Refining your IT & security risk management strategy is an ongoing requirement at any stage of program maturity. Recent headlines around the Log4j vulnerability broadcasted the reality of the current and rapidly changing risk landscape that is further complicated by the speed, scale, and number of stakeholders needed to effectively protect the business.  

So how do those three focus areas create a proactive IT and security framework? 

Watch the webinar to learn more about the CISOs role in driving trust across an organization.

Critical IT & Security Framework Considerations

Organizations and security leaders are constantly working toward reducing response times ahead of security events, effectively tracking the scope and parameters of the business’ IT eco-system, and improving reporting channels to leadership, enforcement agencies and communication to line of business stakeholders. Regardless of the circumstances, people, processes, and technology are three focus areas of operationalizing any strategy. Here’s a closer look: 

People: Every business is fueled by its people, of course. But the highest point of risk in any organizations is right there in the gas tank: human error is the leading cause of risk and compliance issues for businesses. The people portion of a company is the first line of defense and they are in the best position to identify, own, and manage risk. Ideally, they are entrusted to proactively mitigate risks that could potentially arise. Having the right guidance and processes in place is key to enabling people to take necessary ownership of risk.  

Processes: Processes are curated and shaped by learned best practices over time. Trusting in the process is often an exercise of trial and error. There are several instances of unique emerging threats where this is the best course of action. But leveraging leading cybersecurity frameworks can help inform and shape the processes and protections put in place in a measurable fashion to ensure no stone is left unturned. Once the process is in place, you can explore technology to optimize workstreams and execution. 

Technology: Excel sheets, collaboration docs, even manilla folders with handwritten notes and checklists — these are all forms of technology that once made sense for companies to use as a means for proactively mitigating risk factors. As times have changed, of course, automating compliance has elevated from “nice to have” to “must have” as frameworks and regulations grow at nearly the same speed as risk factors.  

What about those ever-evolving frameworks? Which one should your organization follow — or is mandated to follow dependent on industry — and how does it help create a proactive approach to your IT and security risk mitigation posture? 

Watch the webinar to learn more about the CISOs role in driving trust across an organization.

Four Key Frameworks 

Here are four of the leading frameworks organizations should reference to put a proactive strategy into action: 

  • The NIST Cybersecurity Framework: The NIST CSF is a maturity model, with a lifecycle approach to managing and mitigating cyber threats across five core functions, Identify-Protect-Defend-Respond-Recover. Each function has four tiers of maturity to measure your operations against. The first three functions, Identify-Protect-Defend, can help guide the foundational protections organizations should consider before an attack or vulnerability such as RCE (remote code execution) occurs.   
    • The NIST Cybersecurity Framework was designed and published by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2014, and was originally aimed at operators of critical infrastructure — largely in the public sector. However, the five core function model transfers well into the private sector and can be easily adopted by for-profit businesses as well.  
  • MITRE ATT&CK + MITRE D3FEND: MITRE [email protected] documents the common cyberattack tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) so that everyday organizations can better understand the nature of how attacks are conducted. Businesses can leverage the [email protected] framework to establish a common language and threat tags as a resource for internal communication. Suppose a risk is realized and an incident occurs. In that case, the MITRE D3FEND framework is a complimentary resource outlining techniques that security teams can apply to counter the TTPs detailed in the ATT&CK framework. 
  • ISO 27001: The ISO 27K series sets the foundation for establishing an information security management system (ISMS). This leading information security resource has a new draft scheduled to publish in 2022 – specific controls have been simplified to eliminate redundancy. The update introduces new controls to address the expanding digital threat landscape.  
  • Center for Internet Security (CIS) 18 Critical Controls: Formerly knows as the SANS Critical Security Controls, or SANS Top 20, the now-known CIS 18 takes a focused approach to help businesses prioritize their efforts.  This framework is particularly useful for organizations building a program from scratch by providing the 18 most important controls as a starting point. Beyond the scaled-down list of controls, it also includes categories for organizations to align with based on their resources and maturity, ranging from limited (Group 1), moderate (Group 2), and significant (Group 3) resources and expertise. 

You can look at what technologies should be in place to help reinforce the need to reduce response times, measure activity, and report effectively both internally and externally where necessary.  

Learn more about policy management and automating risk mitigation processes with this eBook. 

Next Steps for a Proactive IT & Security Framework  

Beyond just having a checklist for your internal analysis and remediation, take a look at the simple steps needed for technology and automation to enhance your business’s ability to put best practices into action: 

  • Connect your IT ecosystem: Inventory and relate assets, risks, controls, and integrate with risk adjacent systems.  
  • Measure risk: Quantify risk with streamlined risk assessments enhanced by AI.  
  • Remediate risk: Expedite and manage risk treatment plans with workflow automation.  
  • Monitor control performance: Facilitate self-assessments and continuous controls monitoring.  
  • Visualize & report: Inform decision making with role-based reporting for executives, risk managers, and risk owners.  

How Can OneTrust Help?

OneTrust provides out-of-the-box compliance content in the form of pre-seeded controls, and assessment templates that clients can access and use from day one. Our in-house team of legal and security researchers track the latest changes across regulations, standards, and frameworks and tailor compliance requirements and best practices into pre-configured tools for businesses to streamline time to value and reduce manual, administrative tasks.  

Contact our team to learn more about how OneTrust can help streamline information gathering and remediation activities with tailored functionality and automation backed by compliance intelligence. 

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