Unlocking Cybersecurity Maturity

8 Steps to Unlocking Cybersecurity Maturity

8 Steps to Unlocking Cybersecurity Maturity – Achieving Systemic Risk & Security ManagementBy David Glenn

Risk & security management have become an essential part of business and organizational health and success. The process of managing risk and compliance can seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be. By properly implementing an Information Security & Risk Management plan and following a systematic approach, organizations can quickly and easily achieve a clear vision of their compliance and risk management objectives. This also significantly reduces the time and effort required to identify and respond to unexpected events. Here are eight steps to building a comprehensive, scalable and actionable plan and unlocking cybersecurity maturity within your organization:

Step One: Identify Objectives/Define Compliance:

Determine and/or define your risk profile, compliance requirements, regulatory mandates and/or framework objectives.

The first step in the process of unlocking cybersecurity maturity is to determine what data or intellectual property (IP) your organization cares most about. Uncover which compliance requirements, regulatory mandates, and framework objectives apply to your organization. Be aware of what your clients are requesting in their third-party risk assessments. The most effective cybersecurity and risk professionals take the time to understand their company’s business objectives and keep those in mind as guiding principles as business and technology decisions are made. This will help you understand the scope of your compliance efforts and determine the specific regulations, laws, and standards that you need to follow. Managing that blend of technology and business is a way to differentiate not only your business, but you as a security and risk practitioner.

Step Two: Establish a baseline:

Once you have determined your compliance requirements, the next step is to establish a baseline of your current risk posture. This baseline will help you understand the starting point from which you need to make improvements and track progress against. Knowing what you have and where you are is the first step of any journey, and doubly important when determining how to best protect and enable your business.

Step Three: Measure the risk:

Once you have established your baseline, the next step is to measure the risk. This involves first identifying what is of value to the organization. Then you can begin evaluating the likelihood and quantifying business impact of potential risks to determine the level of risk associated with each threat. This information will help you prioritize your remediation efforts and develop a risk management strategy that aligns with your compliance requirements and best protects what is important to your business.

Step Four: Prioritize Remediation:

Once you have measured the risk, the next step is to prioritize your remediation efforts. This involves identifying the highest-priority risks and developing a plan to mitigate or eliminate those risks. This plan should consider the likelihood and impact of each risk, the importance to the business, as well as the resources and effort required to mitigate or eliminate each risk.

Step Five: Remediate Risk & Track Improvements

As you work to remediate risks, it is important to follow the plan. Track your progress and measure the results of your efforts. Make it integrated as part of your core process. This will help you understand the effectiveness of your risk management strategy and enable you to make any necessary adjustments to improve your risk posture over time. With this strategy, you can also demonstrate the return on your security budget spend with real risk calculations.

Step Six: Report to stakeholders (both ad-hoc and scheduled/recurring)

The process of managing systemic risk and security is not complete until you have reported your progress and results to your stakeholders. Make sure that you understand who your stakeholders are and their reporting requirements. This could range from your leadership to your board, your customers, stockholders, auditors and potentially regulators. This should include both ad-hoc and scheduled/recurring reports, which will, as a result, help you communicate the status of your compliance efforts and the effectiveness of your risk management strategy.

Step Seven: Continuous metrics, continuous improvement

The process of managing systemic risk and security is never truly complete. Instead, it is an ongoing process that requires habitual measurement and adjustment, continuous improvement, and ongoing assessments of your risk posture. Measuring performance of risk and security controls helps demonstrate that you are getting the desired level of protection. This will help you stay ahead of new threats and ensure that you are always in compliance with the latest regulatory mandates and compliance requirements. Most importantly, this will help you stay the course. Make it a habit to see that the risk management plan is being followed, and that any changes or issues are quickly addressed.

Step Eight: Compliance Certification

The final step to unlocking cybersecurity maturity is to prepare effectively for any third-party testing or attestation process that is in place if the compliance objectives you are working towards have that requirement. Many also require ongoing maintenance of that certification (such as with CMMC), and annual re-baseline and gap comparison. Demonstrating that your organization follows all relevant regulatory mandates and compliance requirements helps provide assurance to your stakeholders, customers, prospects and auditors/regulators, and help you demonstrate your commitment to managing risk and ensuring best effort security protection. Managing risk and compliance does not have to be overwhelming.

Ongoing Management

What’s next? You repeat the process. Security is iterative, and consistent, planned, and measured improvement can make all the difference when an emergency, breach or event occurs. Using this in a systemic and programmatic manner allows you to:

  • Identify, Measure, Prioritize & Remediate risk findings.
  • Develop and publish a Risk & Security Management Plan, a requirement of many mandates and frameworks.
  • Implement risk & security controls.
  • Monitor & review those controls as well as measure their performance.
  •  Analyze and adjust as needed.
  • Establish a world-class reporting and review process to keep your team and leadership informed.
  • Have a plan to execute against for ongoing cyber hygiene as well as response to unplanned events or incidents.

The Value of a Systematic Approach

Managing risk and security is a critical aspect of modern business and organizations. When they follow a systematic approach, organizations can quickly and easily achieve their compliance and risk management objectives. This, in turn, provides better protection, better response times and, in many cases, competitive advantage with customers and prospects. Having a real view into your risk posture, knowing the potential impact to your business, and being educated and prepared with some extra preparation on the front end can both make all the difference in how you respond to a security event or changing mandate, and additionally provide you with an advantage over competitors who have not made the same preparation. As a result, the process of managing risk and compliance does not have to be overwhelming. It is simply a matter of building and following the steps of your information security plan.

