Cyber Security Regulations

Managing Risk and Cyber Security Regulations

Data breaches have become the new “business normal.” Indeed, in a 2019 report, Carbon Black reported that in the past 12 months, 88% of global businesses had experienced one or more breaches. In response to this growing onslaught of cyber threats, new regulations are being implemented to protect organizations, their data, and their customers. From the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), new SEC cybersecurity disclosure rules, and HIPAA to PCI security standards and privacy laws throughout the world, cyber security regulations have never been as voluminous or complicated.

To comply with increasingly complex cybersecurity regulations, organizations need powerful tools for monitoring cybersecurity risk, managing cybersecurity governance, and implementing cybersecurity best practices.

Bitsight can help. With a suite of cyber risk management solutions backed by objective security ratings, Bitsight helps organizations identify risk in their digital ecosystems and supply chains, enabling security teams to focus resources on remediation and compliance.

The Rise of Cyber Security Regulations

A growing number of cyber security regulations are creating a complex web of compliance requirements for organizations around the world. In analyzing the massive and escalating volume of regulation, a couple of themes emerge loud and clear.

Many elements of cybersecurity regulations are directed at establishing accountability and responsibility to ensure that senior leadership in companies are treating security and risk issues seriously and strategically. Many regulations stipulate information security requirements and controls that organizations must have in place to safeguard customers’ personal data from risk of misuse, unauthorized access, and theft.

Additionally, under many cyber security regulations, organizations are now liable for the actions or failings of their vendors and third parties. These regulations recognize the risk within supply chains and the importance of having effective risk management processes to support privacy obligations and information passed on to third parties.

To meet these new mandates, organizations must adopt a cybersecurity model that focuses on monitoring, managing, and reducing risk through security controls and regular board-level reporting. Organizations must also continuously assess and monitor their security posture and performance as well as that of their partners, third-parties, and all those connected to their network to identify security gaps and prioritize remediation of risk.

New SEC Cybersecurity Rules Present Opportunities

On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt new cybersecurity requirements for publicly traded companies, creating new obligations for reporting “material” cybersecurity incidents and requiring more detailed disclosure of cybersecurity risk management, expertise, and governance. Companies will be required to disclose risks in their annual reports beginning on December 15, 2023.

While some may view this as another new regulation that diverts attention away from their day-to-day responsibilities, many cybersecurity leaders are embracing this momentous occasion as strategic advancement to cement their critical role in the business:

  • Stronger relationship with C-suite and Board
  • Using performance metrics to describe a successful program
  • Financial quantification of risk
  • Assure all stakeholders, but particularly shareholders
  • Grow budget
  • Differentiate their company in the market

The new SEC regulations offer cybersecurity professionals an opportunity to become business leaders, critical to achieving risk reduction and business growth goals but there’s one critical element underlying these opportunities: cyber risk benchmarking.

Independent benchmarking is an objective analysis of an organization’s cybersecurity performance based on quantitative data. Independent benchmarking data is based on non-intrusive, continuous, comprehensive data collection which allows for the creation of comparable, reliable insights and metrics. Independent benchmarking allows security leaders to compare their organization’s cybersecurity performance with peers or across entire sectors and industries on an ongoing basis. This type of benchmarking helps leaders know how their programs are performing over time and whether that performance is aligned with industry standards of care.

Bitsight helps organizations perform independent benchmarking by evaluating the security performance of organizations in a continuous, non-intrusive manner. Our ratings and analytics enable business leaders to understand their organization’s security performance across 23 different risk vectors. Capabilities like Bitsight Peer Analytics allow CISOs to analyze their organization’s performance against industry and sector peers of their choosing. Bitsight delivers a quantitative, objective analysis of organizational cybersecurity performance compared to tens, hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of peers, all immediately available.

