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CyberSecurity Posture - Why It's Important to Hire Help

The term "cybersecurity posture" refers to the status of your cybersecurity readiness. You have many assets in your company, and each one is vulnerable to a wide variety of attack vectors. There are many ways that your organization can be breached.  

Attack surface sizes have increased, which means that cybersecurity teams have a lot to deal with. This is why you must hire an IT security team to bolster your cybersecurity posture and why cybersecurity matters.  

Advantis Government Solutions can help. We care about candidate experience and finding quality talent to help secure your systems.

Table of Contents
Definition of Security Posture Explained
Cybersecurity Posture Structure
Assessing Security Posture
5 Steps to Improve Security Posture
Why Hire a Cybersecurity Team?

Definition of Security Posture Explained

Your security posture measures the following:

  • How informed you are regarding your asset inventory and the attack surfaces of those things.
  • Controls/processes that are in place to protect your organization against cyber-attacks.
  • Ability to detect/contain attacks vectors.  
  • Ability to react to/recover from security breaches.
  • Level of automation within security program.

Cybersecurity Posture Structure

Asset Inventory  

If you don't know about something, it's difficult to protect it. You must have an accurate inventory of your assets as the basis for your security posture. This includes everything, whether core (not internet facing) or perimeter (internet-facing) assets.  

You must also understand how critical each asset is, as this will help you determine breach risk. You must express the impact to your organization in terms of dollars (or whatever currency you deal in).  

Security Controls/Effectiveness  

Around this core of asset, inventory is the cybersecurity posture controls that have been implemented. Some of them are implemented to prevent attacks. Others can detect the attacks that get past the protective controls. You’ll need additional tools/processes to respond and recover from attacks.  

It is critical that you not only be able to account for your controls but understand the effectiveness of each one for reducing your risk of cyberattack.  

Attack Vectors  

The next thing you need to consider is attack vectors, which are the methods used to breach/infiltrate your network. Attack vectors take a variety of forms, from ransomware to malware and so much more. Some of them target security weaknesses, while others target human users with access to your network.  

The risk extends beyond vulnerabilities. Therefore, it's necessary to understand your cybersecurity posture and correctly prioritize risk areas is critical to protecting your assets. Your IT security team’s ability to monitor risk in various regions is also a crucial piece of your security posture.  

Attack Surface  

Your attack surface is made up of your attack vectors and asset inventory. This is represented by the various ways an attacker can get unauthorized access to your assets by breaching your security.  

Automating Security Posture  

One of the critical components to your security posture is automation. Attackers use automated techniques to probe the defenses of an organization to find weaknesses/vulnerabilities. You must automate your cybersecurity posture to stay ahead of potential attackers.

Cybersecurity posture assessment.

Assessing Security Posture

The first step in understanding where you are in your cybersecurity journey is assessing security posture. You must ask the following:  

  • How secure is my company?
  • Do we have the appropriate system in place?  
  • How effective are our controls?  
  • Are we able to accurately measure breach risk and cyber-resilience?  
  • Are we vulnerable to breaches/attacks?  
  • Is our vulnerability management program effective?  
  • Can we scorecard/benchmark various risk owners within the company?  
  • How can we discuss security posture with the board of directors?

3 Steps in Assessing Security Posture  

Below, we’ll explain the three steps in assessing your security posture:  

  1. Take an accurate inventory of IT Assets  
  2. Map attack surface  
  3. Understand cyber risk

Take an Accurate Inventory of IT Assets

An asset is described as anything with access to your organization’s network/data. You must ensure that you have an accurate inventory of all network elements, hardware, and software in your organization.  

Of course, you need to have detailed information regarding the asset to understand the risk associated with it. Having an accurate inventory of your IT assets is the basis for your security posture.

Not only will having an accurate inventory help with your security posture, but it will also help you keep track of the type and age of the hardware that is being used. This helps you to identify any gaps in tech and refresh as needed.  

As systems age, they become obsolete, which means the manufacturer no longer supports them. This means they are a security risk because they are no longer being monitored for vulnerability, and patches are not implemented.

Map Attack Surface

The next step is to map your attack surface, represented by the network points where an attacker can try to gain entry to your system.  

The attack surface can be quite large if you have a medium- to a large-sized organization because there are so many assets with so many attack vectors.

Understand Cyber Risk

The final step is to understand your cyber risk. Your security posture and cyber risk have an inverse relationship. As you improve your security posture, your cyber risk will be reduced.  

Risk is defined as the probability that a loss event will occur multiplied by the potential loss from that event. Cyber risk is the likelihood of exposure/loss resulting from a data breach/cyber attack.

To understand your risk, you must consider the following:  

  1. The severity of known vulnerabilities that are relevant to the asset itself.  
  2. The threat level is the attack method that attackers are exploiting.  
  3. Where the asset is deployed and used determines whether attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities or not.  
  4. Whether or not security controls can negate any risk factors.
  5. How critical the asset is to the business organization.

You will need to calculate this on each point of the attack surface to get an accurate picture of your cyber risk and help you focus on mitigating risk while also avoiding staying busy trying to fix issues that are low risk.

5 Steps to Improve Security Posture

To improve your security posture, you need to do the following:  

  1. Automate inventory for all assets of your organization
  2. Define risk ownership hierarchy and appoint owners  
  3. Always monitor your assets for any vulnerabilities across various attack vectors and evaluate them based on risk. Then, dispatch your appointed owners to supervise automated mitigation.  
  4. Always review security control gaps, making changes when appropriate.  
  5. Define and continuously measure/track metrics and target SLAs for the effectiveness of security controls, visibility, and resolution of risk issues.

Risk Ownership  

Step number 2 in the list above is critical to improving the cybersecurity posture of your organization. You must define and actively manage your risk ownership chart. Most of the tasks for risk mitigation must be executed/approved by those who are not part of the security team.  

You must provide information to each risk owner regarding the security issues they are in charge of, any associated risks, and options for risk mitigation.  

Once you have a risk ownership hierarchy in place, you'll be able to compare and score your appointed owners and encourage them to do what they need to maintain an acceptable security posture.  

Continuously Fine-Tune to Improve Cybersecurity Posture  

Once you have gained visibility into your security posture, you'll need to periodically put protocols in place to adjust goals.  

You must ensure that your attack surface is continuously monitored. After all, the cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving. You must ensure that you have automated processes in place to help you maintain your cybersecurity posture.

Why Hire a Cybersecurity Team?

Your security posture is the overall strength and resilience of your cybersecurity protocols related to cyber threats.  

The ever-increasing variety and complexity of cyberattacks are making it quite challenging to analyze and improve cybersecurity posture. Often, your employees are the ones that are leading to the breaches. However, if you hire a team specifically for cybersecurity, you can be sure that your company data as well as your personal data are protected.  

Advantis Government Solutions can help you with this process. We provide you with industry-specific expertise that you won’t get anywhere else. We know exactly what it is that you need in your IT security team. Additionally, we’ve been in the IT industry for over 13 years and work with industry-leading companies and government sectors. Leave your recruiting to us.

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