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What is Security Posture Assessment?

Mobile App Security, Penetration testing, Security Testing, Web App Testing

Friday April 10, 2020

Security Posture Assessment is done to ensure that cybersecurity is strong in an organization. To increase the maturity level of the cybersecurity level, many steps must be undertaken which are hence a part of posture assessment.

It is very important to have a robust cybersecurity system in an organization or else their security is at risk. Data breaches, cyber-attacks, and online threats have become a major worry for most of the organizations and hence organizations are no spending efforts and money on cybersecurity posture assessment.

However, several cybersecurity practices, as well as vendors, are available which makes difficult for an organization to choose one. You should know the well-planned cybersecurity strategy that is going to fetch you ROI so that your defense system can be robust that it becomes impossible for an invader to attack your system.

Let’s first look at the definition of posture assessment in a detailed way before proceeding further.

Security posture assessment flow

What is the Security Posture Assessment?

Security posture assessment refers to the security status of a system or network or an organization.

It is calculated based on the resources such as people, hardware and software capabilities and the change mechanism which comes under picture whenever some new virus attacks.

It shows the security health of your product or system. There are various levels of cybersecurity levels which indirectly means posture assessment.

  1. Organizations which have low cybersecurity level have very weak cybersecurity level. They are prone to breaches and intrusions and they should be implemented with new posture assessment because already the underlying system is not capable to handle cyber-attacks.
  2. Organizations that have a medium cyber-security level had a very average cyber-security level. They have basic cyber-security practices embedded in their system and are prone to their critical assets. There is always room for improvement for them.
  3. Organizations having high cyber-security levels are having very robust posture assessment and are prone to minor and major cyber threats.

Just like organizations perform penetration tests to ensure the vulnerabilities of a product posture assessment is done to ensure the cyber-security level of an organization.

It will thus ensure maximizing the ROI of the organization. Upon assessment and its analysis, one can formulate a road-map to implement cyber-security practices and have a properly formulated posture correction strategy in place.

Security posture assessment process

Why the Posture Assessment is done?

By posture assessment, one can identify the importance of the data.

You should know if somebody tweaks into their data and the vulnerabilities it can create. It lets you analyze different kinds of cyber threats and let you handle them with a pre-defined strategy.

It lets you evaluate the already existing cyber-security strategy and practices. If they are obsolete or are not right in place, there is an urgent need for a new strategy. This will robust your cyber defense system.

Strategy for improving posture assessment

Now, you know how critical posture assessment is for an organization. For improving the posture, you should have a tool in place which can do the following:

  • Identifies your inventory in the organization.
  • It should check the IT assets against all the major threats like phishing, unpatched software, outdated software, viruses, SQL injection, and others.
  • It should then create analytics to draw reference from. You should have a strategy in place where you need to improvise.
  • These vulnerabilities should have a critical level which should be decided on the level of vulnerability it creates for the system. Action items should be thee so that you can act accordingly.
  • After posture assessment, it should continually check for more vulnerabilities that can attack the system.
  • Build a specific team that will maintain a security posture assessment regularly. Maintenance will be easy if a specific team will be looking at it.
  • Encourage a strong security culture with the employees can help in avoiding these situations to a great extent. If employees are educated and are aware, they will make sure that they don’t click on unwanted links and phishing attacks would be minimized.

Planning a strategy for robust posture assessment

You should know how to have an effective strategy for making your system more robust and cyber-attack defensive.

The security posture assessment professionals have a very difficult task on their shoulders. They must establish the priorities of attacks that need to be dealt with first.

You should always know how to manage and mistake in case any cyber-security risk comes into your organization. Proper governance and having proper cyber-security programs in the organization will make sure that how planning a strategy is important.

It is always to identify the sensitive information because safeguarding them at any cost should be a part of our strategy. IT teams should regularly perform vulnerability scanning, phishing simulations, and penetration testing to minimize security thefts and increase the posture assessment level.

There are different frameworks for improving posture assessment. OCTAVE is one of the frameworks which is widely used.

It is an operational critical threat, asset and vulnerability evaluation which is useful for an organization that knows the major gaps and know how to fill these.

Another framework is FAIR which means Factor analysis of information risk. Last is the NIST RMF framework which should be implemented in case you avoid the first two frameworks due to compatibility issues. Risk assessment is a mandatory step in all the three frameworks and continuous assessments are a core part of the cyber-security level analysis.

Phases involved in Security posture assessment

Planning Phase: Validating the scope of the assessment, resource identification, stakeholders identification, developing a work-plan, etc. happens in this phase.

Documentation review: All the documents that are required to commence testing will be reviewed in this phase.

Assessment: Internet exposure, on-site audit, findings, analysis and -defining  cyber-security posture will be carried over in this phase

Reporting: All the deliverable will be listed in the report

When does your company need a cybersecurity posture assessment?

  • If you wish to know the current status of the cybersecurity
  • For implementing correct and mandatory cybersecurity measures
  • If you wish to have a detailed analysis to check on the vulnerabilities
  • Your company defensive system against cyber attacks is not up to the mark
  • if you wish to get ROI on you cybersecurity measures
  • If there is any kind of integration happening

Tips to improve your cyber-security posture

  • Have a real-time updatable inventory of the IT assets of your company
  • Continuous monitoring of IT assets and expose the system to planned cyber and see how the defensive mechanism is
  • Analyze the result and do a proper risk assessment and mark the vulnerability points
  • Once improved start from the first periodically

Conclusion

So, we learned how the organization used to ignore these threats and that lead to a drastic loss. To safeguard your data and maintain cybersecurity have a robust and high-level cybersecurity posture assessment in place. This is going to act as a barrier for your product, assets, and organizations. Start making your strategy today and make your organization risk free.

 

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