s) are still spending hours poring in spreadsheets and doing manual control monitoring and in 2021, with digital transformation everywhere in the world, it’s frankly unacceptable. 

According to Gartner, By 2021, fewer than 15% of organizations will implement holistic monitoring, putting $255 billion of investments in cloud-based solutions at risk.

Cyber professionals are under more pressure than ever to support new technologies in digital transformation, all while still maintaining the previous systems. With new responsibilities constantly being foisted upon them, it becomes even more impractical to expect cybersecurity leaders to manually monitor internal controls and risk management.

We need to start looking at solutions that allow automation to take at least some of the burden off of manually going through controls. By doing that we allow cyber professionals to focus more on ways to innovate within the company and get to their “real” jobs of actively mitigating threats instead of just reacting to them. 

Why Continuous Control Monitoring Isn’t Enough 

A reactive approach in the ever-changing digital landscape of cybersecurity is no longer enough. Manually sifting through spreadsheets to determine compliance when the result may no longer be relevant when the assessment is through wastes thousands of hours of resources that could be spent elsewhere.

There is a simple solution: automation. Specifically, AI-assisted automation that gives business leaders insight into real-time risk monitoring and assessments.  This approach mitigates control gaps and reduces the overall cost of audits. 

Teams that monitor risk must become aware of the changes that can happen minute to minute in an agile environment. Whether that environment is product releases, financial information, or sensitive client information, it all needs to be supervised and evaluated. This constant assessment isn’t practical for companies to manage with manpower alone. Humans are fallible, and it becomes much easier to have gaps in security without a continuous auditing process that leverages automation to achieve its goals. 

It doesn’t help that this data is often modular or siloed, existing in several different places that don’t communicate with one another. This makes it difficult when a breach does happen because it doesn’t allow CISO’s or higher-level executives to make decisions based on aggregated data and insights. When data breaches can happen in seconds, this kind of manual monitoring can make or break a situation when it takes hours to make a decision. It also highlights a critical weakness in business processes and internal auditing procedures. 

It will always be a consistent struggle to maintain control monitoring with legacy approaches and legacy IT GRC systems. 

AI-fueled Automation

AI is a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot, especially in cyber spaces. When we discuss AI here we’re not talking about a system that sends emails when controls are out of date or texts when compliance hasn’t been met. Instead, we’re talking about real-time monitoring that continuously updates. 

At an operational level, automated control monitoring addresses risk in a way that allows executives to allocate resources in a way that will yield the greatest return on security investment. Siloed data only cripples control monitoring strategy and doesn’t allow for the transparency necessary to address security from a risk-first approach

Automation Creates Space For Innovation

The impact COVID-19 has had on the world has shown more than ever that automation is not only upcoming but a necessity. Convert automation into successful business objectives. 

Modular systems and siloed data encourage fractured thinking and thus fractured teams. If business leaders could focus less on continuous control monitoring (CCM), it would leave room to allocate more resources and personpower to other projects to further company goals and objectives. With resources freed up, it becomes easier to invest in other areas of the business and other departments. 

Automation reduces costs, saving members of the Fortune 500 million’s annually with options to reduce business losses in the event of a breach as well. The use case for AI is clear for modern enterprises. Embracing the need for AI operationalization will shift the focus to continuous automated monitoring. Business leaders must focus on technologies like CyberStrong that bridge the gap between siloed systems and augment existing systems, especially in companies that have suffered from downsized security teams in the pandemic.

Conclusion 

Continuous control automation is for the future of cyber. By 2023, Gartner predicts that 30% of large enterprises will be using artificial intelligence for IT operations technology exclusively to monitor the nonlegacy segments of their IT estates, up from 2% in 2018.

To learn more about how continuous control automation is leapfrogging continuous control monitoring solutions check out our webinar. To bring continuous control automation to your organization request a demo.

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