Continuous Monitoring Strategy

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Based on this authorization, the level of continuous monitoring and frequency for each control is defined, allowing the system developers and engineers to begin incorporating the monitoring plan into the system development and O&M plan. In other words, Continuous Monitoring requires organizations to identify their risks and conduct ongoing, consistent monitoring, assessment, and mitigation. The intent behind the often complex process is to provide an impregnable process for near real-time risk management, creating a culture of proactive security that assumes data breaches are not just plausible — they’re inevitable. Continuous monitoring is typically discussed as part of a framework for managing risks. There are several kinds of risks (e.g., strategic, operational, financial, compliance). Within the operational and compliance risk areas, from a data privacy and security perspective, new risks are emerging daily.

continuous monitoring strategy

Ultimately, the goal of continuous monitoring is to provide IT organizations with near-immediate feedback and insight into performance and interactions across the network, which helps drive operational, security and business performance. The goal of continuous monitoring is to provide IT organizations with near-immediate feedback and insight into performance and interactions across the network, which helps drive operational, security, and business performance. The IO and ISSO take part in ongoing remediation actions throughout the continuous monitoring process. As part of the continuous monitoring process, the agency will oversee information system and environment changes. This process involves determining the security impact of proposed or actual changes to the information system and its environment of operation. As mentioned in previous posts, the Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services Special Item Number solution is available for agencies in need of cybersecurity services, including RMF.

He added that if the organization doesn’t prioritize a concrete subset of actionable data rooted in providing value to customers, there’s a scant chance of delivering increased business value and a real chance of harming the business. “We predict that by 2026, 80% of organizations pursuing a 360-degree view of the customer will abandon these efforts because they flout data privacy regulations, rely on obsolete data collection methods and erode customer trust,” Bloom said. He explained that, in the company’s 2021 survey on customer data, 45 percent of organizations agreed that the more data they collect, the less benefit they see. Rick Blair, vice president of product strategy, experience management for Verint, recommended mapping out the customer journey and as many experience points as possible.

Monitor what needs to be monitored

Sumo Logic’s cloud-native platform is an ideal continuous monitoring solution for IT organizations that wish to enhance the security and operational performance of their cloud-based IT infrastructure and applications. Features like automated log aggregation, data analytics, and configurable alerts help IT SecOps teams automate key security monitoring processes, respond more quickly to security incidents and mitigate the risk of a costly data breach. Real-time (or near real-time) risk management cannot be fully achieved without continuous control monitoring using automated tools. Using automated tools, organizations can identify when the system is not in the desired state to meet security and privacy requirements and respond appropriately to maintain the security and privacy posture of the system. Continuous monitoring identifies undiscovered system components, misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and unauthorized changes, all of which can potentially expose organizations to increased risk if not addressed.

  • There are several kinds of risks (e.g., strategic, operational, financial, compliance).
  • IT organizations that can monitor their IT infrastructure and security controls in real-time can enjoy a significant competitive advantage, especially against competitors that are still doing batch analysis or periodic analysis of older data.
  • Consider all the main monitoring surfaces your organization needs to focus on, any regulations you must stay compliant within your industry, and the main vulnerabilities you want to be on guard for.
  • Risk tolerance refers to the level of risk an organization is willing to accept.
  • At the same time, your customers need the same assurance over your security monitoring that you need as part of your vendor risk management strategies.
  • As part of the continuous monitoring process, the agency will oversee information system and environment changes.

The bigger a business is—and the more departments you have working with third parties—the more important it is to bring all internal stakeholders into the conversation early. But also make sure to loop in teams like procurement, finance, and any departments that depend on a type of software or other third party relationship that poses considerable risk. In addition, automated tools and techniques could be used to improve the quality of the security assessment through an increase in the sampling size and coverage. •Customize security-specific assessment procedures to closely match the operating environment . “Continuous monitoring drives continuous improvement,” he said, noting another goal should be to try and minimize the impact on the customer.

