What Causes A Cybersecurity Program To Fail?

Whenever a company is dealt a cybersecurity blow in the form of a breach or any other such activity, it often has very little to do with how much money it spent on cybersecurity or whether it took appropriate measures to manage the security risks. Most of the time, the reason for the lapse is inadequate preparation. Organizations need to strengthen their cybersecurity program keeping into consideration their security needs, size, and budget amongst other factors.

Cybersecurity, since the time it has been around, has been all about focusing on things that can spare organizations from having to face one of the dreaded situations. So, in order to save themselves from the outcome of unpatched securities, organizations used to look for a tool that can help them in patch management and integrate it into their security infrastructure. However, this isn’t the right path to take. What organizations do and spend to strengthen their cybersecurity should be aimed at achieving desired outcomes. And if those outcomes are in line with Gartner’s CARE framework, organizations have to be bothered ever again about security.

Gartner’s cybersecurity framework, CARE stands for consistent, adequate, reasonable, and effective. That’s the four elements that organizations need to focus on when designing, implementing, or upgrading their cybersecurity program. It will help them not only assess the viability and authority of their cybersecurity program but also learn from mistakes and direct their efforts towards making it more effective.

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Having said that, every organization needs to adopt the CARE framework keeping into consideration their specific requirements. And as there are no standard metrics to measure the success of a cybersecurity program, it is upon organizations to scale and implement CARE depending on what they are trying to achieve out of it. The four things that Gartner’s CARE framework encompasses provide organizations with enough opportunities to do the best for themselves. 

The first characteristic in the CARE framework is consistency. It can help organizations to evaluate whether or not the security controls that they have in place are consistently doing what they are supposed to throughout the organization. To ensure they have the right impact, these metrics need to be updated regularly. And to measure their consistency, these metrics need to be reported on a frequent basis as well.

Then there is the adequacy characteristic in the CARE framework. Metrics defined to measure the adequacy of an organization’s cybersecurity program help it identify whether or not it is solving the purpose when it comes to meeting the expectations of all stakeholders and the needs of the business. 

Metrics that assess whether your security controls are reasonable or not consider their and appropriateness for the business and its people. They also take into account the resistance that these controls cause and the ultimate impact that they have on the business. Lastly, there are effectiveness metrics that help organizations measure whether or not their security controls are leading to the desired result. 

Reference: 4 Metrics That Prove Your Cybersecurity Program Works | Gartner | Susan Moore | September 15, 2021

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