Continuous control monitoring, or CCM, refers to technologies that constantly audit and monitor security controls, therefore reducing  audit costs and business losses.

CCM offers several benefits to your organisation. It provides real-time, comprehensive visibility into your overall cyber security defences; it allows you to implement rapid detection of compliance issues and security risks within the IT infrastructure; and it lets you stay ahead of security problems before a control incident worsens and becomes a crisis.

Goals of Continuous Control Monitoring

The primary goal of continuous control monitoring is to augment the transparency and visibility of network processes, particularly any suspicious or malicious network activity. Additionally, continuous control monitoring plays a significant role in gauging the operational performance of different cyber security controls.

Continuous control monitoring software enables security and risk management leaders to continuously monitor their enterprise tools and align their cyber security posture with major frameworks, regulations, and standards. This way, they can execute a solution before that problem leads to unexpected downtime and, ultimately, lost revenue.

Continuous control monitoring solutions integrate tools into a single intuitive interface that enables organisations to continuously monitor tool performance and maintain alignment with cyber security, business, and frameworks by continuously retrieving and analysing Critical Security Controls (CSCs) from cyber security applications. 

All in all, the ultimate goal of continuous control monitoring is to deliver near-immediate insight and feedback on interactions and cybersecurity performance across the network. This helps you improve security, operations and overall resilience.

Implementing Continuous Control Monitoring

For your continuous monitoring strategy and implementation to be effective, there are four choices you need to make:

1. Which threats do you prioritise?

Continuous control monitoring can be resource-intensive; therefore, it is imperative to determine and prioritise threat scores. You can do this by assigning certain risk levels to specific threat scores.

When you assign risk levels to the threat scores, consider the impact and likelihood of an attack to decide on levels. For example, if a hazard is highly improbable and will not impact your operations, it will be considered a low-level threat. On the contrary, if a threat is more than likely to occur and considerably affects your company’s operations, you need to prioritise it.

2. What are your preferred continuous control monitoring tools?

There are various continuous control monitoring tools that you can leverage to track and analyse your IT systems. These are critical components when it comes to enterprise security, and the tools you choose should support this. Examples of continuous control monitoring tools you can leverage include:

  • Networking configuration management tools
  • Authenticated vulnerability scans
  • System configuration management tools

Irrespective of the tool or solution you choose for monitoring, ensure that your selected system has the security information and event management capabilities, governance, risk, and compliance capabilities.

3. What’s your continuous vulnerability and patching schedule?

If you fail to monitor and analyse vulnerabilities on a continuous basis and patch your systems accordingly, it can make them vulnerable to malicious attacks and expose your company to cyber threats. When you create a vulnerability management plan and schedule, it ensures that your systems are always protected and up to date.

4. How will you train and educate your staff on cyber security?

Employees aware of cybercrime and attacks are more likely to frequently update their applications and systems, augmenting your company’s overall cybersecurity. For this reason, it’s essential to create a training program to educate your employees on cyber security.

Regardless of your efforts, no continuous control monitoring security program can guarantee perfect results. However, a cyber-aware workforce can help make sure you address low-level threats properly.

How Continuous Control Monitoring helps your DevOps team perform

Continuous control monitoring helps IT professionals, particularly your DevOps teams, procure data in real-time from hybrid and public environments.

This significantly helps you implement and fortify your security measures – threat assessment, incident response, root cause analysis, and database forensics. Additionally, it also allows you to get feedback on your IT setup and infrastructure, including deployed software and offsite networks.

Continuous control monitoring can help you enhance your DevOps team’s performance by:

  • Introducing better network transparency and visibility: DevOps teams gain a clear roadmap on the IT infrastructure by automatically garnering and analysing data to reflect on critical trends and possible outages.
  • Facilitating prompt responses: The primary aspect of continuous control monitoring is to implement an alert system that instantly notifies the right people when a compliance failure occurs. This allows timely responses to functional stop-gaps or security threats, minimising the damage and facilitating faster system restoration to optimal operational levels.
  • Reducing system downtime: Necessary notifications and consistent system monitoring help you maintain system uptime by raising the alarm in case of service outages or security issues.
  • Enabling healthy business performance: It reduces your system downtime, minimising the adverse impact on overall customer experience, thereby safeguarding the company against revenue loss or credibility.

Continuous Control Monitoring with CT

Compliance requirements are changing rapidly due to increasing threats and risks. The deployment of such controls aims to elevate security readiness, approachability, and resilience. 

Our team of cybersecurity experts can work with you to target your business needs and implement continuous control monitoring in your business. Visit our Managed Security Services page to learn more about our approach to cybersecurity.