Continuous monitoring provides organizations with an essential, up-to-date security status in the form of almost real-time reporting that can be used to make immediate, cost-effective, risk-based decisions about their information systems.
Standards bodies, such as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the British Standards Institute (BSI), work with industries and provide extensive research into existing and future technology in order to facilitate and ensure reliable commerce.
Financial infrastructure has also been at the forefront of standards adoption to ensure the integrity of financial transactions to guard against fraud, error, and misuse.
GOVERNMENT & AGENCIES
The first adopters of these standards have typically been government departments
and agencies and critical infrastructure providers as the information and systems they need to protect are critical to the nation and national security.
PRIVATE ENTERPRISES & ORGANIZATIONS
Continuous monitoring has increasingly been adopted by private enterprises to replace the once a year “snapshot” assessment with more frequent ongoing testing of security systems and policies. Through the use of automation, organizations can:
- Monitor a greater number of security controls on an ongoing basis
- Monitor a greater number of security controls with increased frequency
- Ensure that they have not been negatively impacted by changes to the infrastructure
- Provide senior management with an essential, up-to-date security status
- Make immediate, cost-effective, risk-based decisions about their information systems
Depending on the value of the data an organization is trying to protect and the mandates associated to the protection of that data, companies may not be required to implement a continuous monitoring program, but the savings in cost, resources, and continued compliance may outweigh the costs of a once a year “snapshot” audit and the cost and consequences associated with a security breach.