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How Continuous Controls Monitoring Brings IT Unity & Agility

How Continuous Controls Monitoring Brings IT Unity & Agility

Blog Article Published: 05/10/2024

Originally published by RegScale.

Written by Larry Whiteside Jr.

Throughout my tenure as an operational CISO, there were countless moments when I yearned for things to unfold in a more streamlined manner. I had a clear vision for my team, which frequently grappled with being overburdened, understaffed, or fatigued due to a lack of accountability from departments outside of security.

The scenario was all too common: the security team had their set of tools, while IT operated with theirs, leading to inefficient and often misaligned communication of critical information between the two. Moreover, the rapid pace at which vulnerabilities emerged meant that efforts to climb out of what felt like an ever-deepening pit often resulted in sinking further.


The challenge: disparate ways of tracking and reporting issues

This predicament is far from unique to my experiences. Many organizations today encounter similar hurdles, where a multitude of vulnerabilities or issues require appropriate management and tracking. The crux of the problem lies in the disjunction between how security and IT or other business units track these concerns, resulting in delays and inconsistent reporting on the resolution progress.

This discrepancy complicates the assignment and timely documentation, mitigation, or explanation of responsibilities. By the time vulnerabilities or issues were identified, categorized, and assigned, a new wave of them would already be on the horizon, exacerbating the situation.


The vision: efficient prioritization of vulnerabilities

Back in those days, I often fantasized about a more effective solution. I wondered, was there a way to enhance my team’s efficiency, allowing them to conserve time while still addressing essential tasks? Various vulnerability management tools made attempts to streamline processes by introducing scoring systems, enabling security teams to prioritize critical vulnerabilities.

Scoring systems, in theory, allowed for the prioritization of significant issues to IT or business personnel. However, it didn’t address the underlying issue of disparate reporting and tracking systems. My ideal solution was a unified reporting mechanism, providing both security and business/IT visibility into the status of vulnerabilities in a cohesive manner. This would clarify responsibility and current status across the board.


The solution: a single platform for continuous monitoring

Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) has revolutionized compliance with controls, offering a rich set of features that transform organizational efficiency. CCM integrates with an automated workflow for issue remediation, embodying the very solution I had envisioned.

CCM enables the creation of an automated workflow within an organization’s existing ticketing system to address vulnerabilities or issues. This solution is groundbreaking due to its facilitation of a unified approach to issue reporting.

Upon identifying vulnerabilities/issues, the initiating tool can trigger a workflow that generates and assigns a ticket based on asset ownership. As the asset owner reports back with actions taken and evidence, the workflow allows for the automated resolution of the ticket, reducing cross-team friction and providing leadership with a singular reporting mechanism.


The impact: IT harmony, agility, and resiliency

Ultimately, CCM holds the potential to significantly enhance organizational agility and reduce friction. Reflecting on the times I observed my teams engaging in back-and-forth exchanges with IT or business units over the status of issues, it’s clear that the lack of integration and differing toolsets led to unnecessary conflict and confusion.

The evolution towards automation and integration is not just a step forward; it’s a leap towards operational excellence and a more harmonious working environment.

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