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5 Key Reasons to do a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment
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Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2020 by

A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment gives your company the intelligence to know where you stand with respect to cybersecurity risk. The modern business faces cybersecurity challenges as never before. These challenges are being complicated by sophisticated techniques such as social engineering. Cyber-threats are compounded and facilitated through the hyper-connectivity offered by cloud computing, mobile devices, and the IoT.

These threats affect the integrity of your organization and its data, impacting productivity and company finances. Did you know that the average cost of a cyber-attack is now $3.92 million per incident?

One of the best ways to manage these increasingly challenging cyber-attacks is by knowing exactly where you stand as an organization. In other words, you must know your cybersecurity posture.

What is a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment?

A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment is designed to give your organization a clear view of its security status. The assessment process is about security governance and control with a view to the prevention of cyber-attacks. This includes identifying any possible security threats to your organization and any weaknesses in the IT infrastructure and business processes that could result in a threat becoming a security incident.

Who needs a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment?

The assessment is meant for a C-Level and upper management audience. It provides key intelligence on likely areas where cybersecurity costs and resources will be needed, allowing your organization to understand the ROI of security. It is typically baselined against existing frameworks such as NIST’s Cyber Security Framework.

What key areas are involved in the process of a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment?

  • Identify – A stage whereby your organization’s data is located and mapped to a data use model, across the lifecycle of collection, storage, transfer, and use. This part of the process sets the value of the data, by classifying it into levels of sensitivity.
  • Understand – This stage of the assessment focuses on the key cyber-risks that are likely to target your organization. What type of cyber-threat will result in data exposure? This may be industry specific, e.g., are certain types of cyber-threat more likely to impact a financial sector company than education.
  • Evaluate – An exercise to look at your current security model, policies, and strategies, as well as existing security measures. Are they up to scratch? Can your organization’s approach meet the cyber-threat suspects?
  • Recommend – Any gaps found will be identified as part of the assessment of your security posture. The assessment will provide an action plan to show you how to improve security. You will be able to create a roadmap to follow to maintain an excellent security posture.

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What outcome and deliverables can you expect?

  • An Enterprise Cybersecurity Framework Analysis in line with the expectations of the NIST advisories on robust cybersecurity.
  • A risk analysis, for example, what is the biggest risk to your network? How can you prevent the attack? What response plans are in place?
  • A view of your security controls in line with standards such as ISO27001.
  • A cybersecurity posture assessment report and an improvement plan with recommendations.

5 Reasons to Perform a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment?

Here are the main reasons to perform a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment.

1-   Knowledge is power

Knowing what kind of security threats are likely to impact an organization can help to close the security gaps. Data breaches, like the Capital One breach, which affected 106 million customers, could have been prevented if the security weaknesses within the bank had been known and addressed. Understanding where you are and where you need to get to, to achieve a robust cybersecurity posture, is an important step on the road to de-risking your organization against cybersecurity threats.

2-   Know your own data

A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment takes you through a process to understand at a deep level what data your organization has and how it is used. The process also builds knowledge about the types of data you use. This forms part of a general risk analysis and also allows your company to understand the value of your data.

3-   Understand your enemy

Increasingly, cybercriminals are turning to manipulation of human behavior and business processes to execute their malicious plans. Tactics that include social engineering of employees, for example, Business Email Compromise (BEC attacks) rely on the specific targeting of companies and individuals. Because cybercriminals understand us, we need to understand them. A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment will analyze the type of threats and how they are likely to target your organization so that you can more actively prevent them.

4-   Building bridges

A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment is designed to create a bridge between enterprise risk and cybersecurity. The intelligence gathered during the assessment can be used to evaluate your risk. A risk ROI can be performed to map security measures against evaluated risk and business operations.

5-   Lean on in

Having a fully assessed cybersecurity posture helps to focus on where spending should happen so measures are targeted and highly effective. The assessment will identify where you have gaps in your data protection measures and also in terms of meeting privacy regulations. Using cloud infrastructures can create a more complex data landscape where responsibility for data security is shared. A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment will tease out the areas that need attention and provide a view on which to focus on.

Conclusion

All organizations, across every sector and of all sizes, must ask, how can we make sure that our data is safe from advanced cyber-attacks? That question opens up further thoughts such as how can we detect the many complex and sophisticated variants of cyber-attack?

A Cybersecurity Posture Assessment is an exercise that provides these answers and many more. It gives you an analysis of your current position with a view ensuring your organizational battlements are protected. Ultimately, a Cybersecurity Posture Assessment will align business and operations with a cybersecurity strategy. It is a big picture view of where you are and where you need to be, to ensure the security of your organization.

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