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As the famous quote goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And when it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is key. That’s why having a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) on your executive leadership team is crucial and is an important security step for CEOs.
In this article, we’ll discuss the six steps needed for your organization to establish a baseline of its security program. By following these steps with the help of a skilled and experienced CISO, you can build a strong and secure foundation to protect your business from cyber attacks.
To establish a baseline for your organization’s security program, the first step is to define your security objectives. This includes identifying the assets and information that need to be protected and the risks associated with these assets and information. In addition, it’s important to determine the regulatory and industry requirements that need to be met.
But where do you start? Fortify Experts regularly moderates CISO roundtable forums which bring together leading CISOs to discuss hot topics and share best practices, including establishing a baseline. During a recent forum, a group of CISOs agreed that organizations should establish a baseline on a Risk Management Framework (RMF) like NIST Controls, FFIEC, or HI-Trust.
Some frameworks are designed for a particular industry, such as health care or finance. So, with the help of a skilled and experienced CISO and the insights gained from the Fortify CISO Forum, you can define your security objectives and establish a solid baseline to protect your organization’s assets and information.
To conduct a thorough security assessment of the organization’s systems and applications, a CISO can provide invaluable expertise and experience to a company and its leadership team.
Benchmarking against industry standard cybersecurity frameworks such as NIST CSF, CMMC, HIPAA, etc. can provide a baseline score and prioritize your improvement plan. Fortify Experts provides low cost security assessments to help accelerate securing your digital assets.
Also, by utilizing a combination of vulnerability scanning and penetration testing tools, a CISO can identify vulnerabilities in the organization’s systems and applications and provide recommendations for remediation. Vulnerability scanning tools such as Nessus, Qualys, or Metasploit can scan the organization’s network and systems for known vulnerabilities. In contrast, penetration testing can simulate a real-world attack on the organization’s systems and applications to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
With regular security assessments, organizations can ensure their systems and applications remain secure and address new security threats as they arise. Don’t wait until it’s too late to conduct a security assessment–work with a CISO and utilize the right tools to protect your business-critical data.
Establishing a strong security program is crucial for any organization looking to protect its assets and information from cyber threats. However, compliance with industry regulations and standards is equally important. This is where a CISO comes in.
With the help of compliance management software, such as SecurityStudio, and Archer, a CISO can guide the executive leadership team through the compliance process and evaluate the organization’s compliance status. By staying up to date on the latest industry regulations and standards, a CISO can help the organization build trust with customers, partners, and stakeholders and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
A skilled and experienced CISO can also help the executive leadership team stay up to date on the latest industry regulations and standards, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). With a strong compliance program in place, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive information and ensuring the security of their systems and operations. Work with a CISO to evaluate your compliance and protect your business-critical data.
In step four of establishing a baseline for a company’s security program, it’s important to document the configuration settings for its network devices, systems, and applications. This can be a challenging task, especially for organizations with complex IT environments. But a skilled and experienced CISO can help guide the process and make it more manageable. During a recent Fortify CISO Forum, CISOs agreed that configuration management software is an essential tool for managing and monitoring configurations to ensure they are secure and consistent.
Examples of configuration management software include Puppet and Chef, but there are several others available. The CISO can help the executive leadership team choose the solution that best fits the organization’s needs based on factors such as the size of its infrastructure, the complexity of its IT environment, and the specific requirements of its security and compliance policies. With the help of a CISO, documenting configuration settings can be an efficient and effective way to establish a strong and secure foundation for the organization’s security program.
As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s more important than ever for CEOs to establish a strong baseline of their company’s security program. A key component of this is the implementation of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems, which help organizations collect, analyze, and respond to security-related events and alerts across their infrastructure. In this step, a skilled and experienced CISO can provide invaluable guidance to ensure that the SIEM system is deployed effectively and efficiently, while mitigating potential pitfalls.
