It’s no secret that being a cybersecurity expert in 2021 was challenging and demanding. Many people have had to rethink their security strategies as a result of the pandemic-driven hybrid/ remote work paradigm and the rising ransomware threats. The year 2022 will be no different, and there may even be an increase in risks as threat actors discover new attack vectors to exploit—so it’s critical for businesses to be well-prepared to deal with them.
Companies must develop a more standardized method to evaluate security effectiveness in order to mitigate risks. Unfortunately, the lack of one remains the biggest barrier for companies seeking to implement effective security programs—and success in 2022 will necessitate more adjustments.
Furthermore, the industry will experience a rise in zero trust adoption than in previous years. While only about half of security leaders prioritize zero trust principles as part of their security strategy now, that number is expected to rise to by the end of 2022.
Creating a standardized, reliable metrics benchmark
Following an unprecedented year of catastrophic cyber-attacks, it’s apparent that this year will be a watershed moment in how enterprises re-evaluate the basics of their security programs. This must begin with the standardization of actionable security metrics. Organizations have failed to create effective security programs due to a lack of a framework that is relevant to their business and a flexible strategy. Many security leaders are having trouble communicating success to their business executives without benchmarks, which leads to a communication gap and fewer investments in a company’s security posture.
Here are a few areas to consider building actionable metrics around this year that every organization should prioritize:
- Level of preparedness: How well prepared is an enterprise for an attack? The best method to assess this will vary by organization, but the most effective way to track levels of preparedness is the one that ensures that the right security controls are in place and working. This necessitates security teams conducting breach and attack simulation exercises in order to identify faults or gaps that need to be corrected.
- Efficacy of tools: Over the years, businesses have spent millions of dollars on numerous security tools and technology. However, many are unused, underutilized, or under-optimized. It’s critical that the security and operations teams have a mechanism to ensure that these investments are working and optimized so that they can provide protection as part of a unified program.
- Operational coverage gaps: To monitor coverage and detect gaps, security teams should use leading frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK and Cyber Kill Chain. Security teams can evaluate their vulnerabilities and prioritize their investments by analyzing the nature and level of detection they have for each technique.
- Cyber-risk coverage: The basic goal of cybersecurity programs is to safeguard a company from cyber-risk. Organizations should prioritize which risks are most of a concern to them, as well as the types of threats and attack vectors that may manifest them, and what security mechanisms they have in place to counteract them.
- Detection, resolution, and containment time for attacks: Monitoring the time it takes to identify, resolve, and contain attacks can help businesses prioritize which steps in the security process require the most attention and optimization.
Using these metrics as a baseline will improve a company’s security posture significantly, but it’s critical to examine these metrics on a regular basis to keep up with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. Organizations can start thinking about security more strategically once these metrics are aligned.
Adopting a zero trust approach
One of the most popular buzzwords in 2021 was ‘zero trust’. However, there is still some uncertainty in the industry about the impact of this security model and how to leverage it. With less than half of security leaders admitting that implementing zero-trust principles as part of their security strategy is a top priority, it’s evident that it’s being given significant thought. Conversations about the adoption of zero trust will pick up this year, as long as organizations approach it with the right mind-set.
Zero trust cannot be viewed as a one-size-fits-all solution for successful adoption; it requires rethinking enterprise security and cutting through silos. It’s a shift in the security paradigm that necessitates constant monitoring. That said, the industry as a whole must do its bit in educating enterprises on the ins and outs of zero trust especially with devastating attacks expected to rise in 2022.
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