Answer the Question “How to Get There?”

Written by: John Caruthers

In the nearly 4 years since leaving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), I’ve seen incredible change throughout the #cybersecurity ecosystem. The threats have grown in volume and sophistication. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is essential that companies take steps to protect themselves and their sensitive information. Consequently, the associated risk has become an undeniable talking point. All of this points to the need for program maturity, which leads to questions of “how to get there?” One key component of any effective cybersecurity strategy is conducting regular information security #program #assessments.

An information security program assessment is a comprehensive review of an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Assessments should align to a chosen security framework (e.g., NIST CSF, CIS 18, etc.) and leverage industry standard scoring such as #CMMI. The goal is to evaluate the organization’s current security controls, identifies vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and provides recommendations for improvement. At minimum, we should leave a program assessment with an actionable and strategic roadmap.

As if we need more convincing, there are several triggers for conducting an assessment:

  1. Identify Security Weaknesses: Identify weaknesses in an organization’s security controls. This can include vulnerabilities in software, gaps in policies and procedures, and weaknesses in physical security controls. Once identified, these weaknesses can be addressed to strengthen the organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.
  2. Improve Risk Management: Help organizations improve their risk management practices. By identifying and prioritizing security risks, organizations can allocate resources and develop plans to mitigate those risks effectively.
  3. Comply with Regulations: Many verticals (aka industries) are subject to regulations and compliance requirements related to information security. Conducting regular assessments can help ensure that the organization is meeting these requirements and avoiding potential fines or legal issues.
  4. Build Trust with Customers: Customers expect that their personal and financial information will be protected when they do business with an organization. Conducting regular information security program assessments demonstrates the organization’s commitment to cybersecurity and can build trust with customers.
  5. Proactively Manage Cyber Threats: Regular assessments can help organizations stay ahead of emerging cyber threats and proactively manage their cybersecurity posture. By identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses, organizations can take steps to mitigate these risks before they are exploited by cybercriminals.
  6. Lowered Cyber Insurance Premiums: A heightened or elevated maturity rating can help lower insurance premiums, as it shows a commitment to information security and data protection – key requirements for insurance brokers and carriers.

The bottom line is that conducting regular information security program assessments is critical for any organization that wants to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture. These assessments can help identify weaknesses, improve risk management, comply with regulations, build trust with customers, and proactively manage cyber threats. By investing in these assessments, organizations can minimize their risk of #databreaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. If you’d like to double-click on this topic with me, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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