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Continuous Control Automation, Cyber Risk Management

Tools for Empowering Continuous Monitoring in Cybersecurity


Continuous control monitoring relies heavily on various processes to ensure that cybersecurity platforms are effective and up-to-date. Regular audits and cybersecurity risk assessments form the backbone of these processes, involving internal and external reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of security controls. These assessments help identify control gaps and areas for improvement, ensuring that the organization's security posture remains robust. Continuous vulnerability scanning complements these audits by constantly probing systems for weaknesses that attackers could exploit. This proactive approach allows organizations to promptly address security flaws before bad actors leverage them in a cyber attack.

As defined by Gartner, continuous control monitoring (CCM) is a set of technologies used to reduce business losses through constant monitoring and reduce the cost of audits through continuous auditing of the controls in financial and other transactional applications.

By centering your approach to cybersecurity around CCM, your organization can dynamically assess your risk and compliance posture efficiently and easily. CCM helps streamline the manual aspects of cybersecurity, helping you reach accurate cyber risk insights without having to work with dated information. Continue reading our blog to learn more about the technologies that support CCM and other strategies for continuous monitoring in cybersecurity.

Processes for Continuous Monitoring in Cybersecurity

If you’re still tracking your controls in a spreadsheet, there’s a strong chance you’re operating on dated and incorrect control information. As your organization expands and matures, several hundred controls must be tracked continuously, which is nearly impossible to do manually. Often, by the time risk professionals are finished assessing their enterprise, the assessment could be outdated, and changes or control failures will not be reflected in assessment and cyber risk management reports.

Read More: Deep Dive into Cyber Risk Assessment Templates

Let’s say you’re called in for a Board meeting and need to report on your risk and compliance posture, but the last risk assessment was performed a quarter ago. You cannot effectively lead cyber operations and report to leadership with inaccurate data. That only puts the organization at further risk and does not position you to get the support and investment needed from stakeholders. Automated control monitoring empowers you to assess your cyber risk posture in real-time. At CyberStrong, our approach is called Continuous Control Automation™(CCA), powered by patented AI to move from a reactive to a proactive assessment approach by automating the scoring of compliance controls in real-time.

With this capability, you can uncover your top security risks, use these insights to accurately inform your control assessment strategy, and funnel data into the Governance Dashboard to illustrate the organization’s compliance posture clearly.

Additionally, patch management is a critical process in CCM, focusing on the timely application of security patches to systems and applications. This process ensures known vulnerabilities are mitigated quickly, reducing the risk of cyber attacks. Incident response and forensics capabilities are also essential, enabling organizations to quickly detect, analyze, and respond to data breaches.

A well-defined incident response plan helps minimize damage and facilitate recovery, while forensic analysis provides insights into the nature and extent of an attack, helping to prevent future occurrences. To support these efforts, ongoing security awareness training for employees is crucial. It ensures that all staff members understand and adhere to security policies, making them an integral part of the organization's defense strategy.

Effective change management processes are also vital, ensuring that any changes to the IT environment are thoroughly reviewed and approved to avoid inadvertently introducing new vulnerabilities. Additionally, integrating threat intelligence into the security strategy allows organizations to stay informed about emerging threats and adapt their controls accordingly. This dynamic approach helps maintain a strong security posture in the face of evolving threats. Together, these processes form a comprehensive framework for CCM, enabling organizations to maintain robust cybersecurity defenses.

Other Tools that Enhance Continuous Monitoring in Cyber

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Systems

To effectively monitor cybersecurity, your approach should consider assessing data from all relevant tools in your tech stack. SIEM systems continuously collect and analyze log data from various sources, including network devices, servers, applications, and security devices. By aggregating this data, SIEM systems provide a centralized view of all security events occurring within the network. They can detect anomalies and suspicious activities in real-time and generate alerts, allowing security teams to respond promptly to potential threats.

SIEMs use correlation engines to analyze the collected data and identify patterns that may indicate a security incident. By correlating events from different sources, SIEMs can detect complex, multi-stage attacks that might go unnoticed if each event were analyzed in isolation. This capability helps identify and understand the nature and scope of security threats, enabling more effective incident response and mitigation.

Certain SIEM solutions can include features for compliance reporting, integration with threat intelligence feeds, and automation for certain aspects of incident response planning. CyberStrong integrates with SIEM tools like Snowflake to empower users to normalize data from their telemetry tool in the CyberStrong environment to assess and enrich reports and dashboards. Additionally, the assessed data can be funneled back into Snowflake for use in other reports.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Solutions

EDR solutions are essential in CCM because they provide advanced capabilities to detect, investigate, and respond to threats on endpoints within an organization's network. EDR solutions continuously monitor endpoint activities, capturing detailed information about processes, file changes, network connections, and user behaviors. This ongoing monitoring allows EDR systems to detect suspicious activities and potential threats as they occur.

EDR tools employ advanced threat detection techniques, including behavioral analysis, machine learning, and signature-based detection, to identify known and unknown threats. They can detect sophisticated attacks such as zero-day exploits, APTs, and file-less malware. EDR systems can provide early warnings of potential security incidents by analyzing patterns and anomalies in endpoint behavior.

EDR solutions offer robust tools for incident investigation and forensics when a potential threat is detected. Additionally, EDR tools can automate response and remediation actions, integrate with SIEMs, and incorporate threat intelligence feeds.


Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) Systems

CSPM solutions provide comprehensive tools to ensure that cloud infrastructure is secure, compliant, and configured correctly. CSPM systems continuously assess and monitor cloud environments to identify misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues. They scan cloud infrastructure in real time, providing ongoing visibility into the security posture of cloud assets. This continuous monitoring solution helps organizations promptly detect and address security gaps, reducing the risk of breaches and data loss.

CSPM systems support CCM by providing continuous risk assessment and monitoring, configuration management, threat detection and response, visibility, and inventory management, integration with DevOps and CI/CD pipelines, and robust reporting and analytics. These capabilities help organizations maintain a secure and compliant cloud environment, reducing the risk of security incidents and ensuring ongoing protection of cloud assets.

Other CCM tools are vulnerability management, configuration management platforms, identity and access management (IAM) systems, and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) tools.

Implementing a Continuous Approach to Cybersecurity

CCM is a cornerstone of effective cyber risk management. It provides real-time insights into the status of your security controls. This ongoing vigilance is crucial in the face of a constantly evolving threat landscape, as it allows for the rapid identification and remediation of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that attackers could exploit.

By continuously assessing the security posture, organizations can ensure that their defenses align with the latest threats, reducing the window of opportunity for cybercriminals. This proactive approach strengthens the overall security posture and enhances resilience against potential breaches, ultimately protecting sensitive data and maintaining stakeholder trust.

Automation is pivotal in CCM, delivering numerous benefits and significantly enhancing cyber risk management efforts. Automated systems can perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as scanning for vulnerabilities, analyzing logs, and generating compliance reports, faster and more accurately than manual processes. This approach frees up valuable time for security teams to focus on strategic initiatives and ensures consistent and comprehensive monitoring. Automation improves reporting strategies by providing real-time data and insights, enabling more timely and informed decision-making. Lead confidently in the Boardroom using an automated approach like CCA to improve collaboration with business-side leaders and effectively secure investment for security initiatives.

Meet with CyberSaint to see how you can automate your approach to control monitoring with CyberStrong.

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