In an era of rapid digitisation, enterprises are adopting technology at a frenetic pace. The benefits accrued thereby include enhanced productivity, better customer service, scalability of operations, and increased revenue. In all these ways, the cloud has emerged as a key enabler for enterprises in their overall digitisation journey. However, with increased technological sophistication, the specter of cybersecurity is also looming large. Time and again, we hear reports of cybercriminals wreaking havoc on connected systems, be it in airlines, electricity grids, banking, or retail. The losses suffered by enterprises and individuals due to such threats continue to mount.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the annual cost of cybercrime globally is estimated to be $6 trillion. It is almost 1% of the global GDP. As per betanews.com, around 82% of CIOs believe their supply chains are vulnerable to attacks. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing making the world more connected than ever, enterprises are grappling with questions related to data privacy, security, and integrity. This is where the term “security assurance” gains salience. It is an overarching term under which certain products or services can be certified for a specified level of security. A security assurance framework aims at ensuring adequate protection for individual system components from threat vectors. The process spans the entire lifecycle of a system and considers any type of existing or emerging threat.
What is Security Assurance for Enterprises?
Enterprises rely on the use of information to conduct operations. However, any loss of privacy, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, reliability, and availability of information can have an adverse impact on their end customers, employees, and brand. Hence, there is a critical need for enterprises to protect such information and manage the security of their systems. A security testing company evaluates the security needs of an organization, its systems, and data, and prepares a strategy to protect the organization’s assets, services, resources, and customers. In doing so, the security company builds an effective risk management architecture and leverages appropriate standards. These include ISO 27001, PCI, NIST-800, SOX, GLBA, and others.
How Does Security Assurance Help with Enterprise Security?
The measures that security assurance services can use to ensure the security of enterprises and their assets include:
Compliance management: Every industry has specific sets of compliance requirements. So, the first step in any cybersecurity assurance process is to identify the regulations relevant to the enterprise’s product or service and conduct a gap analysis. Thereafter, modelling technical controls and addressing the gaps in security for the product or service can be performed.
Risk assessment and threat modelling: A process must be set up to identify potential threats and their impact on the organization. The information on the common risks can be used to plan mitigation controls and minimize the probability of cyberattacks.
Management of security requirements: Security testing services can help enterprises looking to augment their security architecture integrate current security processes, policies, and requirements with industry best practices. Further, the results of the risk assessment can be used to configure guidelines for user stories. For this, the cybersecurity teams and business analysts should work in tandem.
Review of security architecture: The next step in setting up a cybersecurity assurance process involves a security review. The review aims at evaluating the security mechanisms and finding out whether they address the cybersecurity requirements. Security experts can work further to identify the relevant security controls and customize them. These controls may include access control, public key infrastructure, security event logging, authentication services, cryptography, and the storage of secrets. Importantly, training is given to the workforce operating the systems, wherein they are made to understand the risks involved and the likely mitigation steps they should take.
Penetration testing: Also known as a pen test, penetrating testing is about simulating cyberattacks on an enterprise’s computer systems to identify risks and vulnerabilities. It involves the attempted breaching of application systems (frontend/backend services, APIs, and others), code review, and infrastructure audit to identify vulnerabilities. These may include unsanitized inputs that may attract code injection attacks. The information provided by penetration testing can help enterprises fine-tune their security policies and fix vulnerabilities.
Hardening of the operating environment: Application security testing services configure the security environment to enable enterprises to minimize any existing vulnerabilities in systems, applications, infrastructure, and other areas.
Mitigating cybersecurity threats should be the primary concern for enterprises, given their impact. Security assurance can help minimize risks from security vulnerabilities, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction and protecting the brand. A systematic, risk-based evaluation of the computer systems and data can go a long way in strengthening the brand proposition and meeting business objectives.
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