SIEM tools such as Splunk and LogRhythm help organizations collect, analyze, and respond to security-related events and alerts across their infrastructure. By analyzing event data, organizations can establish a security posture baseline and take proactive steps to mitigate potential security threats. However, deploying a SIEM system can come with potential pitfalls, including high costs, complexity, integration challenges, and an overwhelming amount of data.
With the guidance of a skilled and experienced CISO, executive leadership teams can carefully consider these potential pitfalls and take steps to mitigate them. Working together, the CISO and executive leadership team can choose a solution that is easy to use and integrate, invest in training and support, and take a data-driven approach to security management. Don’t hesitate to work with a CISO to implement a SIEM system and protect your business-critical data.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for CEOs to establish a baseline of their company’s security program. A CISO can provide invaluable guidance and expertise when it comes to performing risk management techniques to protect the organization’s assets and information. Unlike security assessments, which provide a one-time examination of the security posture, risk management is an ongoing process that involves maintaining and improving security posture.
By performing threat and vulnerability assessments, risk prioritization, and continuous monitoring and updating, organizations can establish a baseline of their risk posture and prioritize their security efforts accordingly. At the Fortify CISO Forum, CISOs recommended using SecurityStudio, a maturity assessment tool for NIST, HIPAA, CMMC, and FFIEC, or Riskrecon, a vendor risk assessment tool.
With a skilled and experienced CISO, the executive leadership team can ensure their security program is comprehensive and that their organization remains protected against evolving security threats. Work with a CISO to perform risk management techniques and establish a baseline of your security posture, so you can be better prepared to handle potential security incidents.
Establishing a baseline of your organization’s security program is essential in protecting your company’s assets and information against cyber threats. As the CISOs at the Fortify Experts CISO Forum noted, security is everyone’s responsibility, but not everyone knows their responsibility. This is where a CISO can provide invaluable guidance and expertise to help the executive leadership team establish a baseline for the company’s security program.
At Fortify Experts, we understand the challenge of hiring a CISO, which has become one of the company’s most difficult hires. That’s why we’re committed to helping executive leadership teams find the right CISO for their organization. Our CISO Forum is a valuable resource for staying up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices, and we have developed a step-by-step guide on how to hire a great CISO who lasts.
Request your free copy of How to Hire a Great CISO by Fortify Experts today and take the first step towards establishing a strong security program for your organization.
As the business landscape becomes increasingly digital, the challenges of protecting critical assets and information have never been greater. Cybersecurity threats are evolving at an unprecedented pace, making it difficult for executive leadership teams to stay on top of the latest trends and best practices. The consequences of a data breach or cyber attack can be severe, including reputational damage, financial losses, and legal liabilities.
To give leadership teams peace of mind, it’s essential to put the right people in place. That’s where a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes in. A skilled and experienced CISO can help ensure your organization is protected against evolving threats by developing and implementing a robust security program that meets regulatory and industry standards. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices, a CISO can help your organization build a strong and secure foundation for its security program.
At Fortify Experts, we understand the challenge of finding and hiring the right CISO. That’s why we regularly moderate CISO roundtable forums, where leading CISOs come together to discuss hot topics and share best practices. By engaging in these forums, CISOs gain valuable insights on the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices that can be shared with the entire leadership team.
Here are 10 key employment trends that every leader needs to be aware of for their organization’s security. By keeping these trends in mind and working with a skilled and experienced CISO, your organization can establish a strong and reliable security program to protect against evolving threats.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the security landscape. The number of people working from home tripled between 2019 and 2021, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau last year. With employees working from home, it’s important to ensure that their devices and networks are secure and that the necessary security measures are in place to prevent data breaches.
While many companies are now trying to bring employees back to the office, in some employment sectors like cybersecurity, employees will seek other employment options if they are forced back into the office.
The FBI last year reported an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks and malicious cyber activity. With the increasing number of cyberattacks, there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, leading to high demand and competition for top talent. Organizations need to invest in employee training and development to ensure that their security teams are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge.
