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What Is a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment and Why It’s Important

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Organisations have been dealing with a marked increase in cybersecurity-related challenges over the past number of years. Attacks are becoming more frequent, and significantly more sophisticated. The growth of AI-related technology is expected to only worsen this problem, with experts anticipating continued growth in the number and severity of cyber attacks worldwide this year, with Internet of Things (IoT) attacks alone expected to double by 2025.

With this in mind, businesses have to take a proactive approach to staying ahead of cyber threats. Cybersecurity is no longer optional in today’s connected age, and a robust and evolving strategy needs to be prioritised to ensure the digital safety of your organisation and its data.

 

Understanding Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment

 

A Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment is a process used by organisations to evaluate their general cybersecurity capabilities and overall readiness for any form of cyber attack. It provides a systematic and structured approach to evaluating your cybersecurity capabilities, allowing you to easily identify both strengths and weaknesses in a bid to further improve your overall security. 

Following a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment, there should be clear and actionable recommendations for your organisation to implement to enhance your digital safety. 

Essentially, a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment should serve as a roadmap that ultimately guides your organisation towards higher levels of cybersecurity maturity, allowing your security to scale in line with your business.

A comprehensive cybersecurity maturity model will see an organisation grow and develop its capabilities over time. Progress can be tracked against standard benchmarks that are represented by maturity levels. One example would be a five-step model, detailed below

1.Initial stage

Characterised by a more reactive approach to overall cybersecurity, with no real defined process or procedures in place.

2. Foundational stage

Basic procedures and policies are now in place as the importance of cybersecurity is realised, but efforts are still somewhat ad hoc.

3. Intermediate stage

Processes are now formalised and there is clear collaboration between cybersecurity and business functions. Focus has shifted towards risk management and compliance, and regular audits are scheduled.

4. Adaptive stage

Improvement and optimisation are now consistently sought, with regular training and support offered to employees. There’s a strong ethos of appropriate cybersecurity practices across all levels of staff.

5. Optimised stage

Cybersecurity is now a fully integrated aspect at the core of the organisation’s business strategy, with appropriate metrics used to inform key decisions. The organisation acts proactively and is adaptive to new forms of threats that emerge.

Through consistent planning and effort, companies can move through these maturity levels as they scale, gradually increasing their cybersecurity capabilities in a manner that suits their growth.

Importance of Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment

 

Strategic risk mitigation allows an organisation’s cybersecurity strategy to better align with its broader business objectives, elevating it from simply existing to serving as a means to meet regulatory requirements. By identifying key vulnerabilities, you can develop a more proactive approach to security that will ultimately help guide your strategy and general decision-making. 

One of the biggest advantages of a well-designed Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment is how well it can highlight potential areas of vulnerability for improvement. Carrying out repeat assessments will help engrain a culture of continuous improvement at your organisation, displaying that you’re taking a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive one.

Cybersecurity Maturity Assessments can also help you achieve specific regulatory requirements by strengthening your security protocols — often a key area in certain highly regulated industries. Regulatory authorities from across the globe and multiple industries mandate regular assessments, including:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):
  • ISO 27001 
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Cybersecurity Guidelines
  • European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)

Conducting a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment

 

Cybersecurity Maturity Assessments are an extremely flexible tool that can be specifically tailored to the needs of a company. Different industries have different challenges that need to be overcome, with a larger focus needed in particular areas. For example, a financial institution may be more focused on access controls in comparison to a healthcare provider that is more focused on regulatory compliance.

A Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment can be adjusted using customised scoring criteria, industry specific tools and frameworks, or even based on the general risk profile of the company being assessed.

One example of the highly customisable nature of Cybersecurity Maturity Assessments would be their use in the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers have become an increasingly popular target of cyber attacks due to the highly personal nature of the data they handle. Also, as the industry continues to integrate further with advanced technologies, the potential avenues for attacks grows too. With this in mind, a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment might focus on controls that are specifically related to data integrity and confidentiality, or on complex network segmentation to minimise the likelihood of attack through interconnected novel medical devices.

Proactive Cybersecurity for the Future

 

Cybersecurity Maturity Assessments are a critical part of developing and achieving a robust and adaptive set of cybersecurity capabilities within your organisation. They provide key insights into potential vulnerabilities, allowing you to build your cybersecurity strategy and framework out in a way that best suits your business.

However, while Cybersecurity Maturity Assessments may be simple in concept, undertaking one requires significant expertise. If you want to implement one as part of your cybersecurity roadmap, you should consider enlisting the guidance of DigitalXRAID to help you through it. We can help evaluate your organisation’s operational resilience and cybersecurity procedures to get a 360-degree view of your people, processes and technology against cyber incidents

We have a unique insight into every aspect of cybersecurity, and will work as an extension of your own team to provide in-depth advice that’s specifically tailored to your organisation’s needs. Our focus is on providing long term, comprehensive protection, with a variety of options for you to choose from.

We’re committed to assisting you in your journey toward cybersecurity excellence and resilience, so get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business.

 

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