In today’s digital world, the internet and new technologies have opened us up to a whole host of opportunities. The only problem is that these opportunities don’t come without risks. In particular, as we conduct more of our lives online and share more of our personal data over the internet, cybersecurity has become an important issue, especially as the risks of cybercrime continue to rise.
As a result of this increase in online activity and cybercrime, businesses have had to become more aware of their online security efforts. And this became even more pertinent after the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations back in 2018. Now, not only do businesses need to protect their data for the sake of their customers and keeping a good reputation, but they also have a legal obligation to do so. Otherwise, they could find themselves faced with a hefty fine.
This increased concern surrounding data protection and cybersecurity have led to a whole load of new buzzwords being bandied about and these can become confusing. In this guide, GDPR consultancy experts Evalian take a look at security posture assessments, what these are and how they can benefit your business. Read on to find out more.
What is a security posture?
A security posture is one of the newer buzzwords in the cyber-lexicon and can either be referred to as ‘security posture’ or ‘cybersecurity posture’. So, what exactly does it mean? Well, an organization’s security posture refers to the strength of its security, taking into account it’s IT estate (such as computers and mobile devices) and the internet (i.e. its online activities).
In a nutshell, businesses need to understand their current security posture in order to analyze how vulnerable they are to cybercrime and to determine how likely they are to fall victim to a data breach. But how do you get a clear indication of where your business currently stands? This is where a security posture assessment comes in.
So what is a security posture assessment?
A cybersecurity posture assessment pretty much does what it says on the tin and can be a very helpful step for businesses when it comes to ensuring GDPR compliance and data protection. Through revisiting and assessing your current data, security measures, and action plans you will be able to identify where your business is currently at with its security efforts, what you’re missing (if anything) and what you can do to take your cybersecurity to the next level.
What’s more, these assessments look at all aspects of cybersecurity and everything within the business that influences it. For example, it will not only take into account security systems and IT infrastructure but also includes all practices, processes, third parties and even the human behavior that contributes towards the company’s security efforts.
This will give you an overall view of both your company’s internal and external security posture, by pulling everything together to produce one inclusive assessment approach. Unlike other forms of review such as a data audit or compliance checklist, a posture assessment is designed to provide the most senior members of staff with more clarity about how the business’s security is performing and whether they’re getting a good return on investment (ROI) on their security-related expenses.
Breaking it down further and for those who might be considering conducting a security posture assessment in their business, this is how you can analyze and improve your security:
- By building a strong understanding of the value of the data you collect
- Identifying and defining potential cyber risks and threats to data
- Evaluating whether you already have the correct, reliable and most efficient security systems in place to tackle these risks
- Making note of any areas that can be improved
- Creating and recommending a plan of action (also referred to as a security roadmap) for increasing cybersecurity systems and boosting your defenses across every area of the business
Why should you run security posture assessments?
There are a number of reasons why you should run a security posture assessment and we’re going to go through these in more detail below.
1. You can never be too cautious
You may have invested plenty of time, money and resources into creating the best security system you could. You might have followed every aspect of GDPR to the letter in order to become compliant. And while you might think you’re truly on top of your data protection efforts, you never can be too careful. With cybercrime on the rise and the strict governing bodies increasingly issuing fines for data breaches, your business should do all it can to get the strongest systems in place.
So while most think they’re ahead of the game, conducting a security posture assessment really can help to take it to the next level. And let’s face it, most don’t know their security posture right now, some won’t even have heard the term before. But you have and you should take full advantage of this. You can conduct the review yourself or if you’re unsure how and want a professional job done, you could hire in a third-party to assist you with your assessment.
2. To avoid issues in the future
Not knowing where you stand in terms of your security posture can lead to a variety of issues in the future. Not having a clear cybersecurity roadmap can result in money being wasted on ineffective security systems and your security teams can become overworked or feel like they’re at a standstill. Not only this, but it’s important that you’re aligning your security initiatives with your overall business goals, not conducting assessments of this nature can lead to misalignment and lack of direction.
3. It will provide data-driven insights
And finally, a security posture assessment can provide your business with data-driven insights that can guide your overall security strategy and help align these with your business goals. This can help you to make positive changes, create a strong security roadmap and generally boost your cybersecurity efforts to keep your data safe.