Everything You Need to Know About Security Posture – CISO’s Role

What is Security Posture?

The combined security state of all hardware, software, network, services, vendors, data, executives, and service providers determines an organization’s security posture. Data security, information security, penetration testing, network security, security awareness training to avoid social engineering attacks, prevent a data breach, manage vendor risk, vulnerability analysis, and many other security controls are all part of your security posture. In combination with your IT security team, these security measures aim to safeguard from security threats, prevent various types of viruses and cybercriminals, and minimize copyright theft.

Why is Security Posture Important?

Your company’s security posture is crucial since it reduces the cyber security risk. Cyber security risk refers to the likelihood of being exposed to or losing money due to data theft, cyber threats, and other cyber attacks. It causes possible loss or damage to the privacy, reliability, or accessibility of an IT system or product. General data protection rules like LGPD, GDPR, CCPA, and PIPEDA, along with industry-specific regulations like FISMA, GLBA, CPS 234, HIPAA, and the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation, have made reducing cyber risk and safeguarding data protection more critical than it has ever been.

These requirements frequently specify which data must be secured, such as protected health data, personally identifiable data, and other sensitive data. They also include security procedures such as access control, encryption process, and the concept of least privilege. It is critical to develop the practice of analyzing, monitoring, and enhancing your cyber security posture regularly. The most advanced IT security solutions are continuously being exploited by cybercriminals every day. The traditional technique of completing a cyber security risk assessment is a great approach to recognize cyber security threats across IT systems, resources, people, and processes, at a single point in time. Still, you may have gaps in your security program if you don’t monitor it continuously.

How CEOs and CISOs Are Affected by Cyber-Attacks?

C-level executives such as CEO, CISO, COO, CFO, and CMO are primarily responsible for their organization’s security. 60 per cent of IT executives are concerned about tailored cyber threats hitting the boardroom. The causes for concern include an ever-growing list of mobile security concerns such as spyware, sim swaps, location tracking, DDos attack, unsafe public wi-fi connections, and a continuous agile mode of operation. C-level executives are well-known, travel frequently, and often have to judge in seconds. 100+ new emails arriving every day in a busy schedule drives a C-level executive to click on a spam email.

However, not only the factors mentioned above affect executive security. There are more, such as:

Angry ex-employees may retain their access to get back to the organization and compromise internal data. 

Sometimes, it is not even external. 75% of executives have confessed to bypassing the security protocols to save time. It can unintentionally result in opening harmful emails into inboxes by circumventing security. 

C-level executives may be unaware of the most recent phishing risks. When it pertains to phishing prevention, specialists argue that knowledge is the most critical factor. 

Over 90% of IT executives believe that enhanced cyber governance leads to fewer C-level events and significantly better economic success. 

In failing security, a malware-based attack can cost an organization around $1.4M, whereas a ransomware attack can cost upwards of $3M.

That’s not all. These cyber-attacks have many hidden costs with lasting effects, such as loss of talent, reputation damage, legal battles, and declining stock prices. Therefore, C-Suite executives need to have a cyber security policy in place and in check.

How Executive Can Contribute To A Stronger Security Posture?

Hiring a CISO in an organization is the first step. The next step is to ensure they have enough rights, privileges, and resources to create a fool-proof cybersecurity policy. If CISOs support their non-technical colleagues in the C-suite, such as CEO, COO, CFO, they are more likely to achieve their objectives.

Also, technical leaders are frequently asked to communicate with non-technical colleagues without jargon. Addressing a few key questions can help CISOs be more specific in identifying and managing risks:

  • Is a cybersecurity policy in place?
  • Is it the business or a component of business that is being guarded? 
  • Does the team have the required skills?
  • Who has the authority to take the risk?
  • What training is needed to upskill the group and meet talent needs?
  • What has the security team done to make sure the company is safe? 
  • What are the organization’s weak spots? 
  • What software and tools are required?
  • What is the cost of cybersecurity infrastructure?

How to Determine Security Posture?

Cyber security evaluations enable security specialists to learn about the data, systems, and the worth of the resources required to secure.

  • What data is required? 
  • Where and how to store the data? 
  • How to document and protect the data? 
  • What is the period when information is needed? 
  • Who can access the data? 
  • Is the data fully secured?
  • How sensitive is the data?
  • What is the estimated damage in case of data loss?

Because this is such a time-consuming process, CISOs will typically set the conditions for the evaluation by posing these questions:

  • Why is the risk assessment required?
  • What is the scope of the risk assessment?
  • What methods are used to analyze the risk?
  • Where can I find all the information?
  • What are the priorities and possible constraints?
  • What steps do we take to mitigate the risks?

A much better approach here is to use security rating instead of risk assessment. While the incidence of cyber crimes is growing in sheer numbers, complexity, and damage, the point-in-time security analysis is costly, inflexible, and biased. Whereas security ratings give a non-intrusive, real-time assessment of your company’s security posture, enabling your security staff to continually monitor for security concerns and quickly identify the assets that are most at risk. Your security posture increases as your organization’s security rating strengthen. You may considerably improve your organization’s capacity to meet and maintain regulatory compliance while fulfilling commercial objectives by adopting security ratings.

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