Hackers and state-sponsored hacking groups are actively targeting businesses all around the world. Chief information security officers (CISOs) understand that it is not a question of if, but when – for their organizations to experience a cybersecurity incident. While no one can predict when an attack will occur, CISOs can reduce the risk of a breach by implementing a comprehensive strategy that involves people, processes, and technology.
Although not every company has a CISO, in smaller firms, the CIO or CTO may have both the authority and responsibility for cybersecurity, despite the fact that they may not be security experts. While a CIO or CTO can undoubtedly up skill to become more adept as an acting or full-time CISO, they should have a better understanding of what it takes to perform a CISO’s job well, regardless. Assessing the company’s current state is a part of that. Since hacker strategies and technology are always changing, it’s critical to keep up with the company’s present situation.
Risk assessment can assist an organization in determining what assets it has, who owns those assets, and also patch management. It entails determining what they want to measure risk against, as there are a variety of frameworks available, including NIST and the Cyber Security Maturity Model.
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Visibility of assets is a problem
A lack of access to the company’s assets is one of the most typical complaints a head of cybersecurity will have, regardless of their title. It’s impossible to know whether vulnerabilities and threats are relevant without first understanding the ecosystem of software, hardware, network connections, and data.
Businesses need to have complete transparency of their assets in order to protect them, but achieving this level of visibility is difficult. Organizations may be able to enlist on-premises assets, but it’s far more challenging to do so in the cloud, where the environment is always changing.
It’s critical to establish a baseline
If no baseline has yet been established, the first snapshot will suffice. As a result, it’s easier to estimate how much money businesses will need to make some immediate progress. There should, however, be a plan that explains how risks will be managed over time and what the expected costs will be.
In addition to understanding the environment, it entails implementing a more holistic cyber strategy, and companies will not be able to catch everything. The key is to reduce risk by putting in place the correct people, processes, and technology, as well as using a layered strategy to make it more difficult to break in.
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A risk assessment by a third party is also required
Companies are connected to their partners and customers these days, and those links can help malware propagate. Similarly, phishing campaigns can be aided by compromised email accounts.
Meanwhile, ransomware threats have progressed from “single” to “double” to “triple,” implying that bad actors can demand a ransom not just for a decryption key, but also for not disclosing sensitive material they have obtained. Recently, a third component has emerged that includes a company’s partners and customers. They, too, are being asked to pay a ransom in order to prevent their sensitive information from being leaked.
Assessing a company’s cybersecurity posture is a time-consuming process that necessitates a thorough understanding of the company’s technological ecosystem and beyond. The sheer complexity of an organization’s assets alone requires the deployment of current tools that can expedite and simplify the near-impossible effort of determining a company’s own attack surface.
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