In the current digital era, cyber security risk and compliance are no longer afterthoughts. There is always a risk of data breaches, and laws are getting more complicated. Organizations of all sizes require a strong plan to handle these obstacles. Fortunately, risk and compliance cyber security procedures can be significantly streamlined with the use of automation.

This article describes the six steps in the automation process for cyber security risk and compliance. You can take action to use automation and strengthen your security posture regardless of your organization's maturity level.

Stage 1: Initial

All organizations, regardless of size, must adhere to some kind of security standard, such as CMMC, PCI DSS, or HIPAA. At first, this could entail labor-intensive procedures like utilizing spreadsheets or performing internal security audits. These approaches become cumbersome as your company expands, even though they may be effective for small-scale operations.

At this point, it is expected that you will prioritize "checking the compliance box" over developing a comprehensive grasp of your risk profile. This strategy exposes your company to possible dangers and ignores vulnerabilities.

Stage 2: Developing

As your security program develops, you actively identify and manage cyber security risk and compliance, going beyond simple compliance. This stage involves automating tasks such as:

  • Patching and vulnerability scanning
  • Provisioning and management of user access
  • Reminders for security awareness training

Your security team may concentrate on more strategic tasks like threat hunting and incident response when automation takes over.

Stage 3: Defined

For a cyber security program to be successful, leadership buy-in is essential. You create official strategy planning for risk management at this point. In order to create a data-driven approach, automation is critical because it:

  • Generating automated reports on security posture and risk trends
  • Facilitating risk assessments with automated data collection and analysis
  • Integrating security data from various sources

Stage 4: Managed

With a defined plan and automated data gathering, you can now have regular, consistent reporting on your risk and compliance cyber security posture. This enables executives to allocate resources and make well-informed decisions about security investments.

Automated dashboards facilitate prompt and efficient decision-making by offering real-time visibility into possible threats and compliance gaps.

Stage 5: Optimizing

At this stage, you continuously refine your security program by analyzing data and identifying areas for improvement. Automation helps you:

  • Automate incident response workflows
  • Conduct continuous security monitoring
  • Identify and prioritize security vulnerabilities

By continuously optimizing your processes, you can significantly reduce your security risk and improve your compliance posture.

Stage 6: Dynamic

The last phase represents a proactive and flexible security strategy. You have an automatic, well-developed program that can change to meet new rules and risks. Automation gives you the ability to:

  • Carry out penetration testing automatically
  • Put in place automatic feeds for threat intelligence
  • Update security measures often in response to current threat information

Achieving this degree of automation gives you a significant advantage in the dynamic cybersecurity market.

Let’s Sum Up

The six stages of cyber security risk and compliance automation provide a roadmap for organizations of all sizes. By leveraging automation tools and processes, you can streamline your security program, improve efficiency, and achieve a more proactive approach to managing cyber risk. Remember, automation is not a destination but a continuous journey that allows you to adapt and evolve your security posture in a dynamic threat environment.

Concerned about cyber security risk and compliance? INTERCERT can help! This blog outlined a 6-stage approach to automation, and INTERCERT offers solutions to streamline each stage. From vulnerability scanning to automated reporting, they can empower your business to achieve proactive security for risk and compliance. Therefore, contact INTERCERT to learn more about how your organization can enable its risk and compliance operations.