Understanding Your Organization’s Security Maturity – and the Risks That Come With It

Security Maturity
5 min read
James Mignacca
March 1, 2023
James Mignacca
March 1, 2023
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Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment and Measurement Guide
Learn how to enhance your cybersecurity posture with our step-by-step maturity assessment and measurement guide.

What is Security Maturity

Cybersecurity maturity is an increasingly important consideration for all businesses. It involves having comprehensive, secure processes and procedures in place to protect sensitive data and business systems from external threats.

As data breaches continue to increase, IT and security teams need robust strategies that support their organization’s cybersecurity maturity and safeguard customer and employee data.

A number of initiatives can improve and increase your business’s security maturity rating, like establishing data safety protocols, managing employee access privileges properly, applying more rigorous standards when purchasing third-party software solutions, and running regular cybersecurity awareness training. Besides its obvious benefits, cybersecurity awareness training can also help identify insecure systems quicker.

To achieve higher levels of security maturity, businesses should focus on risk management, external attack surface assessments, and cyber asset attack surface management. Creating user access control policies, regular patch application updates, and domain and vulnerability scanning are other key tactics.

A one-size-fits all cybersecurity approach just won’t work, because all businesses are unique in terms of their industry, size, regulatory requirements, and baseline security maturity.

But how can you achieve a higher ranking?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework is arguably the most recognized and universal framework available, which is why the Cavelo platform aligns to the framework’s classification and reporting guidance. The first iteration of the NIST cybersecurity framework was introduced in 2018, with a data privacy framework following two years later.

The frameworks are a companion to NIST’s cybersecurity maturity model, a series of maturity tiers designed to help organizations identify where they fit in terms of their security processes and posture.

The model helps organizations understand where they are in their cybersecurity journey, what threats they may face, and how best to protect themselves. The framework outlines four stages, or tiers of security maturity: Partial (tier 1), Risk Informed (tier 2), Repeatable (tier 3) and Adaptive (Tier 4).

Each tier considers initiatives like policies and procedures, asset management, access control, authentication and encryption, and actions you can take to support and scale your security maturity ranking.

By implementing and mapping to the NIST model effectively, you can better gauge your team’s readiness and assess any potential security control gaps across the business’s entire ecosystem.

Security Maturity - Final Thoughts

Attack surface management, security maturity, and regulatory compliance go hand in hand. A variety of initiatives can help you align to best practices while continually improving your organization’s security maturity. But if you have a resource-strapped team, it’s impossible to do everything at once. By aligning core initiatives to the purpose they serve in elevating your security maturity, you and your team can break down larger initiatives into more manageable parts that you can build on over time.

Knowing what types of data you have, who has access to it, and how it’s used provides data-driven evidence that better supports decision making and demonstrates to stakeholders and auditors that you’re taking appropriate steps to protect your business’s sensitive data – and the privacy of your customers. Understanding your data supports many downstream security considerations and keeps you and your team’s efforts more focused, practical, and cost effective.

Check out our Data Protection Solutions Guide to learn more about the NIST cybersecurity Framework tiers, and identify your organization’s current security maturity and actions you can take to improve it.

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