Cybersecurity Standards

Improving Cybersecurity Standards through Benchmarking

As cyber threats continue to increase in volume and sophistication, organizations must adopt more effective security program management processes to protect against successful breaches. Cybersecurity standards outline the strategy, programs, controls, and policies the organization must establish in order to achieve its security goals.

Benchmarking has long been used by organizations to set standards in other areas of business. Yet, when it comes to cybersecurity, benchmarking initiatives have been rarely used. The reason for this exception: most companies lack the simple, quantitative cyber risk metrics required for effective benchmarking. Because security performance is measured as successful when things – like hacks, vulnerabilities, and data breaches – aren’t happening, security teams are often hard-pressed to effectively communicate about the status of their programs, and deliver metrics needed to benchmark performance over time or in comparison with peers.

Bitsight Security Ratings offer a simple solution that allows security teams to benchmark performance and create effective cybersecurity standards. Based on externally observable data, Bitsight ratings provide the objective and easy-to-understand metrics that can drive successful benchmarking efforts.

The Benefit of Benchmarking for Cybersecurity Standards

Benchmarking offers several important benefits to security teams as they develop their organization’s cybersecurity standards.

Quantifying security performance


By measuring security performance, a security team can better understand how its security posture and specific security initiatives evolve over time in response to variations in budget, dynamic risks, changing personnel, and other variables. This data can serve as a common language throughout the entire organization, enabling data-driven conversations among security leaders, executives, and the board.

Making comparisons


Benchmarking security performance against competitors and peers can inform decision-making and goal setting. Comparisons can be made against best-in-class organizations, direct and local competitors, internal business units, branch offices, and subsidiaries. When cyber performance is found to be lagging behind competitors, security teams can take action to adopt new controls and remediate risks. On the other hand, when outperforming a direct competitor, an organization can turn that comparison into a competitive advantage as it seeks to win new business.

Remediating issues


Benchmarking can deliver visibility into risk and gaps in performance. Armed with that knowledge, security leaders can prioritize resources for remediation and to ensure that the organization meets its cybersecurity standards. With so many risks to consider as part of the cybersecurity landscape, benchmarking security performance can help security leaders take action that will keep the organization competitive.

Bitsight Security Ratings

Bitsight Security Ratings for Benchmarking provide clear, objective, and verifiable metrics organizations need to benchmark security performance and set cybersecurity standards. Bitsight Security Ratings deliver a continuous, data-driven measure of security performance of an organization and its vendors. By delivering a quantified baseline and comparative data, Bitsight makes it easy to measure the effectiveness of risk mitigation programs, compare performance to industry peers, and communicate KPIs to the C-suite and the board. Bitsight also provides financial quantification of the risk across your portfolio to directly tie cybersecurity risks to financial risks. Powered by Kovrr’s quantification models, Bitsight directly quantifies the risk in your network so you can make more informed decisions and target remediation where it will make the most financial impact.

Bitsight Security Ratings are based on continuous analysis of externally observable data on a company’s security posture. Using a proprietary algorithm, Bitsight analyzes evidence of compromised systems, user behavior, security diligence, and data breaches to produce a daily rating. Bitsight ratings range from 250 to 900, with the current achievable range being 300-820 – the higher the rating, the better the company is at meeting their cybersecurity standards.

With the power of Bitsight Security Ratings, security leaders can gain a more thorough understanding of their cyber risk and security posture as compared to peers and competitors. Leaders can then use that data to improve strategy and decision-making and refine their own cybersecurity standards.

Bitsight Security Ratings serve as a complementary technology to solutions like SIEM monitoring, penetration tests, free security assessment tools, third-party audits, and internal assessments.

Setting Cybersecurity Standards with Bitsight

Bitsight Security Ratings for Benchmarking enables organizations to establish more effective cybersecurity standards by:

  • Identifying security issues. With Bitsight, security leaders gain visibility into gaps in internal security controls as well as compromised systems, security diligence issues, and user behavior that may be jeopardizing security. Additionally, Bitsight provides a view of industry-specific threats and the security issues affecting competitors and peers. With this information, security leaders can better prioritize resources to improve security posture and meet their cybersecurity standards.
  • Communicating performance to key leadership. Bitsight Security Ratings provide clear and meaningful KPIs of the company’s security performance, enabling security leaders to have more productive conversations around cybersecurity governance with executives and board members. By demonstrating how cybersecurity performance is directly connected to financial performance and overall business risk, security leaders can justify security budgets and prove ROI. Security teams can also use ratings to document compliance with cyber security regulations and with frameworks such as PCI security standards.
  • Running detailed forensics. Bitsight’s actionable forensics package comprehensively demonstrates infections observed on a company’s network and provides detailed specifics that let security teams remediate potentially harmful issues. By resolving issues quickly, Bitsight helps an organization more easily meet its standards for cybersecurity performance.

What Makes Bitsight #1 in Security Ratings?

Since 2011, Bitsight has led the security ratings industry with an outside-in approach to measuring security performance. Through continuous monitoring and assessment, Bitsight helps organizations make faster, more strategic decisions about cybersecurity policy, cybersecurity standards, and third-party cybersecurity risk management.

Bitsight has over 2,100+ customers monitoring 540,000 organizations to collectively reduce cyber risk. Trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations, Bitsight counts 20% of the world’s countries among its clients, as well as 25% of Fortune 500 companies. All 4 of the Big 4 accounting firms trust Bitsight, as do 4 of the top 5 investment banks and 7 of the top 10 largest cyber insurers.

FAQs: What are Cybersecurity Standards?

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