In certain circumstances, adopting Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) can be as simple as turning on particular settings in the source operating system and monitoring with the system’s built-in reports. However, in order to have a complete CCM system that monitors a wide variety of controls across business domains in place, a firm must have a single repository that documents, manages, and accumulates evidence of the effectiveness of its controls.
Line managers must reassure top executives that they are actively monitoring the risks that their company wishes to mitigate. Enterprises can accomplish this goal by implementing appropriate controls and ensuring they function properly.
Compliance and internal audit teams frequently struggle to keep up with the rising number of new rules, regulatory scrutiny, and reliance on third-party technologies. They also look for methods to improve their control performance evaluation activities and expand control testing coverage.
Here are a few examples of how continuous controls monitoring can be used.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Any security program must include identity management and access control to sensitive systems and data. User access evaluations are usually performed manually on a monthly or quarterly basis nowadays. A compliance specialist obtains a report from the company’s HRIS system that includes each employee’s current function and employment status.
This list is compared to another report showing the amount of access/role/permission employees have for the target system under examination. Someone needs to manually check to determine if any users have more access than they should have based on their job level/ responsibility/ employment status.
The software can automatically conduct checks that compare these user lists and alert people whose access level does not match their current position, job level, or employment status if a continuous controls monitoring system is in place.
Management of vulnerabilities and incident response
During many IT audits, an auditor would question a compliance team for proof that the firm searched for and resolved critical vulnerabilities on a timely basis, as well as whether they followed their own vulnerability management policy and incident response strategy.
This proof is often obtained via a vulnerability management scanning tool as well as a tool for tracking occurrences, issues, and their resolution. A business may build the chain of events and automatically perform logical tests to ensure that control processes were completed on time using a compliance operations platform that interfaces with its vulnerability scanner and ticketing tools. After that, the testing technique and findings can be packaged to serve an auditor’s request.
Configuration management and protection for endpoints
To run their business, each company requires a range of hardware devices, including laptops, desktops, cellphones, servers, and IoT devices. Their system’s setup is what makes it work.
IT managers and product developers must carefully manage configuration and maintain records of configuration changes to maintain traceability and limit the risk of system failures, data breaches, and data leaks. Antivirus protection, compliance monitoring, security visibility, and security enforcement are all requirements for endpoint devices.
Many modern enterprises have adopted device management (MDM and security) systems to make provisioning, patch management, deployment, and monitoring easier.
Fortunately, once a compliance operations system is coupled with a device management system, complete configuration data for managed devices may be immediately synced into the compliance operations platform.