CISOs: Stop Asking and Start Knowing your Cyber Security Posture & Maturity

Cyber security health & preparedness was once the jurisdiction of front-line IT technicians – and that’s reflected in the complex and granular dashboards of today’s cyber tools.

But increasingly, CEOs and the board need to ensure that posture, compliance and maturity are effectively governed. And while front-line tools deliver impressive granularity, they fare poorly in comprehensive situational awareness – creating silos and complexity, and complicating the CISO’s job. Luckily, there’s Cyber Observer.

Cyber security management is evolving frantically as boards and CEOs work to understand the state of their security, how to manage it and how to improve it. It’s a daunting task, and many mature enterprises and organizations have admitted to us that they have “no idea” what their network preparedness is or what their vendor tools are doing.

At the same time, enterprises that thought they could get situational awareness & visibility by deploying a SIEM or networking monitoring solution are coming face-to-face with the limitations of those tools: they might take months to fully deploy, cost through the nose, and require dedicated resources to extract the value.

Worse still, while these platforms are great for forensic examination – deep dives, puzzle-piecing, and reconstructing problems – they fall down when tasked with delivering continuous, comprehensive and actionable insights into the overall vigilance of your network security. They fall down on assessing your global security posture.

Backwards response vs. forward-planning

That’s because SIEMs, loggers, vulnerability managers & network monitoring solutions are at their core tools for collecting evidence in support of vulnerability detection and response. At best, these tools provide effective (…arguably) prioritization of alerts – but only after they occur. This reactive stance on cyber security is no longer sufficient for large enterprises buffeted by news of critical security breaches and attacks on a weekly basis.

As the industry matures, large enterprises and private organizations are moving away from policies of detection & response in favor of comprehensive awareness, improved posture & vigilance, and driving maturity. Which is great, because that’s our playground.

(Above: A configuration of Cyber Observer’s top-level dashboard, indicating a – for the most part – healthy enterprise network.)

Cyber Observer’s solution focuses upstream of security events – our software platform is designed to examine, analyze and report on the health, preparedness & maturity of your security, and related, tools so that you can spend less time examining log files and focus more on building a vigilant network. We monitor your network to help you understand your cyber security preparedness, where critical security gaps are, how you can plan to improve network maturity and – the big one – where you need to allot budget dollars.

Powering Executive Planning 

That’s just the beginning of how our proprietary engine effectively delivers insights to senior managers. To manage everything that’s going on under the hood, we’ve favored simplicity over complexity. Our top-level dashboard is a single-pane-of-glass that ensures that you can see in a glance across your entire network and get the insights you need immediately: which tools are optimized or working poorly, what security domains are the most vulnerable, what your network-wide health is, exactly where changes have occurred, and what your immediate priorities should be to improve your posture.

It also allows you to measure and track your network security posture over time, illuminate areas of weaker – or absent – security, and set a work plan to ensure you’re driving enterprise cyber maturity forward. This is the high-level playbook that’s quickly becoming a critical tool for the C-suite and board room.

Stop Asking, Start Knowing

In coming articles, I’ll describe how Cyber Observer assists in compliance monitoring according to international standards, monitors your network health like a sports bracelet for your security infrastructure, how we can reduce MTTD, and how we partner with tool vendors across the industry to create a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The result is a platform that’s delivering value & insights where it’s increasingly needed – the senior & executive decision-makers that are tasked with protecting critical data and stopping security events before they occur.