How to Interpret and Communicate Exposure Monitoring Results

Further work is needed to define formal assertions for the complete set of COBIT 5 management practices as a necessary precursor to the wider use of CCM within an IT risk context. This work ideally should occur with further development of COBIT 5 for Risk and other COBIT guidance from ISACA. Assertions that need to be tested by subjective judgement (type 7, such as those obtained through control self-assessments by service managers or vendors) can be validated30 through the Delphi Method. In this approach, a more accurate consensus of control effectiveness is obtained through one or more rounds of anonymous self-assessments, which may be reviewed, and feedback provided by experts between rounds.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

Sign-in sheets for access to controlled areas could also be automated, perhaps by signing in on a tablet that logs times and names and identifies unusual patterns of behavior, such as entry at a late hour that is against the norm. The review of advantages and disadvantages of physical vs. automated solutions can be complemented by a survey of current continuous monitoring solutions. A major step in the successful implementation of continuous cybersecurity monitoring is the scheduling of regular software updates in order to mitigate the risks your system might face. Cyberthreats are constantly evolving, and to properly identify and neutralize such threats, it is of utmost importance that your system and its subsequent policies are always up to date.

Information Security Continuous Monitoring Reference

There are software solutions not on this list that cover some of the control categories. In addition, there currently is not a system that integrates the data feeds from each of these individual software packages. One potential solution would be to provide a manual logging mechanism for actions completed. This could be a login interface to communicate when someone has finished backing up a server or performed a security sweep of a remote location server room.

In this article, we will specifically focus on continuous monitoring through logs. Your network and security solutions need constant updates and patches to mitigate the risks you face. Your network is a vast one, and you have to tailor your policies to it by identifying your boundaries. A static cybersecurity stance is when an organization installs a single security solution and uses that to guard all of its assets. This framework also utilizes one-off network vulnerability tests to determine weak points.

  • A public web server may have a higher risk level than a file server on the domain located securely within the enclave; the chances are lower of it being attacked, and there would be less impact if it were taken offline.
  • Stephen holds a degree in Philosophy from Auburn University and is an MSIS candidate at UC Denver.
  • IT operations analysts can utilize a continuous monitoring software tool to identify application performance issues, determine the fundamental causes, and implement a solution before the issue causes unplanned application downtime and revenue loss.
  • Even though organizations monitor their infrastructure and applications in standard business hours, there is no guarantee that attackers will do the same.
  • Impromptu control testing is most likely to leave holes in the organization’s control management, cause duplicate effort, and incur unforeseen costs.

Atatus – It provides comprehensive transaction diagnostics, performance control, root-cause diagnosis, server performance, and transaction tracing all in one location. Choosing the tools that your complete team will use, whether you go with a purchased or custom-built solution, will require some investigation as you match your demands to the alternatives available. Changes the system boundary by adding a new component that substantially changes the risk posture.

Continuous Monitoring

Limit your installation to your most critical business processes, especially those that include sensitive or proprietary data. The ultimate purpose of continuous monitoring is to give IT organizations with near-instant feedback and insight on network performance and interactions, which aids operational, security, and business performance. Continuous monitoring can also be used by IT companies to track user behaviour, particularly in the minutes and hours after a new application update.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

Nor can you implement it using a specific tool or by setting up a certain process. Here’s a look at what continuous monitoring means, how it works, why it’s beneficial and how to get started implementing continuous monitoring. In order for continuous monitoring to work in real-time and at the scale TPRM requires, much of the process needs to be automated.

How to Implement Continuous Cybersecurity Monitoring

He has over 15 years experience driving Log Management, ITOps, Observability, Security and CX solutions for companies such as Splunk, Genesys and Quest Software. Arfan graduated in Computer Science at Bucks and Chilterns University and has a career spanning across Product Marketing and Sales Engineering. The solution should be able to ingest, store, and process the volume of data captured over time. To do this, you’ll need to know your IT environment well and understand the practical needs and cost limits.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

One final proposed change to the model would be to connect both the continuous monitoring solution to a single dashboard for managing overall risk. Working from this model would be able to show organizations which areas are being continuously monitored and which areas still need to be tracked the traditional way. Though the promise of ISCM is great, there are many challenges to overcome to realize complete implementation. The only way to overcome those challenges is to get started on implementing ISCM and to share the lessons learned with the cybersecurity community. Continuous monitoring software tools incorporate a feature called log aggregation that collects log files from applications deployed on the network, including the security applications that are in place to protect information assets. These log files contain information about all events that take place within the application, including the detection of security threats and the measurement of key operational metrics.

Continuous monitoring is the ongoing detection of risks and problems within IT environments. You have to make sure the technology you use, the way you use it, and what you do with the information you gain all set you up for success. The logs, metrics, events, and traces from each integration point of the stacks should be easily ingestible to the solution. These assets vary from financial data, employee data, customer information, and confidential market research. Loupe – One of the most useful functions is the automatic grouping of your log events, which saves you time while looking for the root of an issue.

