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Fight cyber-security threats with Actionable data – Report

TECHDIGEST – Cyber-security programs haven’t caught up to the growing digital risks, but utilising data can protect more than you think.

The news has been flooded recently with big-name organisations hit hard by cyber-attacks. The effects were alarming enough to prompt an executive order from the US government requiring government agencies to meet certain cyber-security standards.

Yet, to remain competitive in most industries, there continues to be a push for third-party connections to company networks and the ongoing adoption of SaaS products. Cloud-based solutions have taken over the world of business, with organisations adopting an average of 3.7 public cloud services in 2021, according to Flexera. However, SaaS adoption can introduce risk to networks.

This has forced organisations to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the cyber-security controls they have in place. The same tools you have used for years to manage security posture aren’t going to have the same effect in this age of digital transformation. With access to trusted and actionable data, security teams can take back control of network endpoints and help their company remain a trusted partner, provider and better business investment.

Cyber-security transformation

You’ve hired more security managers and IT support staff. You’ve added cyber-security questions into your vendor onboarding assessment and held yearly breach prevention training for your employees. The problem is, with the sophistication of cyber-criminals in today’s digital world, proper cyber hygiene requires program-wide transformation and continuous management.

This sounds daunting, but you might be surprised how the proper use of data can help with fending off cyber-threats. With up-to-date metrics providing consistent insight into your network’s endpoints, security managers can offer visibility into your entire network (and the risks hiding within); quantify network risks in terms of financial loss; and communicate cyber-security risk to the board of directors successfully.

By consistently focusing attention on these three areas, you’ll begin to understand the impact of your cyber-security decisions, communicate changes to key stakeholders and have a comparative view of your program’s performance over time.

Identify where risk exists in your network
This might seem obvious, but we’re talking about a bigger picture than the assessments done monthly or quarterly by many security teams. Threat actors can infiltrate networks through seemingly insignificant entry points, third-party networks or a piece of shadow IT connected through an unknown software or device. Gaining a complete view of every endpoint on your network and identifying if there’s any risk associated with them is critical.

Using an automated data-scanning technology that monitors your entire network continuously, without manual effort or initiation from your security team, will facilitate quicker identification and remediation of risks. Data-backed scanning solutions such as BitSight’s Attack Surface Analytics provide a continuous view into your network and can alert your team to vulnerabilities that might not have been discovered with manual scanning processes.

Identifying all of the risks throughout your organisation’s network will also help teams strategise and prioritise remediation efforts. Without a complete view of your network, it is impossible to allocate resources effectively to address the most critical risks. Deploying an automated risk monitoring tool is an important first step in transforming to better continuously manage risk.

Quantify risk in financial business terms
After you gain a complete view into your network’s risk landscape, the question turns towards prioritising risk management to best benefit your business. The majority of, if not all, business decisions rely upon what will best benefit the fiscal performance of the organisation: why shouldn’t your cyber-security choices do the same?

Instead of addressing risk on an ad-hoc basis, prioritise risk mitigation efforts based on the potential financial impact of the vulnerability. BitSight Financial Quantification for Enterprise Cyber Risk is the only solution to quantify the exposure of risks in an organisation’s network to reflect the financial impact.

With financial data to inform decision-making, risk managers can better reduce both cyber and financial risks in their organisation and promote business continuity.

Bring cyber-security data to the board level
Company executives might also have a newfound interest in cyber-security performance. This year has consisted of large and reputable companies being hit hard, financially and in terms of reputation, by cyber-attacks. Security managers need to be prepared to demonstrate how an organisation is defending against attacks like ransomware, where money allocated to cyber-security programs is being spent, and how the organisation falls compared to competitors. Effective tools are needed to communicate the importance of cyber-security risk management to business decision-makers.

Providing cyber-security data in understandable performance reports is critical to implementing a company-wide security transformation. Reports need to be high-level to meet the experience of board members that might not have had to think about cyber-security in the past but provide enough actionable detail to help decisions get made.

BitSight Executive Reporting offers dozens of customisable reports to present cybersecurity data with the necessary context for organisations looking to better defend against cyber-threats. With options to demonstrate historical performance, performance compared to industry standards and peers, overall security ratings and scores in specific risk vectors, as well as many more depending on your organisation’s needs, security managers no longer need to worry that their message will be lost when presenting to company decision-makers.

BitSight data demonstrates a correlation between strong, consistent security performance and a reduced likelihood of experiencing a breach such as a ransomware attack. By consistently following best practices, and making cyber-security processes part of your organisation’s daily routine, security managers are creating more robust, all-around secure cyber-security programs.

To get started implementing the strategies discussed in this article, read BitSight’s eBook, Ransomware: The Rapidly Evolving Trend.

To learn more about BitSight, visit

Source: Business Reporter

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