AI and machine learning are rapidly becoming essential tools in the fight against cybercrime. MIT scientists, for example, are looking at deep learning-driven malware prevention, hoping it could boost organizations in an innovation race against ransomware groups. With their ability to analyze vast amounts of data, these technologies can help organizations quickly identify and respond to threats in real time.
As more organizations move their data and applications to the cloud, cloud security has become a critical concern. Some of the biggest security breaches we’ve seen to date include Facebook sometime before August 2019 and, more recently, LinkedIn. In 2021, LinkedIn fell victim to a data scraping breach, affecting 700 million of its users. With the cloud becoming a prime target for cyberattacks, business leaders need to ensure that they are supporting the efforts to secure cloud environments.
A recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics suggested that 64.5% of consumers would like to see legislation enacted that prevents selling their personal, online, and mobile location data. As a result, organizations face increasing pressure to comply with privacy and security regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Security leaders must stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and ensure that their organizations are in compliance with them.
The Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines insider threat as the threat that an insider will use their authorized access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to an organization’s mission, resources, personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, or systems. The rise of remote work has increased the risk of insider threats, as employees may have less oversight and access to sensitive data from home. It’s important for security leaders to implement measures to detect and prevent insider threats, such as employee monitoring and regular security audits.
With the increasing number of cyberattacks, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Organizations need to invest in threat intelligence solutions to quickly identify new threats and respond to them before they cause harm. Each solution works differently and will have a different configuration of AI, machine learning, human expertise, and automation, according to Expert Insights.
The zero trust security model assumes that all network traffic is untrusted and requires verification before being granted access. This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years, providing a stronger security posture and reducing the risk of data breaches. U.S. President Joe Biden even recently issued an executive order to require all federal agencies to embrace zero trust security soon.
In 2022, ransomware attacks impacted more than 200 larger organizations in the U.S. public sector in the government, educational, and healthcare verticals. Ransomware attacks are becoming more common and sophisticated, making it important for organizations to have strong backups and disaster recovery plans in place. Security leaders must ensure that their organizations have the necessary measures in place to prevent and respond to ransomware attacks.
The development of quantum computing is expected to have significant implications for cryptography and cybersecurity. Though the technology doesn’t yet exist, U.S. national security officials expect quantum computing could usher in advances—and national security threats. Organizations need to start preparing for the impact of quantum computing and invest in research and development to ensure that their security posture remains strong in the face of this emerging threat.
As an executive leadership team, it is crucial to understand the current employment trends in the cybersecurity industry to safeguard your organization against growing cyber threats. One of the key measures you can take is to hire a skilled and experienced CISO who can lead your organization’s cybersecurity efforts. A CISO can implement and manage effective security programs, conduct risk assessments, ensure regulatory compliance, and stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends.
At Fortify Experts, we understand the challenge of hiring a qualified CISO and are committed to helping executive leadership teams find the right fit for their organization. Our CISO Forum is a valuable resource to help your team stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices, and we have developed a step-by-step guide on how to hire a great CISO who lasts. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your organization find the right CISO to safeguard your business-critical data.
Want a headstart? Download our e-Book for a step-by-step guide on how to hire a great CISO who lasts.
In the world of cyber threats, the phrase “ignorance is bliss” couldn’t be further from the truth–especially when it comes to ransomware attacks. Unfortunately, a recent report shows that C-level executives are taking this phrase a little too seriously and underestimating the risks. Luckily, there’s a hero in the form of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who can design and implement an effective cybersecurity strategy to protect against these attacks.
To stay ahead of the latest threats and defenses, Fortify Experts regularly moderates CISO roundtable forums. These forums bring together leading CISOs to discuss hot topics, such as the rising threat of ransomware attacks, which have become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. For instance, the recent Hive ransomware group case targeted over 1,500 victims in more than 80 countries, including critical infrastructure, hospitals, financial firms, and school districts.
When it comes to cybersecurity, a “hope for the best” approach just won’t cut it. Executive leadership teams need to be proactive in adopting a comprehensive security strategy to protect their business-critical data. With the help of a CISO, they can ensure that their defenses are rock-solid and avoid the costly consequences of a ransomware attack. So, let’s get cracking on that cybersecurity strategy before the hackers start cracking the code.
