Most enterprises have active firewalls and antivirus software on workstations as their bare minimum of protection. Businesses must, however, ensure that their company’s security posture can survive the expanding environment of cyber threats. Firms can drastically lower risks by carefully integrating security and compliance.
Cybersecurity experts have become overly preoccupied with ticking off criteria instead of lowering risk as data compliance rules spread all around the world. Can they coexist peacefully together?
According to experts, the answer will rely on how well IT security leaders can communicate with their boards and engage with their auditors. The top three suggestions are listed below.
Analyze changes in the security and risk posture
Compliance is more than simply a motivator for risk reduction; it can also be used to gauge advancements in security and risk posture.
Therefore, industry experts advise using a dashboard to assess risk and employ dashboard policies to stay on top of evolving threats, including implementing new technology or enabling a remote workforce. Additionally, the dashboards should make it easier for IT managers to communicate with top management by using terms like risk and reward that they are familiar with. Enterprises are likely compliant if they properly manage cybersecurity. However, organizations are unlikely to be safe if compliance is the only thing they are concerned about.
As a foundation, use compliance to create greater security
Regular updates to audit checklists mean that simply passing an audit does not secure IT assets. Consider passwords, which the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) formerly mandated be changed every 90 days. Due to consumers’ incapability to recall their passwords, NIST has revoked this guideline and now suggests the use of passphrases that include numbers and symbols.
Although compliance standards are not prescriptive and do not rank the effectiveness of controls, frameworks offer a platform for thinking about safety initiatives. A compliance checklist, for instance, specifies that businesses must have a firewall. It doesn’t explain to them what kind of firewall would be best for their company or what firewall rules to put in place.
Despite the fact that threats vary considerably more often than that, industry experts refer to requirements for yearly penetration tests. Companies that are “compliant” are at danger of developing new vulnerabilities as a result of this gap. The correct way to perform the pen-test and against what computing resources is also up for interpretation.
NERC CIP and other standards have especially minimal requirements for Industrial Control Systems (ICS). Understanding compliance requirements in industrial networks is more challenging since there is no OT-specific detection. It’s far more difficult to have a discussion when it’s difficult to tell on a plant floor if a company experienced a safety event that has to be reported or whether it was a maintenance problem.
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Because ICS systems such as energy and electricity corporations have safety measures that are at the low end of the maturity curve, they are already behind. The three levels of the compliance maturity curve; crawling is checking off the boxes. Walking creates a program around audit findings and double-checking results with mitigating controls. Network administrators have gone above and beyond the call of duty at the run stage by implementing the right chain of command and workflow to support protection and audit responsibilities. The cooperation and communication between auditors, CISOs, and the board improve the more developed the compliance and security programs are.
Put data protection first
It’s commonly known that compliance focuses on safeguarding legally required data, whereas cybersecurity aims to keep malicious actors out. The most crucial safety precaution from the standpoint of data protection is to prevent processing or to keep regulated data that isn’t necessary. Organizations must ensure they are employing stronger-than-recommended encryption if regulated data must be stored.
Firms must consider how regulated data is managed from birth to death in order to develop compliance procedures. They should also be aware of the locations, methods, and durations used to store personal data. That is the appropriate method to introduce the topic of compliance and security.
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