Under-Resourced Team? Here's How to Minimize Breach Risk

CISOs that have enough budget and enough people on their teams have always been about as rare as hen’s teeth, but a confluence of challenges in today’s environment has made resource constraints even more painful for information security teams. Three particularly acute pain points for today’s CISOs include:

  • Explosion of the enterprise attack surface, exacerbated by COVID-19. Most new Balbix customers, when asked how many assets they think they have in their environment, guess anywhere from 15-35% fewer than what Balbix’s automated inventory finds once deployed on their network. The rapid rise of remote work has meant even more unmanaged devices and rapid growth in the number of applications deployed in the enterprise, both of which are typically overlooked by traditional approaches to IT asset inventory.
  • Risk Extending Far Beyond Unpatched CVEs. Today’s vulnerability management programs and vulnerability scanners typically only cover CVEs for unpatched software and misconfigurations, but there is a broad range of different types of vulnerabilities that introduce breach risk to an organization. In fact, in most organizations, the majority of overall breach risk stems from weaknesses in identity, encryption, phishing and ransomware defense, and risky user behavior.
  • Lack of Resources. Most CISOs, when pressed, will cite small teams and lack of budget as the primary inhibitor to breach risk reduction. While these are limiting factors, the difficult truth is that most information security programs waste a lot of effort on resolving vulnerabilities that aren’t risky to their enterprise. Most such teams could be 10x more productive simply by using a risk-based approach to vulnerability management.

Finding efficient ways to solve these three challenges means the difference between a team that continues to drown in issues, never able to catch up, and one that thrives despite tight resource constraints. As a cybersecurity leader, you have the choice to either wave the white flag, blaming the powers that be, or succeeding at any cost. If you aspire to the latter category, read on.

AI and automation are the key to overcoming the aforementioned challenges, even if your team is far smaller than you hope.

Automated attack surface discovery

Given the dynamic nature of the assets in your enterprise, manual approaches to asset inventory have no hope of success. You must leverage automated approaches to asset inventory that continuously map your network, identify all assets. Equally critical to automation is the ability to categorize and calculate the business criticality of all assets – both of which are important factors in security. For an average enterprise of 1000-2500 employees, automating asset inventory can save a minimum of 1 full-time equivalent per year.

Here’s one view of an automated asset inventory dashboard in Balbix:automated asset inventory

Risk-based breach risk minimization

Ask any popular management guru and they will tell you that choosing what to do and when can be even more important than how you do it. By shifting from gut-instinct decision making to data-driven decisions that prioritize the most significant of vulnerabilities that are likely to be targeted by adversaries, your team can maximize breach risk reduction. Also important is a focus on all vulnerabilities that are likely to be targeted – not just unpatched software and misconfiguration.
Get it right and you will save the equivalent of 2 full-time employees or more, freeing your team to focus on strategic initiatives to get you even further ahead of the game. As you might be guessing, Balbix can help here as well. We rank and prioritize risks across 7 major classes of vulnerabilities, ensuring that you and your team know exactly what to be working on to achieve maximum breach risk reduction.
breach risk minimization

CISO Dashboards and Tools

You have many decisions to make during the course of your day, and typically very little data on which to base those decisions. The board wants you to quantify risk (and risk reduction) in financial terms. Individual risk owners need to see how their progress compares to others in the organization. Decisions on new tools and processes require forecasting and evaluation of controls effectiveness. Being able to make these decisions with data puts you in the drivers’ seat, while also saving valuable team time – a minimum of one person equivalent per year. Balbix provides that critical dashboard for the data-driven CISO, ensuring that every decision is made quickly, accurately, and with the confidence of a security leader that knows what’s really driving risk into the organization – and how to minimize it.strategic ciso dashboards

Follow these steps and you’ll not only weather the current storm, but be better positioned than your peers to come out ahead. We’d love to talk with you to figure out how the Balbix platform can best help you and your organization. Why not take a quick look?