What Is a Cybersecurity Gap Analysis

The cyber threat landscape is evolving exponentially, and it can result in the loss of confidential information, potentially leading to financial penalties and a damaged reputation. Millions of cyberattacks happen every second, and the security controls that worked for your organization yesterday may no longer be sufficient today. So organizations need to find a future-proofed cybersecurity solution that can prevent the loss of information and keep a competitive advantage.

A cybersecurity gap analysis enables organizations to address the areas of weakness within their network and system security controls to ensure that they are effective. The cybersecurity gap analysis showcases what you should be doing by comparing your current practices against the best practices. It provides insight into how your organization can build up a robust structure with the proper controls in place. In short, you understand the status of your cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities in your system so that you can work to nullify those gaps in your security.   

Why Do You Need To Check for Cybersecurity Gaps in Your Network in 2022?

  • To Break Potential Avenues of Attack
    Most of the cyberattack strategies target aged or existing vulnerabilities in your current system. By addressing these vulnerabilities and eliminating them, businesses can avoid security breaches and their consequences before they actually happen. 
  • Enormous Number To Be Eradicated, Every Second
    No business has 100% protection against cyber threats. More importantly, cyberattacks continue increasing more than we ever expected. Neglecting to check for cybersecurity gaps is choosing to willfully drive blindfolded. Simply put, you won’t see the threats coming until it’s too late.  
  • To Identify Compliance Issues
    Another important reason for assessing your system’s security measures, policies, and procedures is to pinpoint the areas where compliance with industry regulations might be insufficient. This can help you make changes, hopefully before they result in an official sanction. 
  • To Nullify Redundant Security Measures
    Multiple security solutions may be helpful to consolidate excessive or outdated security tools and replace them with other solutions that actively interfere with business operations. Cybersecurity analysis helps identify useless or extraneous security devices that may cause more harm than good.
  • Help To Improve Cybersecurity Awareness
    Full-scale and visible feedback of your company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures can have the benefit of getting CIOs and CISOs thinking about network security practices—and how well they’re following them.  An analysis of cybersecurity gaps can do wonders to increase cybersecurity awareness to the entire organization.

How To Perform A Cybersecurity Gap Analysis

Step 1: Adopt an information security standard

While there are many security standards, the 2021 Cybersecurity Benchmark Study showed that NIST 800-53 is the industry standard most companies are using today. NIST 800-53 provides a great starting point and benchmark that you can use to compare your security policies and network controls. 

For efficient gap analysis, an independent consultant or tool to evaluate your security technology stack is recommended. This will provide a second set of eyes to ensure that security measures are in compliance with state and federal regulations. An outside consultant or tool can often measure gaps not found by people who work inside the information security team.

[DOWNLOAD STUDY] Access exclusive industry findings in the 2021 Cybersecurity Benchmark Report 

Step 2: Evaluate People and Processes
The immediate step of the cybersecurity analysis process requires the need to vet your team and IT processes. In this phase, your team gathers information on elements such as your IT systems and networks, application usage, security policies, and current workforce.  

Interviewing team members will address compliance to your administrative network controls. Minimizing risks and scaling up to industry standards means understanding whether your workforce is sufficiently trained to manage potential breaches such as phishing in emails. This phase of cybersecurity gap analysis also assists evaluate whether your system has the appropriate controls to mitigate future security needs.

Step 3: Data Gathering and Analysis
The next phase is data-gathering. Here, your current security controls are subjected to comparison tests. Frameworks such as NIST 800-53 are used to evaluate your technical controls including network applications, server applications, and security controls. 

This phase of the cybersecurity gap analysis gives you a preview of how the current security protocols will defend in case a breach occurs. Tools like RedMonocle’s KnowledgeBase Dashboard allow you to pinpoint if there are any threats in your systems. With this capability, you can easily create a list of tools and understand which controls are met by your software in your Security Stack. Finding your gaps is only half the battle, but It is one of the most critical stages in addressing the most effective security processes that fit your organization’s needs.  

