What to Expect from Implementing a Cyber Security Improvement Plan

Despite billions spent across all industry sectors to improve cyber-resilience and bolster security posture, exclusive reliance on Detect and Response tools with periodical validation procedure fails to answer four critical questions:  

  • How can we quantify the risk?  
  • What accurate metrics can we use to measure improvements?  
  • How do we prevent security drift and deflect the latest threats?  
  • How can we validate security controls across the full kill chain?  

 This structural issue stems from the double impossibility of proving a negative and measuring risks without visibility.  

  Aside from damaging the prospect of creating hard defenses, this lack of visibility also prevents:

  • A granular evaluation of the effectiveness of the defensive tool stack   
  • An accurate evaluation of the security drift  
  • Measurable monitoring of the variance from security baseline per vector   
  • Effective prioritization of the patching schedule tailored to the organization’s infrastructure’s specific risk factors  

Regardless of those limitations, the lack of better alternatives meant that, until now, this detect and respond approach with periodical validation was the golden standard.   

Emerging new cyber improvement technologies now offer a basket of enhanced tools that can be consolidated into an Extended Security Posture Management (XSPM) approach.

Benefits of Investing in XSPM Cyber Security Improvement Approach  

XSPM benefits can be broadly divided into technical benefits and into operability and business benefits. 

 On the technical side, XSPM’s ability to continuously monitor and validate the security posture and prioritize vulnerability patching translates into: 

 

Technical Benefits 

  • 24x7x365 increased visibility into security posture – Visibility is everything. And the immediate, independent results of Cymulate assessments provide visibility into where your security gaps are, continuously or on-demand. 
  • Improved security stance – Immediate results and actionable remediation guidance enable you to rapidly deploy appropriate countermeasures.  
  • Security controls validation – New technology, policy changes, or software updates can be easily tested to see their impact on the organization by benchmarking attack resiliency before and after a change is made to your environment.  
  • Emerging threat resiliency evaluation and mitigation – Cymulate Research Lab stays abreast of the very latest threats, updating the platform daily with Immediate Threats Intelligence. This enables organizations to rapidly assess their resilience and mitigate against the latest “headline” threats.  
  • Continuous security posture assessment on real attack scenarios – Instead of relying on annual or semi-annual pen-testing, organizations can assess their security posture on an ongoing basis, with the latest data and actionable insights at their fingertips.  
  • Reduced dependency on manual methods – While manual pen testing and red teaming are highly effective, they provide only point-in-time snapshots that become outdated very quickly. They also tend to be costly and may not be practical when time is of the essence. 

On the operability and business sides, an XSPM approach yields unexpected windfalls:
 

Operational and Business Benefits  

  • Security investments rationalization – XSPM security scoring rationalizes security spending in three ways:  
  1. Security teams can compare the effectiveness of different products by seeing how well they block or detect simulated attacks, and reach a purchase decision based on objective, quantifiable data. This enables: 
       a. eliminating overlapping tools
       b. avoiding getting bogged down in a tool sprawl that impedes operability without yielding results,  
       c. improving results from existing tools by optimizing their configuration based on hard data 
  2. During a security technology’s PoC, security teams can fine-tune controls to determine the effectiveness of the candidate product, avoiding acquiring unnecessary or ineffective tools. 
  3. With access to quantified data, security teams can measure the ROI of security-related resources, including effort and procurement budget, which can be allocated with transparency, according to the most pressing security gaps.  

 

  • Enhanced security performance transparency – Security performance alerts, as well as automatically generated technical and executive-level reports, increase transparency, harmonizing efforts across teams and management. 
  • Reduced risk of business interruption – though kept for last this is a cardinal advantage as XSPM comprehensive continuous security validation considerably reduces the risks of a breach and the impact of a breach when it happens, meaning the organization is protected against disruptions due to breaches at all levels. 
  • Improved resource allocations – The use of advanced VPT streamlines the vulnerability patching requirements, reducing the time the IT team invests in patching and freeing it for development.  
  • Improved communication with the board – When the board asks how effective the company’s security controls are in protecting its critical assets, KPI metrics and industry benchmarks provide an easy-to-understand answer. Similarly, when a new threat hits the headlines, security teams can check if their controls can detect that threat and provide answers fast, quantified answers, and, even better, immediately take corrective steps. 
  • Future-proofing compliance – XSPM built-in asset discovery and monitoring, Incident Response (IR) preparedness, documentation, and timely report generation, requirements far exceed those of the regulators and are likely to stay ahead of regulators’ demands for the foreseeable future. 
  • Reduced employee churn – The optimized security controls drastically reduce the number of false-positive alerts, and the automatization of repetitive routine tasks, positively impact cyber security teams’ work satisfaction, and reduce the risk of burnout. 
  • Potentially reducing cyber-insurance premiums – Documented evidence enabling dynamic continuous quantified evaluation of your security posture is key to negotiating better insurance rates. 

When an XSPM suite is available on a single platform, its installation and management require minimal effort, and accessing all the generated information from a single source of truth facilitates its operability and provides optimum results.

XSPM combines the new capabilities of Attack Surface Management (ASM), Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS), Continuous automated Red Teaming (CART), Advanced Purple Teaming, Immediate Threat Intelligence (ITI), and the most advanced Vulnerability Prioritization Technology (VPT) – Attack-Based Vulnerability Management to evaluate organization global and granular security scores and continuously monitor for variances from baselines, identifies remaining and newly introduced security gaps, and validates resiliency to emerging threats. 

To request a free demo or a PoC to evaluate your organization’s security posture, contact an agent here.