The perfect cyber security assessment tool
While cyber security threats and vulnerabilities continue to proliferate and evolve, organizations are often in the dark today when it comes to understanding security performance. Many lack the ability to evaluate their own security performance, let alone the risk posed by third-party vendors. The right cyber security assessment tool can help by accurately measuring both an organization's security posture and its vendor ecosystem.
BitSight, a pioneer in the security ratings market, provides a powerful cyber security assessment tool that transforms how organizations evaluate risk and security performance. Employing the outside-in model used by credit rating agencies, BitSight's automated tools continuously measure and monitor security to improve Security Performance Management and Third-Party Risk Management.
What to look for in a cyber security assessment tool
Cyber security assessments provided by third-party consultants offer some value, but they are typically expensive, limited in scope, and reveal security insights for only a given point in time. For year-round, continuous cyber security assessment, organizations need a different set of tools.
Some common cyber security assessment tools include:
- Vulnerability Assessment Platforms. These solutions continuously scan IT assets to identify security concerns. Primarily used by IT and security technicians, cyber security vulnerability assessments tend to provide simple dashboards and reports that allow executives to understand their cyber risk profile. However, these solutions cannot assess third-party risk.
- Vendor-provided tools. The vendors who supply the servers, routers, workstations, and applications of your IT environment may provide tools for scanning their own products for vulnerabilities. These solutions are free or inexpensive, but scanning components on a manufacturer-by-manufacture basis isn't quick or easy. This cyber security assessment tool has value, but it lacks the comprehensive visibility that organizations require.
- Breach & attack simulation tools. Penetration tests that simulate breaches and attacks can help identify vulnerabilities. However, third-party penetration tests can be expensive and only produce point-in-time results. Breach and attack simulation software offers a do-it-yourself version but can't deliver the same level of insight as a third-party solution.
For organizations seeking an affordable cyber security assessment tool that combines continuous monitoring and comprehensive visibility into security and third-party risk, security ratings may be the answer. Security ratings are a data-driven, dynamic measurement of an organization's cyber security performance using objective, external, verifiable information. Because these tools don't require deep access to a system or its proprietary credentials, security ratings are an extremely effective way of managing third-party risk. Security ratings can also help organizations understand their own security performance. Turning the lens on themselves, they can gain insight into compromised systems, user behavior, cyber diligence, and breaches.
Cyber security assessment with BitSight
BitSight Security Ratings provide a cyber security assessment tool that can mitigate cyber security risk across the enterprise. Security Ratings from BitSight don't rely on traditional techniques like questionnaires, on-site visits, or penetration testing. Rather, security ratings provide objective indicators of an organization's security performance by leveraging observable data from a wide range of sources.
BitSight's cyber security assessment tool gathers four categories of data to produce security ratings.
- Compromised systems are devices in a network infected with malware. They may be infected with botnets, sending large volumes of spam, hosting a malicious website, sending unsolicited communications, or potentially running unwanted applications that leave the system open to adware, spyware, and remote access tools.
- Diligence records identify the measures a company has taken to thwart attacks. BitSight identifies things like patching cadence, TLS/SSL configuration, open ports, SPF/DKIM, domain squatting, and other risk vectors.
- User behavior data shows activities like filesharing or exposed credentials that can open the organization to risk.
- Publicly disclosed breaches and interruptions to business continuity help identify incidents where the company was at fault for data loss.
By weighing this data according to the risk it presents to the organization, BitSight calculates a daily rating – a number between 250 and 900 – for more than 540,000 organizations.
Benefits of a Cyber Security Assessment Tool
When using BitSight Security Ratings as a cyber security assessment tool, organizations can:
- Benchmark security performance. BitSight helps organizations quantify their cyber risk, measure the impact of their security efforts, and benchmark their performance against peers. With a detailed view into compromised systems and diligence data, organizations can better identify the sources of risk and take quick action to address them. By benchmarking security performance, organizations can more easily share cybersecurity KPIs with stakeholders while giving risk and security teams the information and intelligence they need to address serious issues and improve cybersecurity planning.
- Manage third-party risk. The security posture of vendors, clients, partners, and acquisition targets can significantly impact an organization's risk management efforts. BitSight's security ratings serve as a vendor risk assessment to help organizations quickly and cost-effectively understand risk within third-party networks, prioritize assessments, and adjust security controls.
Why companies choose BitSight
BitSight's proprietary method of collecting data from more than 120 sources provides unprecedented visibility into key risk factors – many of which are completely unique BitSight. With the ability to view 12+ months of historical data, BitSight also enables organizations to identify trends and gain more insight into risks invulnerabilities.
Over 2,400 BitSight customers currently share Security Ratings with more than 170,000 third-party organizations, making BitSight the most widely used security ratings platform across all industries.
Prioritization & context
Only the most critical and highest-quality risk vectors are incorporated into the BitSight Security Rating. By calculating importance in a more diversified way, we ensure the most critical assets are ranked higher.