Continuous Monitoring: The New Phase of IT Security

As IT systems continue to grow in size and sophistication, greater security measures are needed to ensure that critical data stays secure. Enter Continuous Monitoring. The automated process creates data on the status of operational and business processes that goes into constant feedback loop, allowing the system to constantly quantify risks and potential compromises to the system against a constantly changing environment. With constant awareness, those said risks and compromises can be dealt with immediately creating a secure network.

As alluded to above, Continuous Monitoring is about adaption. The IT world is constantly changing so it naturally makes sense that the security should also constantly adapt. In fact it is this constantly changing environment that created the demand for Continuous Monitoring. As the importance of IT data grew, increased security regulations were passed such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) to ensure companies kept up with the growing IT threats. Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has put out certain publications such as the NIST SP-800-53, which catalog the security practices needed to meet the latest threats. Continuous Monitoring offers the best method to meeting those regulation levels, catered to the security level needed.

In running a Continuous Monitoring system, there are currently two main approaches. One involves comparing descriptive statistics of an event to statistics of the same event at a previous time to detect differences. The other involves constantly scoring company units on risk predictor scales. In either case the goal is a proactive approach to stay one step ahead of potential cyber-threats.

As companies look to create their Continuous Monitoring systems, concerns naturally arise about budget. While building a Continuous Monitoring system can involve a large capital investment, in most cases companies already possess the needed technology but are not using it to its full potential in the current state. That along with being able to cater to different levels of security depending on need, are methods to ensure that budget is an obstacle that can be overcome to ensure that Continuous Monitoring becomes commonplace in the world of IT.

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