But in addition, the third parties you work with regularly change as well. The security controls implemented and documented in the previous steps are essential components for conducting an effective assessment. They can also detect misconfigured WLAN clients, rogue access points, ad hoc networks, and other possible violations of an organization’s WLAN policy. In addition, these systems can position an organization to proactively assess its wireless network at regular intervals. However, a wireless intrusion detection or prevention system is a significant expense, and it may not be appropriate in all cases. For example, an agency may determine that a smaller agency location with lower risk systems may not warrant the expense that installing a wireless intrusion detection or prevention system may entail.

Strategies to Achieve These Monitoring and Deliverable Controls

To maintain an authorization that meets the FedRAMP requirements, must monitor their security controls, assess them on a regular basis, and demonstrate that the security posture of their service offering is continuously acceptable. Continuous monitoring software tools incorporate a feature called log aggregation that collects log files from applications deployed on the network, including the security applications that are in place to protect information assets. These log files contain information about all events that take place within the application, including the detection of security threats and the measurement of key operational metrics. Continuous monitoring is a technology and process that IT organizations implement to enable rapid detection of compliance issues and security risks within the IT infrastructure. The CAP professional ensures that the CM strategy is approved and supported by all risk management stakeholders and includes the strategy in the security and privacy plan. Developing a continuous monitoring strategy is gaining a lot of momentum within many U.S. government agencies and businesses that want to better manage cyber security risk.

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Organizations that effectively use the RMF take time to identify what’s important, whether its infrastructure, specific systems, or data. Then they implement the appropriate controls to secure and monitor those aspects, which makes continuous monitoring a more flexible and useful tool. Without categorizing the system and data, you risk implementing incorrect or costly controls you may not really need. We all have those employees who are invaluable to the organization – the technical folks. The ones that have all the know-how to keep the systems running efficiently and the processes executing as required. These people may be willing and ready to implement a continuous monitoring plan.

SecurityScorecard enables robust continuous cybersecurity monitoring

Establish a more automated, risk-based control environment with lower costs. Despite the potential benefits of CM, barriers to adoption do exist in many organizations. These barriers are related to misunderstanding what CM is and how it is implemented. A lack of risk visibility can also become a barrier and may lead to a “nice to have” attitude. Adding a new component to the system inside the authorization boundary that doesn’t substantially change the risk posture.

continuous monitoring strategy

A good continuous monitoring strategy supports organizational risk management decisions to include risk response decisions, ongoing system authorization decisions, and resource and prioritization decisions. Then it all culminates with a continuous monitoring strategy – step 6, monitoring. You can collect, assess, and respond to metrics from each critical area to effectively monitor and manage risk across the organization. The continuous monitoring strategy will ultimately address monitoring and the assessment of security controls to determine the overall risk to the organization. Continuous Monitoring is a necessary part of a comprehensive cybersecurity program, and an integral part of the RMF and Assessment and Authorization (A&A) processes. The process involves a variety of automated and manual processes, ranging in complexity and level of effort, and an overarching management and documentation strategy to keep track of it all.

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The Shared Assessments Continuous Monitoring Cybersecurity Taxonomy can be a good tool for this. Use it to create a standard in how you talk to third parties about your needs and requirements. And consult it to better evaluate the continuous monitoring products you consider and determine which best meets your needs. If you haven’t yet, evaluate the risk priority levels of the different types of third parties you work with, and what types of risk they each present.

