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The Three Critical Elements of Cybersecurity Visibility

Apr 20, 2021 BY Stephen Jones

The Three Critical Elements of Cybersecurity Visibility

In the cybersecurity world nothing is more time-sensitive or important than threat detection. Because dangers often lie hidden in the ether, proper information security management brings these dangers out into the open so you have a chance of mitigating the risks. However, this is often easier said than done. In this post we’ll look at what you need to overcome to increase cybersecurity visibility in an oftentimes invisible minefield.

Technical Visibility

Technical visibility refers to any external threats to your systems. Before you can address visibility, you first need to know all the components that affect the organization. This is more complex than it sounds, especially given the piecemeal approach to building most modern networks.

Whether it's cloud providers, servers, or personal devices on the corporate network, it all needs to be accounted for. A thorough inventory should include every element's real-time status, ownership information, and general functionality. To really get a handle on a device's status, it may require investment in a more nuanced technical solution, one that prioritizes both detection and prevention.

Operational Visibility

This term refers to both processes and compliance. The more visible your data is, the easier it is to protect. Now is the time to map out what an audit might look like and how the organization would show transparency in its controls.

This challenge includes user responsibility as well. You'll need to identify the data a user needs to be productive and compare it to the data they have access to. Regular maintenance will mean activating and deactivating access to various systems on a regular basis. Lifecycle management is particularly challenging for IT professionals because it's constantly changing.

Organizational Visibility

Organizational visibility refers to the broader threats to a company's reputation, brand, or intellectual property. Because the focus is on the forest rather than the trees, this is usually the most unwieldy challenge.

With the other two, you can rely mainly on straightforward solutions, but organizational visibility requires a good degree of strategy too. After all, damage to your brand is difficult to quantify and often starts long before company leaders notice it.

Pushing Past the Boundaries

The specific threats to a midmarket organization should be understood by everyone, including executives and auditors. This usually means having to rethink how the vulnerabilities are both assessed and presented. Many of the concerns that security leaders have are caused by confusion or short-sightedness.

To master cybersecurity visibility, all three of these challenges will need to be addressed. This includes tackling questions that look past the available technology and toward more intangible qualities (e.g., brand perception). While undoubtedly a massive undertaking, true visibility can never really be achieved without this tiered approach.

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