Cyber Risk Best Practices

Cyber risk best practices start with continuous monitoring

Implementing cyber risk best practices is the key to improving security performance. From regular patching and off-site backups to security training and incident response plans, adhering to cyber risk best practices can help you reduce the risk of breach and mitigate third-party cyber risk.

Most risk and security teams, however, are juggling multiple priorities and strategic initiatives, making it difficult to constantly comply with every best practice. For example, implementing patches can be quite time-consuming, and other security priorities may cause delays in patching cadence. To better prioritize resources and maintain the strongest security posture, many organizations turn to continuous monitoring.

Continuous monitoring provides a near-real-time view of your IT environment and your progress toward implementing cyber risk best practices. Continuous monitoring of vendors can help to expose risk in the supply chain that manual assessments might overlook, improving third-party and operational risk management. Most importantly, continuous monitoring identifies areas of concentrated risk, allowing your security teams to prioritize remediation and maximize the effectiveness of available resources.

The BitSight Security Ratings platform provides a highly effective solution for continuously monitoring progress on implementing and adhering to cyber risk best practices. With BitSight, you can easily measure the performance of your cybersecurity programs and align investments and actions for the highest measurable impact over time.

Five key areas to implement cyber risk best practices

There are five essential pieces involved in continuously monitoring adherence to cyber risk best practices.

1) Identify what needs to be protected
With limited cybersecurity budgets, it’s critical to determine to full reach of your network, and identify the data and infrastructure that should be prioritized for protection. This allows you to allocate staff time and resources toward the areas of greatest risk and cyber liability.

2) Patch vulnerabilities regularly
Vulnerabilities are constantly evolving. It’s essential to stay on top of potential vulnerabilities in your network configurations and software applications and to implement patches as soon as they are available.

3) Continuously monitor all endpoints
Many attackers target desktops, laptops, servers, and other endpoints as they seek to gain illicit access to data. Through continuous monitoring, you can more quickly identify when an employee clicks on a spear-phishing link, for example, or when malware is deployed to your system, enabling you to address it faster than if you relied on monthly or yearly assessments.

4) Identify changes in standard user behavior
Continuous monitoring can help to uncover potential insider threats. By establishing a baseline for normal user behavior and monitoring user actions, you can quickly identify suspicious changes in behavior that could indicate a potential security threat.

5) Continuously monitor third parties
Working with third-party vendors comes with significant risks, especially when these parties are given access to your sensitive data and networks. By continuously monitoring the security posture of companies in your supply chain, you can get alerts when vendors experience a security incident or when there’s a significant change in their security posture, allowing you to work with vendors on remediation.

Continuous monitoring with BitSight

BitSight offers a Security Ratings solution that makes it easy to continuously monitor third-party risk and cyber security performance. BitSight’s Security Ratings provide an objective, easily understandable measurement of an organization’s security posture. Based on externally observable data drawn from 120+ sources, BitSight issues ratings daily for hundreds of thousands of organizations, providing a near-real-time solution for continuously monitoring security performance against cyber risk best practices.

BitSight ratings range from 250 to 900, with higher numbers representing stronger security performance. In addition to this overall measurement, BitSight delivers granular details about security performance in 23 risk vectors. Evidence of compromised system includes metrics on botnet infections, spam propagation, malware servers, and potentially exploited machines. Security diligence metrics reveal open ports, problems with TLS/SSL certificates and configuration, patching cadence, insecure systems, and compliance with frameworks like SPF and DKIM. User behavior data reveals risky filesharing practices and exposed credentials, and publicly disclosed breaches reveal a historical perspective on security performance.

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Solutions for implementing cyber risk best practices

The BitSight platform offers a suite of solutions based on security ratings that offer significant benefits for implementing and monitoring cyber risk best practices.

Manage company security performance

BitSight for Security Performance Management enables security and risk leaders to measure the performance of their cybersecurity programs and efficiently allocate limited resources to the most critical areas of cyber risk within their organization.

Mitigate third-party risk

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management exposes cyber risk within the supply chain, helping risk managers proactively mitigate the risk of a breach through a vendor access point by continuously measuring and monitoring the security performance of vendors.

Visualize the attack surface

BitSight Attack Surface Analytics reveals the risk hidden across the digital assets in the cloud, geographies, subsidiaries, and a remote workforce. By continuously monitoring digital assets, uncovering shadow IT, and identifying concentrated risk, security teams can remediate risk and adhere to cyber risk best practices.

Benchmark security performance

BitSight Security Ratings for Benchmarking helps security teams measure the effectiveness of security controls and the implementation of cyber risk best practices over time, comparing performance to industry peers.

Simplify reporting

BitSight Executive Reports provides easy-to-use reporting tools that make security performance details understandable and accessible for the Board and C-suite, no matter what stage of executive reporting your team is currently at. Security teams can quickly pull metrics to create custom presentations, or leverage readily available pre-configured reports, including cyber security risk assessment report samples and templates.

Why choose BitSight?

Founded in 2011, BitSight has become the leading security ratings platform, trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations to provide a clearer picture of their security posture. Among BitSight customers are 25% of Fortune 500 companies, 20% of the world’s countries, 7 of the top 10 largest cyber insurers, and 4 of the top 5 investment banks.

BitSight has led the security ratings industry by delivering greater visibility into the security performance of organizations and their third-party vendors. BitSight’s proprietary method of data collection draws information from over 120 sources to deliver visibility into 23 key risk vectors – twice as many as competing security rating organizations. BitSight also offers the most accurate network assets map and owns the largest botnet sinkholing infrastructure to ensure greater visibility into compromised systems. Additionally, BitSight enables customers to view 12+ months of historical data to easily identify trends and gain greater insight into risk and vulnerabilities.

Get a personalized demo to find out how BitSight can help you solve your most pressing security and risk challenges.