Cybersecurity is a complex and dynamic field, and there are several elements that security teams must continuously monitor and manage to protect an organization's security posture. Cyber risk management strategies must focus on more than one facet of security, whether compliance, firewall protection, or physical safety. Security teams with a narrow focus on risk management will leave companies unprepared for threats and potential data breaches.
Elements of Security Posture Management
To effectively and efficiently manage all aspects of cyber security, let’s review the key elements you need to consider in your risk management plan.
Access Control: You must know who can access your crown jewels and critical assets. This includes user authentication, authorization, and regularly reviewing and updating access privileges as needed. Your security team must actively monitor access and approval to avoid insider threats or former employees accessing critical assets.
Network Security: Protecting the network infrastructure, including firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and monitoring network traffic for suspicious activities.
Endpoint Security: Managing and securing all devices connected to the network, including computers, mobile devices, and IoT devices. This involves ensuring that all devices are updated with the latest security patches and that antivirus/antimalware software is in place.
Data Protection: Encrypting sensitive data in transit and at rest and implementing data loss prevention (DLP) measures to prevent unauthorized data leakage.
Incident Response and Management: Developing and regularly testing an incident response plan to handle security breaches effectively and minimize their impact. A practical incident response approach helps distribute and codify the incident response strategy across the organization. If you need guidance for developing an incident response plan, explore the NIST Incident Response Framework that will guide your planning strategy.
Security Awareness Training: Educating employees about security best practices and creating a security-conscious culture within the organization. Send regular updates to your organization regarding developing threats and trends impacting your industry and enlist the help of security training platforms that regularly educate your organization’s members.
Vulnerability Management: Identifying and remediating software, hardware, and configuration vulnerabilities. This includes regular vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.
Patch Management: Ensuring that all software and systems are up to date with the latest security patches and updates to protect against known vulnerabilities. Send regular updates to your organization’s members to update software and application patches as they come in.
Security Policies and Procedures: Developing and enforcing security policies and procedures that govern how data and systems are accessed and used within the organization.
Third-Party Risk Management: Assessing and managing the cybersecurity risks associated with third-party vendors, suppliers, and partners accessing your data or systems. Third and fourth-party risk management can be complicated in the financial sector. CyberSaint has partnered with IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center to automate control compliance, centralize risk data, and provide real-time insights.
Physical Security: Protecting physical access to servers, data centers, and other critical infrastructure to prevent unauthorized physical breaches.
Compliance and Regulations: Ensuring the organization complies with relevant cybersecurity regulations and industry standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or ISO 27001. Organizations should also maintain compliance with more industry-specific or location-specific standards. Several organizations make the mistake of making compliance their end goal when compliance is just a part of their overall cyber risk health.
Cloud Security: Managing security in cloud environments, including securing cloud infrastructure, data, and applications. There is probably a cloud instance in every organization’s tech stack, which needs to be accounted for. Bad actors commonly target cloud instances as they can be complex to manage or are overlooked by security teams.
Cyber Security Risk Assessment: Regularly assessing the organization's security posture, identifying risks, and prioritizing actions to mitigate them. Risk assessments are critical to managing and developing a cyber risk management program. They are the foundation of risk management because they help identify gaps and vulnerabilities in the security posture.
Security professionals can take two routes for assessments: spreadsheets or automation. Remember that the selected path will determine how efficient the cyber risk operations will be. With spreadsheets, professionals must manually sift through data lines that might be dated when the assessment is completed. And they will have to do this for each framework and standard the organization complies with. Whereas automation does the sifting for the security team, freeing up the team to actively manage other, more pressing areas of cybersecurity.
Efficiently Manage Your Security Posture
Remember that effective posture management is an iterative process. Regularly conducting security audits, cyber risk assessments, and penetration testing are critical for identifying weaknesses and areas for improvement. There are several elements to security posture management. Security professionals can utilize an end-point solution for each component, which introduces the need to manage the security of each end-point solution that may not integrate with the other solutions. Alternatively, security teams can deploy a platform that effectively manages multiple elements and port data into different solutions. CyberStrong offers integrations with several existing tools and data lakes, like Snowflake.