Automation: The Key to Optimizing Your Risk Assessment Process

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, more employees have been working from home over the past several months than ever before. In fact, during the period of March 2020, we looked at a sample size of 41,000 organizations and found that up to 85% of the workforce in some industries had shifted to remote work.

For today’s security teams, accustomed to working in a physical security operations center (SOC) where collaboration is vital, this widespread move to the work-from-home model presents a variety of unique challenges. To make matters more complex, while security leaders are being tasked with mitigating the evolving cyber risks introduced through this new operating environment, security budgets are decreasing. In fact, Gartner estimates there will be a $6.7 billion decrease in global security spending in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

Given these conditions, it’s more important than ever for security leaders to find ways to do more with less. By taking advantage of this opportunity to rethink how your infrastructure works and drive new operational efficiencies in your digital risk assessment process, you can move toward a more strategic approach to cybersecurity performance management.

Discover and assess vulnerabilities faster with continuous monitoring

There’s no question about it: Traditional methods for monitoring and managing cyber risk come with a variety of downfalls. Security teams have long been inundated with alerts — many of which have proven to be false negatives — and managing this process has only become more complex while employees have been working remotely. These conditions lead to wasted time and resources, and the potential for threats to slip through the cracks as teams focus on addressing the false negatives.

And if your organization relies on traditional cyber risk assessments, you’re only getting a point-in-time snapshot of your security performance — making it increasingly difficult to perform truly comprehensive and comparative evaluations. In between these assessments, new vulnerabilities and threats could be infiltrating your network. And without a method through which to assess your real-time cybersecurity posture, your organization’s critical data could be at more risk than you realize.

In today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, it’s vital that you continuously monitor your security controls — so that you can discover and mitigate vulnerabilities in a faster, more streamlined way. That’s where BitSight Security Ratings come in. Based on independent, objective, and comparable data, these ratings empower teams to better understand their organizations’ security postures so they can prioritize resources based on the areas of greatest risk.

Through this data, you can continuously monitor your network for vulnerabilities such as unpatched systems, open access ports, misconfigured software, and compromised systems. With this detailed view, it’s easier than ever to identify the security gaps that exist across your attack surface so that you can take informed actions to improve your security posture. As BitSight Security Ratings are updated on a daily basis, you can always ensure you have the latest insights at your fingertips to quickly, easily, and effectively assess your real-time cyber risk.

Gain increased visibility and context into your expanding attack surface

As your digital ecosystem expands, so does your attack surface. And now, as many employees are working from potentially flawed Work From Home - Remote Office (WFH-RO) networks, your attack surface is bigger than ever — exposing your organization’s corporate devices to a variety of new and evolving cyber threats. Without clear and continuous visibility into all the assets that comprise this ecosystem, it’s difficult to identify hidden areas of risk lurking in the shadows.

With BitSight Attack Surface Analytics, you can validate and manage your digital footprint across a complex environment involving cloud service providers, various geographies or business units, and remote office environments. This solution makes it easier than ever for you to discover Shadow IT and unknown risk hiding throughout your extended ecosystem — and continuously monitor the ongoing security posture of your cloud and remote office environments.

And with our Work From Home - Remote Office solution, you can gain visibility into the risk present throughout the expanded operating environment caused by the widespread shift to remote work. This powerful offering enables you to import WFH-RO IP addresses and monitor them for open ports, malware traffic, out-of-date OS and browser software, and more — making it easier than ever to discover and assess material findings that could pose significant risk.

When paired with a security rating, the additional context provided through the BitSight for Security Performance Management suite of solutions empowers your team to make more informed, comparative decisions about where to focus your cybersecurity efforts for the greatest impact — instead of wasting time and resources responding to every potential alert in the same manner.

Adapt to the shifting role of the cybersecurity professional

The role of the cybersecurity professional has been evolving for years, and now this transformation is happening even more rapidly. In our “new normal” environment, you’re being tasked with everything from tackling key IT initiatives to transitioning employees to remote workers. All the while, you need to keep up with the nefarious actors looking to take advantage of your growing attack surface — and figure out how to scale your security program effectively with an increasingly limited budget and fewer resources.

As you face continued pressure to meet the shifting requirements of your role, it’s never been more important for you to rethink traditional methods of mitigating risk and find new operational efficiencies. By automating your digital risk assessment process, you can maximize your cybersecurity ROI and do more with less. Interested in learning more? Check out our new ebook, 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Security Investments.