Ransomware attacks have become a significant concern for organizations due to the significant financial losses and operational disruption they can cause. The FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report estimates losses due to fraudulent activity of $6.9 billion this past year, led by phishing and business email compromise–both of which are key tactics used in ransomware attacks. Since employees are often the first line of defense against these types of attacks, it’s essential to have a CISO in every organization. A skilled and experienced CISO can design and implement an effective cybersecurity strategy and help defend the company against cyber attacks such as ransomware.
Employee education and awareness are critical in reducing the threat of ransomware attacks, making it essential to invest in regular security training and education. One of the most effective measures is training employees on email phishing, as identified by a group of CISOs during a recent round table discussion held by Fortify Experts. They recommended a “train and make it painful to fail a phishing test” approach, which highlights the importance of simulated phishing campaigns and regular reminders on current threats and best practices.
Chart shows Infrastructure Sectors Victimized by Ransomware. Source: FBI 2021 annual Internet Crime Report
With the help of a skilled and experienced CISO, executive leadership teams can ensure that their employees are trained and equipped to recognize and respond to suspicious emails and links, reducing the risk of successful ransomware attacks. The Fortify CISO Forum can also be a valuable resource for staying up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices.
As cyber threats continue to grow, cybersecurity controls such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection/prevention systems are critical in avoiding ransomware attacks. It’s crucial for executive leadership teams to invest in these controls and ensure they are optimized against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. A CISO can design and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes regular reviews and updates of these controls, reducing the risk of successful ransomware attacks.
Access controls, firewalls, antivirus software, backup and disaster recovery, network segmentation, software updates, and penetration testing are all essential elements of an effective cybersecurity strategy. During the Fortify CISO Forum, one CISO emphasized the importance of optimizing the technical controls, highlighting the value of ongoing discussions with industry peers on the latest best practices. In addition, organizations should review their network architecture and ensure that all systems are correctly configured and up-to-date to prevent attacks from spreading throughout the network. The U.S. government’s guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) security emphasizes the importance of this step in avoiding ransomware attacks.
With the help of a skilled and experienced CISO and the insights gained from the Fortify CISO Forum, executive leadership teams can stay ahead of the latest threats and vulnerabilities, minimize the impact of successful ransomware attacks, and protect their business-critical data.
Chart includes a victim loss comparison for the top five reported crime types for the years of 2017 to 2021. Source: FBI 2021 annual Internet Crime Report
To avoid ransomware attacks, incident response planning is essential. A CISO is responsible for designing and implementing a plan that identifies potential threats and outlines the steps needed to contain, eradicate, and recover from an attack. This plan must be regularly reviewed and updated to be effective against evolving threats.
At the Fortify CISO Forum, a participant emphasized the importance of responding to an attack within minutes. With a well-established plan, organizations can quickly isolate infected systems, identify which data and systems have been affected, and implement remediation strategies such as restoring from backups or rebuilding systems.
The incident response plan should identify the incident response team and their roles, types of incidents that trigger the plan, and procedures for responding to different incidents. SANS Institute provides templates for the six-step plan: preparation, identification, containment, analysis, remediation, and recovery.
Working with an experienced CISO and utilizing insights from the Fortify CISO Forum, executive leadership teams can ensure their plan is effective and up to date. A robust incident response plan enables organizations to respond quickly to ransomware attacks, minimizing the impact and protecting business-critical data.
As U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland noted, cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat. To stay ahead of ransomware attacks, organizations need a comprehensive security strategy and a CISO to ensure a well-defined incident response plan, a clear understanding of the threat landscape, and a strong security posture.
Fortify Experts can help you find the right CISO for your organization. With our expertise in hiring the best cyber talent and providing expert consulting and NIST-based security assessments, we can help you proactively defend against cyber attacks. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Download our free insider’s guide on How to Hire a Great CISO and take the first step towards protecting your business-critical data.