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The Power of Effective Continuous Control Monitoring Combined With CRQ

July 13, 2023

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Maintaining an accurate overview of an organization's assets can be a challenge for any Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). You are not alone in this.

As companies evolve over time, with mergers, acquisitions, and global expansions, centralized management of your IT stack becomes increasingly complex."Sure, there are many solutions available, but organizations, concerned about the potential noise or impact on operations, often implement these tools selectively, resulting in a lengthy list of control issues that burden security operations teams."

Continuous control monitoring (CCM) is an effective way to alleviate this burden. Will your organization benefit? Let’s delve into the significance of centralized data management, the impact on vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, and the role of a financial impact perspective, derived via cyber risk quantification, in streamlining the control monitoring process.

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Why Cybersecurity Has Adopted Continuous Control Monitoring 

If you attended the RSA Conference in 2022, the focus was on zero trust, emphasizing the need for stringent access control and continuous authentication.

In 2023, cyber risk management and impact have taken center stage, highlighting the importance of understanding the financial consequences of control weaknesses.

There is an invisible thread connecting these two trends—a challenge that organizations face in maintaining an up-to-date view of their entire infrastructure, including assets and implemented controls.

Continuous monitoring is nothing new, with both transaction and fraud monitoring playing a role in the financial sector. And while getting an overarching view has been notoriously difficult for CISOs, if done effectively, it can help reduce your compliance costs while strengthening the same control processing procedures for the future.

The Role of Continuous Control Monitoring 

CCM involves actively evaluating the effectiveness of security controls within an organization. Not quarterly or monthly, but rather in real-time.

It is a proactive approach to identify vulnerabilities, gaps, and potential weaknesses in control implementation and configuration. By continuously monitoring controls, organizations can plan ahead and mitigate risks as they occur, potentially decreasing the financial impact of vulnerabilities.

But monitoring is not possible without centralized data management. Integrating data from various security controls into a centralized repository is necessary for organizations to gain a comprehensive view of their security landscape. This holistic perspective helps identify vulnerabilities, potential weaknesses, and misconfigurations across different systems and applications.

Beyond simply a list of issues, continuous monitoring results in a more confident team, armed with the right data, and ready for more effective remediation.

What Impact Will CCM Have On Your Team? 

You might think your team has everything they need for continuous monitoring. After all, there are many solutions focused on harvesting data about the implementation and configuration of security controls.

But the challenge is that most organizations deploying such tools leverage them quite selectively. Having a long list of issues at the end of the day just creates more noise for your security operations team, which is already burdened with endless tickets pending resolution.

1. Prioritize Risk by Financial Impact 

To address this challenge, organizations need to introduce a financial impact perspective. By considering the potential financial losses associated with control weaknesses, CISOs can prioritize improvement efforts and focus resources on critical issues. This approach helps democratize the control monitoring process and supports more informed decision-making.

2. Better Decision-Making Based on Risk Insights

Once you have an accurate, all-encompassing view of your organization and have taken into account any financial impact, you can make better decisions based on risk insights. Risk insights enable CISOs to prioritize remediation efforts, ensuring that critical vulnerabilities are addressed promptly and effectively. By analyzing control data, organizations can identify high-risk areas and allocate resources accordingly.

3. Streamlining Incident Response and Remediation Efforts 

While having a stack of tools can provide decent coverage, it’s far from perfect. A web of third-party solutions often falls short of delivering a complete view of the organization and its security challenges. Solutions like Kovrr take a different, more active approach that goes beyond simply adding additional logs and incidents to the network. Looking into all the data sources within the organization allows for a deeper understanding of how the business operates at any given moment.

Your CISO Doesn’t Have Time to Address Everything At Once 

This approach addresses the core problem faced by CISOs: not just having access to logs but using that data to gain valuable insights and determine where to focus their efforts, particularly at the asset level.

With an overwhelming number of tickets that security operations teams receive, the biggest gap will always be the human gap. Meaning, it's simply not possible to address every single issue manually.

Adopt Cyber Risk Quantification Alongside Continuous Control Monitoring 

Rather than tackling issues based solely on the output of a CCM tool, combining CCM with cyber risk quantification platforms, such as  Kovrr can help identify the biggest impact areas. This strategic approach allows organizations to optimize their efforts and prioritize the most critical areas.

Are you ready for an active approach to addressing the biggest security vulnerabilities? Take control of your organization's security landscape by combining CCM with cyber risk quantification.

Shalom Bublil

Kovrr Co-founder & Chief Product Officer

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