Cybersecurity Management and GRC Automation

Published July 18, 2017 by 4 min read

As wave after wave of cyberattacks threatens international security, cybersecurity management becomes more pressing. Although it has always been on business’s radar, the recent barrage brings the impact of cyberattacks to the forefront. With this in mind, a recent study from Crowd Research Partners found that 54% of cybersecurity professionals anticipate successful attacks within the next twelve months.

Moreover, the research found that 62% believed threat detection needed to be improved. Meanwhile, 43% wanted better analytical capabilities, and 39% wanted to focus on threat blocking.

 

How to Use GRC Automation for Cybersecurity Management and Threat Detection 

Cybersecurity management focuses on knowing your threats and understanding your risk profile. Security Magazine noted that there were seven steps to automating cyber threat detection and analysis. Before you can take those steps, however, you need to determine what threats your business faces. In order to do this, you need to know the value of your information and the probability of a breach—both of which can be computed with automation.

Determine Value

Determining value means understanding not only the inherent value of information, but also the monetary value of your assets and why a cybercriminal would want your them. With automation, these values are clearer because you have a single tool that visualizes your organization’s standards, regulations, and therefore the types of assets.

Probability of a Breach

Once you define your assets, you can also take a look at the probability that someone will try to attack you. While some attacks may be unrelated to specific targets, others are looking to attack critical sources, so you should determine where you sit on the spectrum of information value and critical service.

To understand your compliance stance, it is vital to see the overlap of your information assets and the probability of a breach. With spreadsheets, this can become muddled. Having to flip back and forth from one sheet to the next means that you can lose track of controls or assets. In addition, since spreadsheets can be changed or reverted to older versions, it may be difficult to keep track of the information.

ZenGRC offers a centralized repository of standards and regulations to help you find where you need to be compliant. This extensive visibility into your compliance stance provides you with an understanding of where potential vulnerabilities exist and allows you to shore up those areas.

 

Why Use Risk Analysis Capabilities to Support GRC?

GRC automation and risk analysis capabilities come in different packages. Combining security analytics with GRC can produce a stronger security profile than either of the two alone. By using security analytics to monitor your GRC processes, you create a common language throughout the organization. This helps establish risk appetites and allows you to build a stronger compliance stance.

Meaningful automation not only can protect you from a cyberattack, it can make your organization more resilient when, not if, the attack happens. As information security programs mature, they need to be agile in order to continually map risks to operations. An Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) journal article notes,

Information security programs seek to protect the confidentiality (access, use, and disclosure), integrity (modification or destruction) and availability of information and systems from unauthorized users, including external adversaries such as criminals, hacktivists or governments. Information security programs must identify and respond to risk in a rapidly evolving technology landscape characterized by increasing complexity, volume and variety of data and all of the associated threats to business processes, applications, and networking layers.

To effectively use your analytics, you need to match business objectives to security objectives. When you have insight into how your key performance indicators (KPI) align with the organization’s business goals, you can more effectively assess the time it will take for your company to recover from an incident. GRC automation allows you to clearly map your analytics to your risk and controls for meaningful KPI.

If you can easily update controls across multiple frameworks when your threat analytics show a weakness, you will produce both better audit outcomes and stronger security as a whole. Automating your GRC program means increasing transparency in your compliance stance to create consistency across frameworks, producing a single source of truth for your organization.

 

How GRC Automation Helps with Threat Blocking

Cybersecurity management needs to focus on security information and event management (SIEM) when blocking threats. Your current SIEM solution collects and logs all your data for analysis. This includes threats, which are recognized and then blocked. The purpose of a SIEM system is to act as a single point of view across systems so that trends or patterns are visible. Meanwhile, the goal of your GRC program is to define the controls that lead to these trends and patterns.

Think of your compliance program like an army fighting a war. Your GRC program acts as the War Room where all the plans are made. This is where you define your strategy and objectives. Meanwhile, your SIEM acts as the boots on the ground, or code in the cloud, getting the nitty gritty work done. To manage your cybersecurity portfolio appropriately, you need to enforce consistent controls across various platforms and frameworks.

A single source of truth provides a quick reference guide to locate where controls broke down once an event occurs. When your SIEM flags something, you want quick access to all the places that control may have failed. With controls mapped consistently across systems, you can compare one area of vulnerability to similarly situated vulnerabilities more rapidly. This allows you to block threats more effectively.

The onslaught of cyberattacks highlights the importance of cybersecurity management. In today’s environment, any company can be a target. Having an agile compliance platform offers you a clearer view of your portfolio and provides a way to make control changes efficiently across all systems and business lines. Integrating GRC automation into your compliance stance strengthens it while also protecting your assets from cyber threats.

To read about the benefits of using ZenGRC to protect against the ever-evolving risk of cyber threats, read our eBook, “The Insider’s Guide to Compliance: How To Get Compliant and Stay Agile.”

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