by Jasmine Chennikara-Varghese
Enterprises need to stay vigilant and continuously fortify their security posture to defend against sophisticated attack vectors. As the evolving cyber landscape potentially exposes more business-critical data, ensuring security controls effectively protect that data becomes increasingly challenging. In addition, organizations need to manage compliance of those same security controls to satisfy numerous regulatory requirements such as CIS CSC, NIST, GDPR, and PCI DSS as well as internal initiatives.
While regulatory compliance does not guarantee security, it is essential to achieving basic maturity in any cyber readiness program. Understanding compliance first requires assessing data, processes and systems requiring protection. Are you protecting the right asset? Do you need stricter controls for more critical data? There is no all-in-one approach as different data and assets have difference levels of risk and impact.
The security controls put in place to protect business data, assets and infrastructure often lack awareness of business context. This could mean controls are missed for new critical data or older assets which are no longer crown jewels are given extensive maintenance. Managing the complexity of your landscape entails continuous awareness of the nature of the data and systems involved in order to make appropriate adjustments. Additionally, surfacing this information to executives requires context on business hierarchies, processes, services and products. Continuous awareness and correlation with business context will empower you to justify the right security controls for your landscape.
Organizations are spending billions on technologies and solutions to drive implementation of security controls designed to address regulatory and internal concerns. The controls may have limited return on investment due to the expertise required in managing those solutions and technologies. While the security control itself may be automated and/or manual, organizations also spend money and resources to manually compile control evidence to quantify regulatory compliance and cyber exposure. These time-consuming activities leave enterprises vulnerable to threat actors who compromise systems and data faster than effective controls can be put in place to detect and mitigate attacks. Automated continuous monitoring and assessment, enabling fine-tuning of controls, are needed to proactively defend against evolving cyber threats and manage compliance.
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