Cyber Security Monitoring (CSM): Implementation and Challenges
The process of continuously watching an IT system for data breaches, cyber threats, or other system weaknesses is known as “cyber security monitoring.” It is a preventative cyber security technique that can assist an organization in sorting through online activity to identify incidents that might be a threat to the organization’s systems or data. A major worry for businesses today is cyber security monitoring, particularly with the rise of remote working. There were 50% more cyber-attacks per week on corporate networks in 2021 as compared to 2020. Likewise, in 2021 the cost of data breaches rose from US$3.86 million to US$4.24 million on an annual basis.
Hence, it is essential to maintain security for the organization’s IT infrastructure and data in order to prevent the organization from operational risk, service risk, financial risk, and reputational risk. By implementing a cyber security monitoring system within the organization, those risks can be minimized as a dedicated team member will keep an eye out for online threats, data breaches, and security configuration errors in real-time. There are two main types of cyber security monitoring: one is endpoint monitoring and the other one is network monitoring.
Endpoint monitoring entails keeping track of the hardware connected to a particular network to safeguard it from the threats that hardware poses. Endpoints could be mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and Internet of Things gadgets that are linked to the organization network and need to be watched over. The IT staff may identify vulnerabilities early and take action more quickly when an endpoint’s behavior seems out of the ordinary or insecure by continually monitoring and analyzing endpoint behaviors for any device connected to the network.
Network monitoring is keeping track of and examining network activity to spot and address performance problems that might point to an intrusion or make the network open to assault. The network can become vulnerable to attack if networking components are slow, overloaded, experience outages, or have other technical issues.
In addition, a cyberattack may also show signs of a server, computer, or another device overload. Security logs from these many components can be analyzed by integrating diagnostic software, applications, or appliances into the network monitoring. The software notifies the IT team by email, text, or other alarms when it discovers a performance problem or hazard. IT specialists can react rapidly to mitigate a crisis with early detection.
Although cyber security monitoring may seem straightforward, the organization’s choice of implementation will be crucial. The CSM solution will be increasingly comprehensive and its IT architecture will become more complicated as the organization grows in size. The followings are the steps that are required to implement cyber security monitoring system.:
Identify Threat Priorities: Many different types of information assets are generally owned by organizations. These assets include secret market research, financial data, personnel data, and consumer information. The organization needs to first understand the importance of data and act accordingly to protect them.
Choose Tools: Organizations need to choose the right network security monitoring tools, encryption tools, and web vulnerability scanning tools for cyber security monitoring purposes. The main criteria for selecting the cyber security monitoring tools is that they must monitor system settings and network configuration, and regularly check for vulnerabilities.
Schedule Regular Updates: Scheduling routine software updates is a crucial step in the successful adoption of cyber security monitoring because it facilitates to reduction of the threats that the system may face. Cyber threats are always transforming; hence, it is crucial to keep the system as well as any ensuing rules always up to date to appropriately recognize and neutralize such threats.
Employee Training/Workshop: Attacks exploit system weakness and if not possible attacks human weakness i.e. emotions. Even the most effective protocols and tactics are doomed to failure in the absence of capable and skilled staff. The weakest link in a system may be human error, and cyber attackers frequently focus on this particular flaw. Therefore, to respond to such scenarios, it is advised to construct collaborative workshops where business and technical users can cooperate.
Challenges in Implementation
One of the most important steps in ensuring the correct operation of a cyber security program is creating and implementing a monitoring system strategy. However, a poorly established plan and its execution might give the organization a false sense of security and awareness. The major difficulties the organization could encounter when putting a monitoring system in place are listed below.
Identification of Critical Assets: Finding essential assets is one of the biggest problems with implementing a good security plan. What assets should be classified as high, medium, and low in terms of criticality needs to be made apparent to all departments within the organization In addition to identifying critical assets, most of the time is spent on determining how these assets should be scanned, how long data should be maintained, and how frequently data should be examined.
Keeping Track of Endpoint Activity: Even before the creation of cyber security monitoring systems, tracking endpoints was a problem. Endpoints can be introduced at any time by internal and external stakeholders; they are not only restricted to PCs; they can also include Wi-Fi, printers, smartphones, and even wearables. So, there is a danger of oversight unless and until the organization’s monitoring approach can precisely track all recently established and existing endpoints.
Choosing the Correct Toolsets: The choice of the appropriate tools is another challenge that most organizations face while implementing cyber security monitoring systems. It is always important to remember that each tool will have varied significance, application, and efficacy for each organization. Therefore, Security personnel must be knowledgeable about what to watch for, how to watch for it, and where to watch it on the network.
To conclude, cyber security monitoring is a threat detection technique that employs automation to constantly check the IT ecosystem for control flaws and, frequently, to transmit alerts to a security incident and event management (SIEM) system. Continuous cyber security monitoring enables us to identify threats and data breaches well in advance of them developing into major security problems. Hence, cyber security monitoring is a hot topic for any business in today’s scenario.