The Industry’s Best Integrated Risk Management Platform Solution

For those looking for a solution that works without costly development time or resource commitment, Cyturus offers the CRT (Compliance and Risk Tracker) platform, which has helped many organizations just like yours achieve their compliance and risk management objectives quickly, easily, and in a fashion optimized for business. If you’re interested in learning more, request a demo or more information, get in touch with Cyturus today at info@cyturus.com. We and our community of committed partners look forward to serving you. With our solution bundles we can help you quickly and simply implement a dynamic and effective information security plan and roadmap that fits your business and regulatory compliance goals and objectives. With Cyturus, the process of managing risk and compliance does not have to be overwhelming. Reach out to us today to begin your journey to unlocking cybersecurity maturity.

Documentation is essential to manage risk

Importance of Documentation in Cyber Maturity – David Glenn

Documentation is Essential for Organizations to Manage Risk

The business world has become increasingly interconnected and having a well-documented information security plan is now table stakes. With data breaches and cyber-attacks becoming more frequent and sophisticated, companies must be proactive in protecting their assets and ensuring compliance with a growing number of regulatory mandates and frameworks. It is not just heavily regulated industries that need to be concerned about these requirements. Cyber threats are growing in number and severity, and it is critical for all organizations to have robust cybersecurity and compliance practices in place.

One aspect of cybersecurity that is often overlooked is documentation. Having clear, accurate, and up-to-date documentation is essential for organizations to effectively manage their cybersecurity and compliance risks. This is especially true in heavily regulated industries, but it’s continuing to expand beyond that as well. Every organization needs to:

  • Be aware of their security posture and invested in how to best secure critical data and resources.
  • Understand which mandates are applicable to them, or frameworks that their organization has chosen for standardization.
  • Continuously assess and be aware of process and technical gaps.
  • Have a dynamic, defensible plan for addressing those gaps.

Regulations, Mandates and Frameworks

With the proliferation of mandates such as TISAX, PCI; regulatory requirements such as CMMC, HIPAA, CCPA, New York Privacy Act (and many other state privacy acts on the horizon); frameworks such as ISO 27001, NIST CSF, CIS v8, NIST 800-53r5, NIST 800-171 and many more, the complex layers of cybersecurity and compliance mandates are only going to increase in the future.

Legal Precedent and Individual Accountability

Recent high-profile cases, such as with the felony conviction for Joe Sullivan, the former Uber CISO for “misprison of a felony”, which “punishes anyone with knowledge of the commission of a felony who conceals and does not report the same”, just affirmed by the trial court, and FTC’s finalized action against Drizly and CEO James Cory Rellas , have highlighted the importance of effective documentation and the potential consequences of failing to do so. The FTC’s action against Drizly is a game-changer, as it holds the CEO personally liable for security failures and requires the company to destroy unnecessary data, restrict future data collection and retention, and bind the CEO to specific data security requirements. This is a clear indication that regulators are taking cybersecurity and compliance seriously and that the ramifications of a failure to comply are not just limited to security and risk leadership, but also extend to board members and executives. That is a lot of individual accountability and, in contrast to the past, there are real consequences (see above) and financial pain likely for those that fail to make appropriate preparations.

Protecting Yourself With “Risk Acceptance Forms”

One way security officers can propose to control risky business behavior would be by implementing “risk acceptance forms” to directly enforce accountability of senior leadership when blatant critical risks are introduced.  This type of form (if properly implemented) would require legal/HR/compliance to document and track according to documented policies/procedures/standards of the organization.

A Proactive Approach

This increased scrutiny and focus on third-party risk is driving organizations to take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity and compliance. It’s not enough to simply react after a breach or event has occurred. Organizations need to be able to understand the potential impact of failure to plan and act as well as take steps to mitigate those risks before an incident occurs. The key is documenting your plan, executing on it to close the gaps, and having a plan when (not if) an event occurs.

Cyturus Can Help

This is where Cyturus comes in and can help protect yourself and your organization against litigation and data loss. Our CRT (Compliance and Risk Tracker) platform provides continuous monitoring of an organization’s security, compliance, and risk management posture. It provides full dashboard visibility, on-demand and scheduled reporting, security roadmap and remediation management, gap analysis, trending over time, and crosswalk mapping when you are dealing with multiple mandates or frameworks, and/or new mandates so that you don’t have to repeat your work. We save time and money with automation and flexibility with proven processes.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, it is impossible to document and comply effectively using spreadsheets and other manual processes. With Cyturus, you can streamline your compliance and risk management efforts, and ensure that you are always in compliance with the latest mandates and frameworks. Contact us today at info@cyturus.com or fill out the form below for more information or to schedule a demo of our CRT platform and see how we can help you protect your organization from cyber threats and regulatory penalties.


What Uber’s Joe Sullivan Case Means for ‘Sacrificial CISOs’: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewhayeurope/2022/10/06/uber-decision-implications-for-virtual-cisos/?sh=78cbf2851748

Former Uber CISO’s Conviction Affirmed by Trial Court: Former Uber CISO’s Conviction Affirmed by Trial Court – Security Boulevard

FTC Drizly, LLC Case Summary: https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/cases-proceedings/2023185-drizly-llc-matter

FTC votes 4-0 on finalizing enforcement action against James Cory Rellas, CEO of Drizly: https://iapp.org/news/a/ftc-finalizes-drizly-enforcement-action/