Many companies find that publicly disclosing independent benchmarking data is a highly effective way of communicating cybersecurity performance to shareholders and the broader marketplace. This helps improve shareholder confidence and trust in their investment decisions. Some examples of disclosing benchmarking data include:

  • Equifax includes cybersecurity performance benchmarks in its Annual Security Report. Equifax focuses on its performance compared to peers in the Finance and Technology sectors. Equifax notes that its security capabilities “ranked in the top 1% of Technology companies and top 3% of Financial Services companies analyzed.”
  • Darling Ingredients leverages cybersecurity performance benchmarks in its Annual ESG Report, describing its cyber program as “being in the top 10% of the Energy/Resource Industry.”
  • Schneider Electric includes cybersecurity performance benchmarks in its Annual Sustainability Report, describing its program as being ranked “in the Top 25% in external ratings for Cybersecurity performance.”

Other companies find that disclosing their individual security performance rating meets investor requirements. For example, DHL includes its own cybersecurity performance rating in their Annual Earnings Results presentation.

Shareholders and investors value meaningful data that helps them truly understand the risk of an organization. And organizations trust Bitsight’s data for independent benchmarking and disclosure because its analytics are strongly correlated to cybersecurity incidents. In a recent independent study by the Marsh McLennan Cyber Risk Analytics Center, a total of 14 Bitsight analytics—including the Bitsight Security Rating—were found to be strongly indicative of incident likelihood. Bitsight is still the only security ratings provider with multiple, independent third-party studies proving that its analytics have statistically significant correlation to critical outcomes, including cybersecurity incidents, data breaches, and company stock performance.

In summary, independent benchmarking data is quickly becoming a critical data point for business leaders who are evaluating their new obligations, understanding their cybersecurity programs, and crafting effective disclosure strategies. Please reach out to a Bitsight representative who can help you understand your organization’s cybersecurity performance and industry benchmarks.

Bitsight Security Ratings

Bitsight Security Ratings provide organizations with a powerful tool for managing compliance with cyber security regulations. Bitsight ratings provide a data-driven measurement of the cyber security performance of an organization as well as its vendors, partners, suppliers, and acquisition targets. Bitsight Security Ratings can immediately expose cyber risk within a company’s IT environment or its supply chain. Using security ratings, security teams can work quickly to address security issues, prioritize resources, and bring their company and partners into compliance with cyber security regulations.

Bitsight Security Ratings are based on objective, verifiable information. Bitsight uses more than 120 data sources to analyze an organization’s security posture, measure its security performance, and identify areas of risk. Using a proprietary algorithm, Bitsight Security Ratings are based on analysis of four areas of security data: evidence of compromised systems, issues with security diligence, risky user behavior, and publicly disclosed data breaches.

Bitsight Security Ratings are calculated daily, and Bitsight provides alerts when an organization’s security rating changes significantly or when there’s risk identified in your network or vendor pool.

Solutions for Compliance with Cyber Security Regulations

In addition to Security Ratings, Bitsight provides solutions that can ensure compliance with cyber security regulations.

  • Bitsight Security Performance Management (SPM) is a cybersecurity governance and exposure management solution that gives CISOs unique analytics insights. Prioritize the right activities to reduce exposure, while also setting the right targets and improvement plans to manage cyber risks. Risk leaders use SPM to confidently tackle cyber risk governance and external attack surface management, then confidently communicate and prove program performance.
  • Bitsight Third-Party Risk Management exposes cyber risk within the supply chain. With automated tools that continuously measure and monitor the security performance of vendors, Bitsight helps organizations comply with cyber security regulations concerning third-party risk. Bitsight accelerates onboarding while prioritizing resources to drive efficient risk reduction across the vendor portfolio.

Why Bitsight leads the security ratings industry

Founded in 2011, Bitsight revolutionized the security ratings industry with an outside-in approach that resembles the credit ratings model. The Bitsight Security Ratings Platform continuously analyzes vast amounts of external data to produce scores that measure an organization’s security performance. By delivering complete security visibility and helping to evaluate how well an organization’s attack surface and third parties are protected against security threats, Bitsight helps organizations improve cybersecurity posture, manage risk effectively, and comply with cyber security regulations.

Bitsight’s 3,000+ customers include 20% of the world’s countries and 38% of Fortune 500 companies. All of the Big 4 accounting firms trust Bitsight, as do 4 of the top 5 investment banks.

FAQs: What are Cyber Security Regulations?