How do you measure security control effectiveness?

Effective cybersecurity and risk management are crucial for modern businesses. Measuring the effectiveness of security controls involves tracking incident response times, conducting security audits, and providing employee training. Learn more about how to protect your company's data and improve security protocols with ISO 27001 certification from Citation Certification.
How do you measure security control effectiveness?

Many modern businesses share common goals, such as the hope for expansion, profit, and customer satisfaction. All of these goals are attainable. However, the success of every modern business is dependent on sufficient cybersecurity and effective risk management techniques.

Every company has a digital footprint. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the internet when conducting business these days. This often results in sensitive information being stored online. For this reason, many industry leaders are concerned with measuring security control effectiveness.

The need for security controls

Hackers, viruses, and scams can cause catastrophic damage to personal and professional dealings.

It’s more important than ever to protect your company’s data, employee and client information. Financial, legal, and moral responsibility has prompted the implementation of cybersecurity controls and risk management teams in many corporations and small businesses alike. These teams of expert analysts monitor the preservation of sensitive material. They also assist other departments in maintaining best practices online.

At this point, plenty of companies have caught on to these standards. Many organisations have safety protocols in place. So how do they measure the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce the likelihood of company data being accessed by unauthorised individuals? Here, we will outline a few of the best ways to track security effectiveness.

Track incident response times and outcomes

Companies want to measure security effectiveness for several reasons. They want to understand if their systems work and how they can be improved. One way to do this is to track incidents as they occur, document outcomes, and analyse the response.

An incident can involve many different scenarios. Perhaps an employee is locked out of their email account. Maybe it’s something more serious, like corruption on a company computer. Both of these circumstances are incidents that need to be addressed by the management reporting teams.

One incident can provide important information. Some of the risk-based data that could be obtained from such an incident would include:

  • Reporting time (how long did it take the employee to report the problem)
  • Response time (how long did it take the response team to touch base and fix the issue)
  • Path of action (what steps were taken to resolve the issue)
  • Recurrence (has this problem happened more than once)

After a full assessment of the risk and outcomes, a team could devise a more effective protocol to avoid such conditions in the future. These assessments help analysts uncover patterns and vulnerabilities in the current security controls.

Run security audits against company servers

A cybersecurity audit is a digital fire drill. It’s a fake attack on your business, conducted by the risk management team. It’s meant to detect any weak areas in the server or software. Many hackers use malware disguised as emails or web links to access a company’s server and corrupt data.

Some hackers even demand ransom for the recovery of private information; businesses face new threats each day. For this reason, management reporting teams run these audits frequently to eliminate weak areas and entry points.

Conduct risk-based assessments and training for all employees

Employees are the most vulnerable and yet the most effective tool towards overall safety and security. Hackers prey on naive, unwitting victims to gain access to servers. Educating workers on best practices and security threats will lead to less vulnerability. After all, knowledge is power.

Some companies may find that certain employees encounter more incidents than others. This warrants a risk-based assessment of their workflow. This merely involves looking at their activities and correcting any high-risk behaviour. For instance, inform workers that they should never open emails from unknown senders.

Conclusions on measuring security control effectiveness

There is always room for growth, and most organisations prefer to be safer rather than sorry. It’s not enough to implement cyber safety protocols; we must track and refine them constantly and stay proactive in the wave of constant attacks targeting both large institutions as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

Smaller businesses are often targeted by cybercriminals with attacks due to their belief that owners of a small business often don’t see the value of investing in their IT infrastructure or securing their networks. As a result, they’re a prime target for cybercriminals looking to access the sensitive information that small businesses have access to from the data offered by their customers.

If you would like to learn more about one of the industry’s leading information security certifications, get in touch with one of our team. Citation Certification is a JAS-ANZ accredited certification body for ISO standards, including ISO 27001 Information Security Management Certification.

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