There are two complementary objectives of any cybersecurity operation. Tools both automated and human must be in place to monitor network systems, scan for vulnerabilities and predict threats. Additionally, reaction measures must be available should your data come under attack in spite of your best efforts. 

A fully realized cybersecurity landscape will contain a delicate balance of both, but how does your IT group know how well-prepared you actually are? Implementing a security maturity model can assist you in gaining the insights you need in order to understand what improvements your team should make in your operations.

What is a Capability Maturity Modeling?

Organizations use the capability modeling (CMM security) process to formally assess and improve their security mechanisms and procedures. The more efficiently the indicated characteristics are increasingly serving to meet stated security objectives, the more mature the operation is said to be. To that end, all processes in the CMM model should be as thorough, constantly improving, repeatable and as automated as possible.

Network Security Levels

In the capability security maturity model (CMM), five distinct security levels have been defined. Each represents a different stage of network security processes:

  • Level 1: Initial. Processes are unorganized and informal. Rather than being proactive, they are reactive only. They cannot be repeated, measured or scaled.
  • Level 2: Repeatable. Although a preliminary structure has been implemented and some aspects have been defined and documented, discipline is lax and only some processes can be repeated.
  • Level 3: Defined. All processes have been standardized, documented and defined.
  • Level 4: Managed. With measurable processes up and running, the organization can now test, refine, modify and improve procedures.
  • Level 5: Optimizing. Processes are now automated and constantly monitored, analyzed and updated for optimization.

As computer technology and business priorities change, even organizations with the most robust security posture may find that they are slipping down to a lower tier. For that reason, it is important to regularly conduct an assessment of how well your cyber landscape is addressing your ongoing internal and external security needs.

Why Should Your Company Use An Information Security Maturity Model?

The key benefit of employing a cybersecurity maturity model is that it provides a way to help you define and identify weaknesses in the ways you keep your networks, website, hardware and software and other tools secure from external and internal threat. An additional upside to this framework is that it will provide a path to measurement tools and strategies that will be invaluable as you work to take your business security to the next level. Paying attention to these indicators will enable you to plan ahead, making full integration into your company’s security culture a reality.

What is the NIST Cybersecurity Maturity Model

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is committed to furnishing businesses with information about the implementation of practical cybersecurity techniques and promoting program excellence. Their goal is to assist U.S. organizations in optimizing their safety from outside and internal threats. Since the issue of threat actors and cyber crime remains a critical one for enterprises of all sizes, it is clear that frameworks, including the information security maturity model and security incident categories, should set the standard that will make improvement possible.