Randori and IBM Plan to Join Forces to Tackle Growing Attack Surface Risks

October 17, 2022

Four Ways To Improve Your Security Ratings

By: Sanara Marsh

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Check out four ways to improve your company’s security ratings!  Learn about how to utilize cyberattack assessments, continuous attack surface monitoring, automation, personnel training, and mitigation strategies to better protect digital assets. 

What are security ratings?

A company’s security ratings are a comprehensive, objective, and data-driven grades that allow the public to ascertain a company’s ability to keep its digital assets safe. Scoring rubrics differ from company to company, but security ratings, otherwise known as a cyber security scorecard, are consistently awarded based on the company’s ability to keep all digital assets safe from cyber-terrorist attacks, hacker organizations, and any other entity intent on causing data breaches. Multiple security details, protocols, systems, and practices will be reviewed during the grading process. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  •  The company’s ability to adhere to industry best practices
  • The ratio of cybersecurity in place versus the size of its attack surface
  • The company’s utilization of continuous monitoring of attack vectors
  • The preparedness of the company to react to a data breach with mitigation efforts. 
  • Cyberattack event drills and continuous employee training

These details of the company’s cybersecurity posture are then compared to national averages of similar companies, converted into numerical data showing the company’s deviation from those averages using algorithms, and then interpreted by security ratings experts. The company then receives a final security score to either post proudly or reflect on ways to improve. 

Why does a security ratings matter?

Whether a company’s rating is good or bad, the grade and report that goes with it, offer very enlightening information into the inner workings of its security posture. A low score can be especially instructive in showing the areas where the largest deviations from national averages exist. Likewise, no matter how high the score is there are always ways to improve, and an objective, data-driven algorithm is a great way for higher-ups to pinpoint weak spots. 

A high score has other benefits as well. Any potential clients, customers, employees, vendors, and third-party contributors want to know that their sensitive information is in safe hands. Security ratings allow individuals to feel reassured that they have made a safe and secure choice, while also distinguishing the high-scoring company from its competitors. If a customer had to choose between two banks with similar offerings, they would choose the bank with a thick vault door. Likewise, individuals will always choose the company that has objective proof that they can keep their data safe. 

Four Ways To Improve Your Security Ratings

When one considers the effect that a good score can have on a company, it’s understandable to feel a sense of test anxiety before the grading period. Moreover, if a company underwent a scoring process and received a low score, there may be a feeling of despair. Luckily, there are several effective ways to improve a bad score or ensure you don’t receive one in the first place. 

1. Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

A cybersecurity risk assessment differs from a security ratings assessment in two key ways. First, a CRA doesn’t result in a numeric grade or use an algorithm. Secondly, a security score is the result of a detailed analysis of a company’s current cybersecurity posture and mitigation protocols. While a cybersecurity risk assessment narrows its focus on the areas where the company’s digital assets are at risk, otherwise referred to as the company’s attack surface.  This can be done by the company’s in-house security department, but it’s often more useful to receive an objective report from independent cybersecurity professionals.

Either way, a cybersecurity risk assessment should identify attack vectors, point out flaws in protocols, and analyze the entirety of the company’s attack surface in detail. This includes the entirety of the company’s past and present digital assets, and potentially the digital assets of third-party vendors and subsidiaries. However, knowledge is only valuable if it’s properly used. Armed with insights from a cybersecurity risk assessment, companies can correct problems before a data breach occurs by identifying the greatest areas of threat.

2. Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is implemented through automated systems that are constantly surveilling, testing, and safeguarding all digital assets. During most of the digital age, automated and continuous attack surface monitoring would have been arduous and required an entire team of highly trained professionals for just one company. The cost of such detailed and constant scrutiny would have been prohibitive for all but the largest corporations. Luckily, there are now available security companies that can now offer automated software that monitors all digital assets 24/7 at an affordable price. This is to every company’s benefit, as cyber threat actors are also making use of continuous and automated systems of attack. It’s never been more important to fight fire with fire by implementing a constant wall of safety around every company’s digital assets.

3. Train and then Re-Train Your Employees

One of the most effective ways to ensure that industry best practices are carried out daily and without fail is by keeping cybersecurity at the top of your employee’s minds. There are so many ways to do this, and it’s an area where companies have become increasingly creative. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and large corporations are doing everything from hosting galas to offering daily seminars given by cybersecurity professionals. While most companies aren’t going to throw a ball in the name of cyber threat awareness, there are numerous resources available to keep all employees knowledgeable about safe password use, proper network access, and the ability to recognize the warning signs of cyber-attacks. 

4. Mitigation and Incident Response Protocols

After all the safeguards, assessments, and monitoring have been solidified and perfected to the best of each company’s ability, it’s still incredibly important to create a backup plan in the occurrence wherein a weakness is found and exploited. Cybersecurity professionals are aware that cyberattack threats are constantly evolving. It’s not always possible to be ahead of every curveball. In that case, if a data breach occurs, the next most important plan is how to mitigate the damage and respond with integrity. Every company with digital assets should have a protocol that has been reviewed, tested, and drilled just as much as any other cybersecurity protocol.

 

Are your company’s security ratings struggling? We can help.

It’s true that cyber threat actors are constantly a threat to digital assets. Nevertheless, all that responsible businesses can do is strive for improved cybersecurity postures. If your company is struggling with a surprisingly low rating, it’s logical to assume your digital assets are at risk. Let us help figure out this complicated problem and secure the future of your company. For more information about a free security review, click HERE.

 

 

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