Security leaders today do not have a straightforward way to quantify readiness against the most common cybersecurity threats their organization faces.
Today’s leaders rely on time-consuming, cumbersome processes which often result in isolated data points that are not integrated into a broader framework. These siloed outcomes don’t reflect the big picture nor do they show trends or progress. And most consequently, they do not help close the critical gaps in time.
What would make continuous visibility into readiness possible – and a success?
Cybersecurity products and tools only go so far in keeping your assets secure. The onus of managing preparedness still lies with your security organization. But, if you don't have continuous visibility into how your tools are performing across your entire security program, how do you identify and fix gaps?
Here we outline the five steps to quantifying threat readiness.
1. Determine the most significant indicators of readiness.
The prevalence of ransomware and other malicious threats has spurred many security leaders to increase the rigor of their preparedness assessments. For such assessments to achieve their potential, a laser-sharp focus on certain questions is needed. For each question, the top metrics that represent how well you are performing must be measured.
- How well protected are your devices?
- How well trained are your employees in avoiding clicking on malicious links?
- How well protected are your identities?
2. Find continuous ways to measure indicators in real-time
Once you identify key preparedness indicators, the next step would involve measuring how well each indicator is performing. Here, a manual team effort would consume your most significant resource – time – on top of budget and human resources. And it wouldn’t give you real-time results.
In a world where everything can change in an instant, the quantification of readiness cannot be a one-time event. To target and close critical gaps on an ongoing basis, metrics need to be dynamic and monitored. Needs must be identified and evaluated on an ongoing basis - which can only be achieved with real-time measurements.
3. Quickly identify gaps
The right readiness indicators will empower you to swiftly identify which coverages you have in place and where you are falling short. These indicators will help you to quickly answer if your tools are working to their full capacity with the most updated features, and which actions would most significantly close your security program gaps. The right indicators will help you to explain why there were dips e.g., what happened in the organization during that time and how you can fix it.
4. Show trends and progress over time
To ensure ongoing security, you require visibility on a continuous basis versus point-in-time snapshots. This would allow you to identify trends as well as anomalies. It would let you know, quickly, what your organizational strengths and weaknesses have been so far. It would help give context to why things changed. For example, a dip in the percentage of devices encrypted after a key event such as a merger or an acquisition, would allow you to instantly grasp how ready your organization is today.
5. Speak in an accessible language
Equipped with real-time metrics and progress trends, you would be able to communicate your organizational readiness in a language non-security people could understand - whether it’s during a weekly executive meeting or a key board meeting. You would be able to show the macro level to different stakeholders, supported by the metrics behind it.
An automated security performance management solution such as SeeMetrics simplifies and accelerates preparedness quantification and allows the time devoted to tracking readiness to be spent on strategizing or other mission-critical tasks. It increases both knowledge and confidence in order to manage your program to the highest standards.