A security posture assessment builds a baseline view of your organisation's security capabilities end-to-end. The ultimate aim of such an assessment is to build maturity in the organisation’s cyber resilience strategy to minimise the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches.
To understand your organisation’s security posture, a holistic view of the personnel, processes, policies and technologies your organisation engages with is essential. However, conducting a security posture assessment as a point-in-time exercise defeats the purpose; any organisation evolves continuously, so the security posture must be dynamic. Therefore, security posture assessments should be a continuous exercise to respond to growing cyber threats. Here’s how to get started:
- Start by understanding critical assets to the business, and the attack surface. This ranges from the organisation’s exposure to malicious attackers, in the form of endpoints, infrastructure, and the network, to understanding which assets carry the highest risk in the case of a breach.
- Ask where the data flows - whether internally or to a third-party or vendor - and where data is stored and processed. What data needs the most protection, and where do security controls need to be implemented to meet your compliance requirements?
- Are critical assets and data flows continuously and adequately protected by well-trained staff, appropriate cybersecurity tooling, and response and detection capabilities?
- How are network and digital architectures designed to bolster security requirements? Do you have a zero-trust security strategy or a strong access management system?
- Are comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery policies in place, as well as a robust incident response process, so that the organisation has a strong response to cyber threats?
After establishing a baseline through a security posture assessment, organisations can build on the next steps. Defining a solid scope and outcomes and expectations of a security posture assessment are necessary for success. The assessment may flag areas that need strategic improvements, such as risk assessment and valuable security metric reporting, operational improvements in better monitoring or testing capabilities, and tactical improvements, such as patching and vulnerability management. Finally, the risk of third parties and the organisation’s supply chain risks will be evaluated.
Companies such as Sygnia help firms understand their security posture and proactively build their cyber resilience to respond quickly and defeat attacks within their networks.