And different products on the market offer different benefits and strengths, so there’s no easy answer for which to go with. When change is a constant and the stakes are high, how is an organization supposed to stay on top of third-party risk management? Just because you did your due diligence with a vendor when you started working together a couple of years ago doesn’t mean they still provide the level of security your organization requires. Even if you’re in the habit of reviewing each critical third party you work with annually to spot any new vulnerabilities, a lot can change in a few months.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Model:  Manual vs. Automated Processes

Many IT organizations today are leveraging big data analytics technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to analyze large volumes of log data and detect trends, patterns or outliers that indicate abnormal network activity. Continuous monitoring is essential in the cybersecurity ecosystem of an organization. Proper design, implementation and continuous monitoring provide just-in-time reflection of users, devices, networks, data, workloads activities and status in the organization’s infrastructure. It also helps to identify any intrusion in the organization’s systems and infrastructure to give security team members the capability to stay a step ahead of intruders. Log aggregation is a function of CM software solutions that aggregates log files from applications deployed on the network, including security applications in place to protect information assets.

SOCs constantly collect data from within the organization and correlate them with collected data from a number of external sources that deliver insight into threats and vulnerabilities. These external intelligence sources include news feeds, signature updates, incident reports, threat briefs and vulnerability alerts that aid the SOC in keeping up with evolving cyberthreats. SOC staff must constantly feed threat intelligence in to manage known and existing threats while working to identify emerging risks. The third step is to communicate the exposure monitoring results clearly and concisely to your workers and managers, using simple and understandable language, graphs, tables, or charts.

Your platform must be mapped to a recognized security framework that defines and updates itself with the latest threats. It can instantly tell you which assets to secure first and devote resources to. Without a risk map in place, you’ll likely stretch your resources thin as you respond uniformly to all threats at once. Continuous monitoring can be a resource-intensive process, which is why a risk-based approach to your digital assets is a good first step to take. Continuous Monitoring can also be defined as the use of analytics and feedback data to ensure that an application’s functioning, configuration, and design are accurate. In addition, continuous monitoring leverages analytics and feedback data to ensure proper transaction processing and identify an application’s underlying infrastructure.

You should explain what the results mean, how they compare to the OES, what factors may influence them, what actions are needed to reduce or eliminate the exposure, and what health effects may occur if the exposure is not controlled. You should also highlight any uncertainties or limitations of the data, such as sampling errors, analytical errors, or lack of representativeness. You should avoid using technical jargon, acronyms, or abbreviations, unless you define them clearly. You should also avoid using vague or misleading terms, such as “safe”, “low”, or “normal”, unless you specify the criteria or reference values.

Leverage streaming data ingestion to achieve instant visibility across distributed systems and prevent and resolve incidents. First, your monitoring profile should align with your organizational and technical constraints. Although it’s tempting to include all systems in your continuous monitoring regimen, doing so can be unnecessarily cost-prohibitive and complex. Consuming valuable network bandwidth, storage capacity, and processing power if you don’t pick your targets carefully. Continuous monitoring can use logs, metrics, traces, and events as its data sources for each domain.

Fits our existing SSP control descriptions, diagrams, and attachments, as well as our policies and procedures . Assessing changed controls on an ad hoc basis as requested by the AOs for any changes made to the system by the It may become necessary to collect additional information to clarify or supplement existing monitoring data. Statement tests can use a belief function approach,27 in which evidence for and against an assertion is mathematically combined to determine a result. In this approach, assurance levels are divided into five categories based on value ranges.

He contributes to a variety of publications including, Search Engine Journal, ITSM.Tools, IT Chronicles, DZone, and CompTIA.

Continuous monitoring can guard against these outcomes and ensure the ROI from security investments. Blocking a single cyber-attack through implementing an effective SOC can ensure a significant return on security investment. For one thing, you need to think through how to address each issue your continuous monitoring program helps you identify. In addition, you want to identify any gaps in what the product monitors and your organization’s needs. Continuous monitoring is a valuable strategy, but it’s not a comprehensive one.

But as with all good security practices, it’s not as simple as picking the first monitoring product you come across, pressing an “on” button, and calling it a day. Bill Hargenrader, CISM, CEH, CISSP, is a senior lead technologist at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he is developing a next-generation cybersecurity workflow management software solution. He is working on his doctorate degree in information technology, focusing on the intersection of cybersecurity and innovation. This also means you can send automated alerts to the appropriate IT teams so they can immediately address any pressing issues. You can also integrate automation tools like runbooks with these alerts to apply fixes and solve the problem without any human intervention.

The larger the organization, the more complex its IT infrastructure, and the broader the CCM solution will be. To decide which processes should be monitored, conduct a security risk analysis to assess and prioritize your threats. The systems, applications, and processes you choose to track should give you enough information to improve your entire environment. Gain a competitive edge as an active informed professional in information systems, cybersecurity and business. ISACA® membership offers you FREE or discounted access to new knowledge, tools and training.

She currently works for a university as a technical trainer and documentation specialist. In the past, she has taught university writing courses and worked in two university writing centers, both as a consultant and administrator. Though we’re unable to respond directly, your feedback helps us improve this experience for everyone.

Identify potential processes or controls according to industry frameworks such as COSO, COBIT 5 and ITIL; define the scope of control assurance based on business and IT risk assessments; and establish priority controls for continuous monitoring. For 50 years and counting, ISACA® has been helping information systems governance, control, risk, security, audit/assurance and business and cybersecurity professionals, and enterprises succeed. Our community of professionals is committed to lifetime learning, career progression and sharing expertise for the benefit of individuals and organizations around the globe. Of the 21 control families, eight are covered by the DHS continuous monitoring software offerings. Additionally, there are numerous specific controls under the control types that are not covered. From a very high-level view, only 38 percent of control types are affected by software offering.

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