Security Maturity Surety: Part 2
With IT security, it seems like the wolves are always scratching at the door (or the firewall in this case). While folklore tells us a silver bullet can take care of a werewolf problem in one shot, improving IT security maturity sadly has no “one-and-done” solution. It’s tempting to think that, once a security framework is in place, the maturity aspect will take care of itself. But, the truth is, maintaining a mature security program requires continuous assessment and improvement. Implementing best practice controls, policies, and procedures is only the beginning.
By performing regular security maturity assessments, the organization can identify gaps between industry best practices and the extent to which its policies and procedures are documented, implemented and enforced, the frequency of testing and monitoring, and integration of the IT security program into the organization’s culture. This involves assembling documentation — standards, policies, procedures and security controls — and going through the sections of the implemented security model to evaluate shortcomings and improvements in documentation, implementation, testing and integration. Areas in which to examine maturity include:
- Organizational leadership and governance
- User security awareness
- IT risk management
- Business continuity and crisis management
- Operations and corresponding technology
- Regulatory compliance
As you work to improve your security program, remember that it's not just about documentation. Regular testing and continuous monitoring are critical. Monitoring will help you identify security flaws, as well as misguided employee actions, policy integration weaknesses, and even potential vulnerabilities that have yet to rear their heads. Comprehensive security, risk, and compliance testing on an annual or semi-annual basis will also give you an edge in fending off future incidents.
For more information on security program maturity, read our whitepaper: Managing Cyber Security Maturity.