Step 4: GAP Analysis
The final phase is to consolidate your cybersecurity controls, with findings identifying where your fragile links lie in your security system. This gap analysis report includes actionable steps on how to proceed in areas such as your staffing needs, technical assessments, and the time frame for implementing your improved security measures.

A standard of the cybersecurity industry is meeting 80% of compliance requirements or more. If you want an easier way to conduct a Gap Analysis, RedMonocle puts you in the driver seat with a bird’s eye view of your systems, gaps and automates most of the analysis. Once you know your gaps, run scenarios for product research, portfolio optimization, or product comparison. See how these changes in your stack affect compliance with Standards. Most importantly, develop the best security strategy for your organization and come prepared for the next executive meeting with data.

Difference Between Gap Analysis And Risk Assessment

With cybersecurity gap analysis, you know how far you are from your selected common security framework’s requirements and controls. But, you may not know which problems can occur or which controls to implement. In the case of risk assessment, you could know which events can happen and which controls to implement. However, it doesn’t provide you with an overview of which controls are covered by your Security Stack.

Benefits of Conducting a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

  1. Identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities
  2. Get security documentation
  3. Gain insights from a cybersecurity expert
  4. See if you meet compliance regulations
  5. View an actionable, prioritized list of risks
  6. Understand your ability to address a security threat

Finally, the verdict is here. Performing a cybersecurity gap analysis is an important step in your cybersecurity strategy. This ongoing practice will make sure that the network, staff, and security controls are robust, effective, and cost-efficient. This ensures your business is effectively protected against all kinds of cyber threats and blind spots… 

We can all agree we want to know how we can see what’s in our cybersecurity risk blind spot. The real problem is that companies often focus on investing in the stack more than on aligning the capabilities of their existing stack with standards and best practices. Your perspective is limited by what you can see. This means, to achieve our goal, we have to find the gaps and the overlaps both in our stack and standards. 

RedMonocle helps you do just that. How? By mapping standard frameworks like NIST-800-53 and all its controls to the features contained within your Security Stack.

 

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Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Vice President of Growth

Nichole Kelly brings over two decades of experience in growing organizations top line and bottom line revenue. As one of the leading marketing influencers she is the author of "How to Measure Social Media" and has traveled the world teaching marketers how to build and execute ROI-driven marketing strategies at every major marketing conference. Also an entrepreneur, Kelly was also the founder of SME Digital, a digital marketing agency that was sold to Renegade Marketing.

Kelly leads an active life of service and is the founder of The Bipolar Executive blog and podcast. This project is  designed to help shift the conversation around mental illness to one of mental wellness in Corporate America. 

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Saint Leo University.

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Chris Schroeder

Vice President of Engineering, Co-Founder

Chris Schroeder has over 25 years of experience in large complex IT environments from the Fortune 500 to the federal government. Chris has an extensive technology background in mobility, infrastructure operations, and data analytics. Schroeder is a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of App47 and the Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of RealOps (sold to BMC).

Chris is an active volunteer in his community coaching boys and girls lacrosse, supporting high school STEM programs, and serving on the Pastoral Council. 

Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Radford University and a Masters Degree in Technology Engineering from George Washington University.

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Sean McDermott

President & CEO, Founder

Sean McDermott’s curiosity for advancing technology began at his first job as a network engineer/architect installing and managing the first private internet for the U.S. Department of Justice. At a time when the internet was just taking off, McDermott was at the forefront and has continued to be on the cutting edge of technology leading Fortune 500 companies through the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the 2008 recession. Sean has over three decades of experience working with CIOs in the Fortune 500 to trail blaze innovation and protect the IT infrastructure of the largest commercial and federal organizations in the world. 

McDermott is a mission-driven, serial entrepreneur who founded Windward Consulting Group, RealOps, Inc. (sold to BMC), App47 and RedMonocle. He is also the founder of the Windward Foundation and Alzheimer’s Caregiver Alliance, an organization dedicated to easing the burden of caregiving for individuals and families touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

McDermott is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and has been featured in Security Boulevard, TechRepublic, IT Visionaries, APM Digest, Inside BigData, DevPro Journal, IT Toolbox and more. He  holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a Masters in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America. 

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