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Security Ratings

Security Ratings Services & “Traditional” Security Solutions: What You Need to Know

Alex Campanelli | March 9, 2018

It’s no surprise that cybersecurity remains a top concern for business leaders today. In fact, PwC’s 2018 CEO Survey showed cyber threats rose from its position as the #10 organizational threat in 2017 to #4. As such, the market for cybersecurity solutions is extremely large, with forecasts putting the expected spending on security solutions at over $100 billion by 2020 (according to Gartner and IDC.) From traditional security hardware to more modern software solutions and a multitude of security services, security leaders have no shortage of options when it comes to strengthening the security posture of their organization. But where do security ratings fit in? Do organizations really need both security ratings and traditional security solutions like a SIEM? And if so, why?

The short answer is a resounding yes. Enterprise security leaders should be leveraging both security ratings and traditional security solutions, such as a SIEM (security information & event management). This is because these two solutions are, in fact, complementary. BitSight Security Ratings provide an objective third party view of an enterprise’s externally observable security posture, including continuous monitoring of its third and fourth parties. A SIEM solution provides a comprehensive internal view of the enterprise’s security posture. As such, both can be used simultaneously to gain a more comprehensive understanding of an organization’s security posture and all the threats that are posed across the business.

The BitSight Security Ratings Platform generates objective, quantitative measurements on a company’s security performance. It can help security leaders answer several important, defining questions regarding their security posture, including: what does their organization’s attack surface look like from outside the enterprise? What are the vulnerabilities in their infrastructure?  Most importantly, how is their organization performing over time, and how has their cybersecurity posture been measurably improved over the last year? These are just some of the critical questions security leaders must ask themselves when evaluating solutions that can help improve their organization’s security posture.

BitSight Security Ratings provide a level of oversight and actionable data that help identify hotspots and weak links across the enterprise and can assist in deciding where to focus budget and resources. Moreover, there are several things that security ratings can do to assess cyber risk that a SIEM cannot — this is where ratings can add value to your security program, by complementing an existing SIEM. So what does that value look like?

First, the BitSight Security Ratings Platform was designed as a true SaaS platform, whereas most SIEMs were designed as an on-premise solution. However, the combination of on-premise (traditional SIEM) and SaaS solutions have advantages for groups that have the resources to manage both solutions and can take advantage of both models. On-premise solutions provide maximum control and customization of your security program. BitSight Security Ratings, being a SaaS platform, provides third-party validated data on curated risk areas such as diligence, user behavior, and compromised systems. This data, which BitSight can see from the outside-in, is invaluable as no other security ratings services provider has insight into as many entities and risk vectors as BitSight does. Combining security ratings with a SIEM solution allows security teams to get a comprehensive picture of their organization’s security posture. 

When it comes to security ratings that drive strategic business decisions, such as vendor relationships or board reporting, data accuracy and quality are paramount. Additionally, the BitSight Security Ratings Platform provides objective, verifiable, and actionable data on security performance that is third-party validated. In a world overrun by data and a shortage of industry expertise to interpret it, having all of your data sources curated by proven industry experts allows internal resources to be focused on developing high value organizational security expertise rather than spending time on selecting and maintaining data sources.

BitSight allows organizations to effectively benchmark their own security performance and that of their third parties. Security ratings can give immediate insight into third party security posture without the need to contact or audit the third party being evaluated. BitSight continuously analyzes, rates and monitors companies’ security postures with externally observable data, accessible without the need for permission from the rated company. Security ratings are updated daily and real time alerts can be generated if there are significant changes to your own rating or one of your third parties.

In the case of third party vendor risk management, the BitSight Security Ratings Platform provides users with a framework to facilitate conversation with third parties about actionable security metrics and areas of concern as well as prompt and track remediation efforts all within the portal.

When it comes to strengthening a security program, traditional in-house solutions serve a definite purpose. However, they require significant maintenance and cannot provide security teams with a comprehensive view of their (or their third parties’) security posture from the outside-in. BitSight Security Ratings can do this, and act as a strong and necessary complement to in-house solutions like SIEMs.

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