It's a brave new world we live in. Each month seems to bring new challenges for businesses. As a business owner or executive, you may be asking questions like, "How can we maintain or restore healthy cash flow?" or "Do we have sufficient projects in the pipeline to maintain revenues and keep our workforce gainfully employed?" Priorities are competing for your attention, but I want to encourage you to not lose sight of the need to assess the current state of your security maturity.

Cybersecurity is important

Cybersecurity is a business risk — not simply an IT risk as it's been historically viewed. Businesses rely on technology and cloud service providers in order to enable remote workforces and deliver services and products to the market. Technology is the foundation your business runs on, and gaps in security can leave your company standing on unstable ground.

Cyber criminals can exploit vulnerabilities to access sensitive data, damage information systems, and upset business operations. A cybersecurity breach can lead to lost data, loss of productivity or income, thousands of dollars or more spent on IT infrastructure repair, reputation damage, and lawsuits.

Cybersecurity guards against these threats to your business. Organizations should proactively assess their security maturity, identify weak points, and develop strategies to manage their risk.

Security Maturity: Now Where How

Let's start with a simple Now Where How model, with a focus on gaining a solid understanding of where your company is "Now" when it comes to security.

Start by asking several crucial questions to assess the maturity of your organization's cybersecurity:

  • What (if any) security and/or compliance expectations do your customers or investors have?
  • Does your business currently operate under any regulatory requirements (e.g., HIPAA, PCI DSS, CCPA)?
  • Do you significantly leverage third-party service providers for IT infrastructure, support, and other crucial business areas?
  • Have you ever assessed your business's current security maturity level?
  • Does your business have an incident response plan, business continuity plan, or information security program?

Think about where your company is now, where you want to be (or should be), and what it will take to get you there.

Based on your responses to these questions, you can gain a better overall understanding of your organization's security posture — like completing the border of a puzzle. Performing internal cybersecurity environment and controls assessments will help your organization fill in the puzzle and give you a clearer image of what your organization's current maturity level is. You can also have security maturity assessments performed externally by our Delap cybersecurity team.

The Capability Maturity Model

One security maturity model that you can use to rate your security readiness is the capability maturity model. The following visual is an outline of the different security maturity levels.

Capability Maturity Model: Maturity Level 1: Initial - unpredictable and reactive processes. Work gets completed but is often delivered late and/or over budget. Maturity Level 2: Managed - managed processes at the project level. Projects are planned, performed, measured, and controlled. Maturity Level 3: Defined - Proactive, rather than reactive processes. Company-wide security standards provide clear guidance across projects, programs, and departments. Maturity Level 4: Quantitatively Managed - Measured and controlled processes. Company is data-driven with a focus on quantitative performance improvement goals that align with stakeholder interests. Maturity Level 5: Optimizing - Stable and flexible processes. The company is focused on continuous improvement and is able to pivot and respond to opportunities and threats.

Many organizations will find themselves in a maturity level 1 or 2. This isn't a bad thing, as long as you take the visibility you've gained during your assessment. Use that visibility and create a plan to move your security program forward in a meaningful way that not only manages risk better but creates additional value for your organization.

Our team of cybersecurity professionals is always ready to discuss your organizational challenges and projects. We're here to assist you with achieving performance security!