The objective of the continuous monitoring program is to determine if the set of deployed security controls continue to be effective over time in light of the inevitable changes that occur. Non-compliance is the primary result organizations want to avoid with RMF continuous monitoring, in addition to issues that arise stemming from changes that recent updates have imposed on your network and systems. In many cases, there are conflicts that won’t become quickly or easily visible until processes start breaking. A quarterly physical visit from a consultant or expert at a cybersecurity firm could be beneficial for providing ammunition to compliance and IT teams for implementing wider, organizational changes for the better. Security control assessments performed periodically validate whether stated security controls are implemented correctly, operating as intended, and meet FedRAMP baseline security controls.

continuous monitoring strategy

Leveraging automation that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning gives you the ability to aggregate your control monitoring data and helps prioritize alerts. These technologies allow your organization to respond to threats more efficiently and effectively, enhancing your cybersecurity posture. It is imperative that CSPs submit the identified deliverables on-time, as repeatedly missing these core components of the continuous monitoring process can result in the revocation of their FedRAMP authorization.

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This task consists of reviewing the reported security status of the information system on an ongoing basis. The CISO aims to determine whether the risk to the agency’s system remains acceptable. This CISO is in an inherently governmental position; however, contractors can provide subject matter expertise and recommendations for risk determinations. A network security monitoring provides information about network vulnerabilities and failures. Conversely, CSM tools are more comprehensive and can include end-point protection. That said, it’s common to use the two terms interchangeably especially if a CSM is implemented only for networks.

As we mentioned in our previous blog,having a continuous monitoring planenables you to see if your security controls are effective over time. While executing that plan can seem daunting, it’s key to take the necessary steps to be aware of the ever-changing threat landscape. That’s why there’s so much value in having a good continuous monitoring strategy.

Developing a strategy before implementing continuous monitoring can effectively address this challenge. Monitor– Continuously monitor the controls for effectiveness and report any changes to the overall risk to the system, mission, and organization to the authorizing official in step five. notifies the AO with a minimum of 30 days before implementing any planned major significant changes, including an analysis of the potential security impact.

After agencies obtain Authorization to Operate , they move into the continuous monitoring step of the RMF process. Though continuous monitoring strategies can vary by agency, usual tasks include near real-time risk management and ongoing authorization based on the system environment of operation. This step’s dynamic processes determine if a system’s security controls continue to be effective over time. The value of a good is to have current data available to leadership in order to assess overall risk and make risk-based decisions. Monitoring is the last step in the RMF so it should be complementary to all previous steps .

When no discussion or SCR (Significant Change Request) is needed for a change

At this point, it’s time to call for external help from a reputable consultant or cybersecurity firm. No technical basis for how to understand and address potential risks for wireless communications for critical plant functions. A methodology with a technical basis for implementing secure wireless communication is crucial.

Identify User Behavior

TheFedRAMP Continuous Monitoring Strategy Guide outlines the key activities that a CSP must perform in order to maintain a continuous monitoring program that meets the FedRAMP minimum requirements. In addition to the key activities, there are also key deliverables that have varying submission frequencies that must be submitted in order to maintain compliance. The number of deliverables and activities to monitor make this task something that requires active participation and consideration on the CSP’s part.

Security-related information collected through continuous monitoring is used to make recurring updates to the security assessment package. Ongoing due diligence and review of security controls enables the security authorization package to remain current which allows agencies to make informed risk management decisions as they use cloud services. Continuous monitoring allows an organization to defend its security posture in a dynamic environment where threats, vulnerabilities, and technologies are constantly changing. Experts also noted the importance of continuously monitoring the wireless network for rogue access points and client devices.

For updates to the risk picture, full advantage of automated tools, which can increase the efficiency of control assessments, should be taken. Additionally, system- and organization-wide programs and policies should be leveraged to ensure that the organization’s control allocation has been done in the most effective manner possible. This, in turn, ensures that common, system, and hybrid controls are in place, effective, and working as designed, while being maintained in continuous monitoring strategy the most efficient manner. The use of common controls reduces the duplication of effort in implementing, managing, and accessing a control that is centrally provided by the organization. The program should define how each control in the SCTM will be monitored and the frequency of the monitoring. This frequency should be based on the security control’s volatility, or the amount of time the control can be assumed to be in place and working as planned between reviews.