Security Maturity Surety: Part 2

Security maturity is a never-ending journey.

Every year presents new threats and challenges to organizations attempting to improve IT security maturity. Sadly, there is no “one-and-done” solution. Once a security framework is in place, it’s tempting to think that maturity will be the natural outcome; however, 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, an 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 reviewing 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

Remember that improving a security program is not just about documentation. Regular testing and continuous monitoring are critical, as well. Monitoring will help you identify security flaws, misguided employee actions, policy integration weaknesses, and 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 maturity, read our white paper on Managing Cybersecurity Maturity.