What is security posture

Combine some common words together and you get exponential layers of meaning that go well beyond the expected. Cybersecurity posture (security posture in short) is one of those terms.

The strength of a company’s cybersecurity policies, controls, and how effectively they mitigate risk is referred to as its security posture.  To understand and transform your current enterprise security posture, you need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • How secure is our organization?
  • How comprehensive is our cybersecurity strategy?
  • How bullet-proof are our cybersecurity controls?
  • Can we accurately measure breach risk and cyber-resilience?
  • How effective is our vulnerability management program?
  • How vulnerable are we to potential breaches and attacks?

Understanding cyber-resilience

To increase and sustain your organization’s cyber-resilience to attacks (current and emerging), you must step out of the box, adopting a new security posture that:

  • Proactively maps your organization’s attack surface and understands its weak points and where it is likely to be attacked
  • Continuously adjusts to a constantly changing environment
  • Rests on a strategic foundation with strong tactical underpinnings
  • Takes a comprehensive view of risk across the enterprise
  • Monitors for dangers in near real time

Comprehensive approach to security posture

When thinking about security posture, it’s important to remember that security is a journey, not a destination. Many organizations think that purchasing the latest security tools will help them strengthen their security posture. However, security requires a much more comprehensive approach than that. Fractured point solutions leave you exposed and limit economies of scale. The starting point is first evaluating your current security posture to figure out where your gaps are and then taking action to optimize it.

Continuous fine-tuning to improve security posture

Once your organization sets a benchmark, you need to continually adjust your security posture to align with a changing environment. Your attack surface needs to be carefully monitored across the ever-evolving cyber landscape. As security and IT teams introduce critical configurations and security controls, management will be a critical success factor over time. A single audit of a configuration in the deployment of a new system is an important beginning phase, but it’s equally important to confirm that the initial deployment configurations are still accurate and compliant over time.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s job.

Because cybersecurity is such a critical success factor, it’s “all hands on deck.” Throughout the organization, leaders wear many hats, and they all have a specific role to play in maintaining a responsive and effective security posture. These responsibilities include:

  1. Setting the overall direction
  2. Establishing priorities
  3. Managing and mitigating overall cyber-related business risks
  4. Establishing effective governance controls
  5. Resourcing cybersecurity programs
  6. Safeguarding the sensitive information they rely on for planning and decision making
  7. Establishing a cyber-secure culture within the organization

This kind of top-down commitment enables broader cybersecurity awareness and a deeper integration of safeguards into the fabric of the enterprise.

It is also essential that you give your IT security team the authority, flexibility, and resources to protect your company with a strong program of comprehensive, ongoing cybersecurity programs. Their role goes far beyond simply setting up firewalls and installing antivirus software. Your security team is a valuable asset in strengthening your organization’s security posture with programs that include:

  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Third-party penetration testing
  • Phishing simulations
  • Ongoing training
  • Overall strategy development and management

Conclusion

Security posture is quite simply an organization’s overall cybersecurity strength and resilience in relation to cyber-threats. That said, the complexity and volume of cyber-attacks can make threat and vulnerability detection and mitigation extremely challenging. As organizations move away from last generation security strategies and fragmented solutions, they are transitioning to a comprehensive security posture that can protect against a sophisticated, ever-changing threat landscape. This posture is driven by an overarching vulnerability management process that unifies cybersecurity strategy and permeates the organization to predict, prevent, and proactively mitigate breaches before they happen.

 

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