Blog Post November 30, 2023

Three Actions to Mature Your Security Posture

By: Brittany Holmes, Corporate Communications Manager 

When cybercriminals are consistently evolving their tactics, ensuring the security of your organization’s data and systems has never been more crucial. The increasing sophistication of cyber threats demands that businesses constantly level up their security practices to stay one step ahead of potential breaches. To achieve this, organizations need to go beyond having a security operations platform and consistently think about the potential of their platform. 

While there are various components to consider, three practices stand out as fundamental pillars for strengthening security maturity: vulnerability management, penetration testing, and security awareness training.  

This blog explores each of these components and highlights the reasons why, even implementing just one can significantly elevate your organization’s security posture.

Level Up #1: Vulnerability Management  

Vulnerability management is all about keeping your organization’s network safe from potential threats. You can quickly identify and tend to vulnerabilities, reducing the time it takes to patch them by automating the process. This automated system also provides valuable information about the risks these vulnerabilities pose and offers advice on how to fix them.

It helps you prioritize which vulnerabilities need immediate attention based on the potential harm they could cause. This proactive approach reduces the amount of time that attackers have to exploit these weaknesses, making your network more secure. Implementing vulnerability and patch management is not only a best practice for IT security but also helps ensure compliance with industry regulations. CIS Critical Security Control also indicates CVM as a requirement for meeting IT security best practices and compliance.

Vulnerability Management in Action

Vulnerability management levels up an organization’s security posture by identifying and addressing security weaknesses in its systems and networks. By regularly and consistently managing vulnerabilities, organizations can reduce the attack surface, prevent potential breaches, and enhance overall security resilience.

Here are a few signs that indicate your organization can benefit from Vulnerability Management: 

  1. You want to make the most of your security investments: Vulnerability management helps determine the return on security investment (ROSI), showing the potential financial losses that security measures can prevent. By promptly identifying vulnerabilities within your organization’s environment, these programs reduce the risks and potential costs of cyber-attacks.
  2. You need to streamline your vulnerability management program: Managing vulnerabilities manually can be time-consuming and inefficient. Vulnerability management technologies automate the process, allowing for real-time identification of vulnerabilities as they arise.
  3. You operate in a high-targeted industry: Certain industries, such as financial services or healthcare, are often the primary targets for cyber attacks. Implementing vulnerability management becomes even more crucial if your organization falls within these high-profile sectors.
  4. Your organization is experiencing rapid growth: As your organization expands, it becomes more vulnerable to cyber threats. With vulnerability management, you can ensure that your expanding network and systems are constantly protected. 

Level Up #2: Penetration Testing 

A penetration test, or pen test, is like a real-life game of “cybercriminals vs. defenders” that organizations play to protect themselves from cyber attacks. Experts try to break into the company’s systems in a controlled environment just like a real cybercriminal would. They go through different tactics, like finding weak spots in the system, sneaking in undetected, and even planting malicious software. 

Pen tests are so important because they help organizations understand how strong their defenses are. It’s like testing their security measures to see if cybercriminals could exploit any holes or vulnerabilities. It’s like getting an outside perspective on how well-protected you are.

By simulating real attacks, pen tests can uncover weak spots that the organization’s own security experts might have missed. It’s a way to shine a light on risks that might go unnoticed from the inside. The great thing about pen testing is that it identifies vulnerabilities and shows how much damage they could cause if someone were to exploit them. It gives organizations a heads up on where they need to tighten their security belts.  

Penetration Testing in Action 

Penetration tests can actually help strengthen a company’s security processes and strategies. When executives at an organization see the results of these tests, they can understand the potential damage that could occur and prioritize fixing those vulnerabilities. A skilled penetration tester can provide recommendations to build a solid security infrastructure and help allocate the cybersecurity budget wisely. 

Here are a few reasons your organization might need Penetration Testing:  

  1. You will find system vulnerabilities before cybercriminals
  2. You have the ability to strengthen security strategies and processes 
  3. You will reduce attack dwell time and lower remediation costs 
  4. You will stay compliant  
  5. You can preserve customer loyalty and brand reputation 

Level Up #3: Security Awareness Training 

Security awareness training is a way for IT and security professionals to teach employees to protect themselves and their organizations from cyber threats. It helps employees understand how their actions can put the organization at risk and how to avoid common mistakes.   

In addition, there are common standards and legislations that require organizations to have a security awareness training program in place, KnowB4 details the following: 

  • US State Privacy Laws 
  • CobiT 
  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) 
  • Gramm-Leach Bliley Act 
  • ISO/IEC 27001 & 27002 
  • Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) 
  • Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) 
  • PCI DSS 

Research shows that most security breaches are caused by human error, so training is essential in preventing data breaches and other security incidents. It covers topics like proper email, internet usage, and physical security measures like not letting unauthorized people into the office. The best proactive security awareness programs are engaging and delivered in small doses but consistently to fit into employees’ busy schedules.  

Security Awareness Training in Action 

Having proper security awareness training for your team is crucial. It increases your organization’s security and saves you time and money in the long run. By educating your employees about the various threats and risks out there, you can prevent them from making simple mistakes that could hurt your organization.

Think about it – a single moment of carelessness, like checking an email on a public Wi-Fi network, could result in a major breach. But if everyone in your organization knows the dangers and takes the necessary precautions, the chances of a security breach are significantly reduced.  

Here are a few benefits of implementing a Security Awareness Program: 

  1. Saving time and money: Data breaches and similar attacks cost organizations billions of dollars each year. So, spending money on training is a small price to pay if it protects you from potential cyber threats. Time is another valuable resource that can be saved with proper cybersecurity training. If an attack occurs, your team will spend a lot of time the damage and finding ways to prevent future breaches.
  2. Employee empowerment: When your employees are well-informed about phishing emails, malware, and other common threats, they feel confident in recognizing and handling these situations. They won’t have to second-guess themselves or waste time seeking help from IT for simple issues.
  3. Continued customer trust: A data breach can severely damage your reputation. Losing the trust of customers not only results in a loss of revenue but can also impact your partnerships with other organizations. 

Leveling up Your Security Maturity

Cybersecurity detection is not just a fancy term or an added feature to your cybersecurity strategy. It is a proactive approach that can save you from the chaos and damage caused by cyber threats. It’s like shining a light into the shadows where cybercriminals hide, exposing their every move and giving you the upper hand.

By taking these components into consideration, you can stop threats in their tracks and prevent them from causing havoc. Whether it’s implementing one or all of the key components discussed, taking action is crucial.

Organizations can ease the burden on their IT teams by leveraging solutions that provide comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities. Adlumin offers enterprise-grade Managed Detection and Response Services that operate as an extension of your IT team.

For more information about why implementing proactive security measures is essential to leveling up your security maturity, download “The Executive’s Guide to Cybersecurity.”