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5 Essential Steps to Improve Cybersecurity Maturity!

stealthlabsinc profile image Stealthlabs, Inc ・3 min read

From small and medium organizations to large enterprises, every business is under continuous threat of security risk in today’s digital world.

With the growing digital footprint and cloud adoption, organizations continue to experience sophisticated cyberthreats that hold the potential to disrupt business continuity.

A vast majority of these threats can go undetected, or they are detected too late for an organization to avoid the exposure and the associated risks.

Thus, a cybersecurity strategy merely focused on preventing cyberattacks is inadequate. To secure critical assets and perhaps even the business itself, the organizations must shift their focus to detection and response.

The cybersecurity strategy must be matured enough to help organizations operate securely, remain vigilant in the face of cyber threats, and show resiliency when attacked.

But budget constraints and the IT team's inability to keep up with the known and emerging threats can impede the organization's cybersecurity maturity.

In fact, according to a 2020 cybersecurity survey, only 57% of IT operations and security decision-makers identified their organization’s cybersecurity functions as mature.

At this juncture, we bring you five critical steps to improve your organization’s cybersecurity maturity and become more secure, vigilant, and resilient.

The Five Steps to Improve Cybersecurity Maturity

1) Prioritizing Endpoint Protection

Cybercriminals are leveraging advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to attack the organization's endpoints, making endpoint protection a must-have cybersecurity goal in the present data-driven world.

According to IDC’s recent survey, almost 30% of global organizations consider endpoint protection a significant component in cybersecurity strategy, while 60% of IT leaders consider it a high priority.

However, only 57% of the organizations say they are most mature in endpoint security while over 40% are not.

Follow these steps to improve endpoint protection:

• Analyze risk profiles of various endpoints
• Prioritize critical or at-risk assets such as servers and end-user systems
• Update networks and IoT devices
• Encrypt all data
• Implement BYOD policy
• Deploy endpoint protection software

2) Technology Investments Don’t Equal Maturity

Though organizations are continuously investing in cybersecurity tools, it does not automatically mean that all potential security gaps are addressed.

With rising costs of security tools and shrinking budgets, the organizations must adopt a risk-based approach and prioritize security investments to address critical issues and vulnerabilities.

Invest in very mature, cost-effective, and capable cybersecurity measures that can drive cybersecurity maturity rather than chasing the latest solutions.

3) Automate Cybersecurity

Deploy technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate cybersecurity tasks such as identifying potential threats, detecting unauthorized access, and preventing attacks before execution. The automated cybersecurity solutions help assess security metrics, reduce incident response time, and limit the cyberattack footprint.

Moreover, automation allows the security team to focus their efforts on high-risk threats rather on repetitive, tedious tasks.

4) Adopt Cybersecurity Maturity Model

Many organizations try to validate and measure their cybersecurity maturity by counting the number of vulnerabilities they have addressed or checking all the boxes to meet regulatory compliance.
However, these approaches are long away from giving a real indication of your cybersecurity maturity or providing a framework for improvement.

So, it's imperative for organizations to adopt a cybersecurity maturity model to measure a security program's maturity and know how to reach the next level.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) and the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (C2M2) are two of the several models available in the market.

5) Focus on Cybersecurity Awareness

Technology alone can’t bolster your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Amid the growing complexity and threat of cyberattacks, organizations must be focused on building a multi-layered defense.

Cybersecurity training and awareness among all employees and partners can help organizations instill a 'last line of defense' for many present-day threats. It is important to educate employees and help them understand cybersecurity challenges are a business problem and not just an IT problem.

As cyber threats evolve with time, organizations should regularly conduct training and awareness programs to make a sincere effort to educate their employees.

In Conclusion:
Improving your organization’s cybersecurity maturity doesn’t happen quickly. But it has to happen to survive amid the evolving digital landscape and emerging cyberthreats.

Organizations not only require these five crucial steps, but they also require a constant assessment of how effectively the steps are implemented, and whether those steps are in alignment with the business goals.

Source: Tripwire

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