by: Elena Garrett
Compliance in the Age of Limited Resources
The case for Security Compliance Automation
The number and complexity of the compliance standards that organizations are expected to meet continue to grow. At the same time, these organizations are finding themselves faced with an acute shortage of trained cyber security and compliance professionals. As more and more processes interact with the sensitive data and fall into the scope of compliance, the shortage of security and compliance professionals who could design, implement, monitor, and enforce security controls to protect that data is starting to impact organizations on an increasing scale.
Examples of practical challenges that many organizations with limited staff or budgetary resources encounter are:
- - Intense, time-consuming compliance certification preparations with an uncertain outcome
- - A fragmented patchwork of security environments, requirements, and tools
- - Difficulty gathering, consolidating and maintaining up-to-date information about systems and their controls
- - Difficulty implementing compliance directives in the form of actionable technical controls on information systems (using scripting, manual configuration, etc)
- - Lack of specialized skills to perform the manual assessment and enforcement of controls on various operating systems or in cloud environments
- - Difficulty with long-term planning and prioritization of projects and resources (everything becomes urgent)
Overcoming those challenges while lacking sufficient staff, skills, time, and budgetary resources becomes a daunting problem for cyber security and compliance managers.
Solution: holistic, integrated, automated tools
There is a growing need for automated, holistic solutions that would allow the security compliance teams to dramatically increase their operational efficiency without having to rely on additional staff to manage their compliance programs. There is an overabundance of security solutions available on the market. However, many of them are single-purpose solutions that require significant time and personnel investments during implementation and management especially at the information system and network level. We recommend avoiding silo-specific tools as much as possible and look for lightweight, multi-purpose integrated solutions that provide a variety of capabilities and benefits, such as:
- - Centrally managed automation of the maximum number of security, compliance, and risk management processes
- - Point-and-click web-based management interface - avoid tools requiring the use of scripts or manual processing of information
- - Out-of-the-box pre-configured technical controls structured in policy templates ready for immediate deployment
- - Ability to manage controls for multiple compliance standards simultaneously
- - Automated assessment, documentation, and enforcement of deployed controls in an audit-proof format
- - Automated reporting of up-to-date compliance and risk outcomes at the information system level
- - Built-in prioritization capabilities to identify highest-priority compliance issues and provide for their remediation, mitigation, or containment
In view of the increasing complexity of modern security environments and the persistent workforce shortage, sustainable cyber security compliance will eventually require increasing degrees of automation. Moving toward the adoption of automation technologies will result in better utilization of limited cyber security and compliance talent and in the lower overall costs of compliance.
Using Elemental Security Platform (ESP) cyber risk, security, and compliance automation tool to address resource limitations
ESP is an automation software solution that offers a diverse set of capabilities designed to significantly reduce the staffing resources needed to reach target cyber security compliance and risk levels.
ESP automates the process of management of hundreds of technical rules (controls) within the frameworks of most cyber security compliance standards (PCI DSS, SOX, NIST 800 series, HIPAA/HITRUST, etc). With ESP, organizations can effortlessly deploy, monitor, enforce, and document thousands of security controls to workstations, laptops, and servers in minutes. It is a lightweight and flexible tool that automates and consolidates multiple security technologies such as asset management, configuration enforcement, continuous policy management, micro-segmentation, compliance gap assessment, and risk tracking all with a click of a button. The outcomes are significant improvements in operational efficiency, better utilization of security talent, faster time-to-compliance, and lower compliance costs for your organization.
ESP is one of the most lightweight and easy to use solutions on the market, perfectly suited for quick deployments and immediate increases in compliance levels - regardless of the size or composition of the network. Its unique technology also makes it a perfect solution for small and medium-sized teams that experience the skill and staff shortage most acutely.