The significance of CIS Control mapping in the 2023 Verizon DBIR

Verizon’s recently released 2023 Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) provides organizations with a comprehensive analysis of the evolving threat landscape and valuable insights into incident types and vulnerabilities. This year, the report includes the mapping of CIS (Center for Internet Security) controls to Verizon’s incident classifications.

CIS Controls mapping

The CIS Controls serve as a starting point for organizations to build their risk assessments and implement safeguards to protect against system intrusions, social engineering attacks, basic web application attacks, miscellaneous errors, and lost and stolen assets—categories that have proven to be critical factors in previous security incidents.

Let’s examine how businesses can leverage this integration to proactively mitigate risks and strengthen their security defenses.

The importance of mapping CIS Controls to Verizon’s incident classifications

The mapping of CIS Controls to Verizon’s incident classifications presents organizations with an opportunity to optimize their security resources by aligning them with real-world security incidents. Organizations should consider conducting a comprehensive audit and risk assessment of the CIS Controls outlined in the DBIR by Verizon.

Instead of solely focusing on meeting the fundamental CIS Controls, organizations can now dive deeper into the analysis of CIS Controls that directly address the areas identified as having the highest impact in the report. By doing so, organizations can enhance their security posture, allocate resources more effectively, and better protect themselves against the most critical threats and vulnerabilities highlighted in the DBIR.

Leveraging CIS Controls to enhance risk assessments and safeguard implementation

The CIS Controls provide guidance on a comprehensive set of security measures that organizations can implement to mitigate risks and protect against various threats and vulnerabilities. Using something like DBIR research evidence to simplify the “why” (as to priorities in the CIS Controls) can help provide focus on the right actions to take.

These controls cover a wide range of critical areas, including data protection, secure configuration of enterprise assets and software, account management, access control management, continuous vulnerability management, email and web browser protection, malware defenses, data recovery, security awareness and skills training, application software security, and incident response management.

Today’s organizations require an extremely well-rounded understanding of their attack surface and a strong understanding of their unique priorities that relate to the controls in securing that attack surface.

Many organizations target a few controls well, making them airtight, but leave holes in a few select other controls. If an organization feels like there is still a lot of work to be done in rounding out their CIS Controls, this mapping between Verizon’s DBIR incident data and the CIS Controls that prevent them is a direct linkage to understand the prevalence of the issues.

This gives security leadership a chance to align their goals they want to reach related to CIS Control application and attach backed up research that states why implementing those controls over others is a priority. If attackers are focusing and breaching organizations through these methods more than others, and those methods fall in these specific controls that prevent them, point the lens at those and figure out what needs to happen to consider the box checked.

By incorporating the actionable list of CIS Controls into their security practices, organizations can proactively assess their security posture. This empowers businesses to evaluate and mitigate risks based on the comprehensive coverage of security controls provided by the CIS framework and make informed decisions about control implementation and fortify their defenses against evolving threats.

The mapping of CIS Controls to incident classifications outlined in the DBIR further enhances organizations’ ability to prioritize their security efforts and address specific incident types and vulnerabilities effectively.

Gaining strategic advantage and operational efficiency

By aligning CIS Controls with incident types highlighted in the DBIR, businesses can optimize resource allocation, budgeting, and planning.

Moreover, the actionable list of CIS Controls helps organizations align their security efforts with industry best practices and standards. The Center for Internet Security has developed these controls as recognized and recommended measures to mitigate various cybersecurity risks. By implementing these controls, organizations demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity and improve their overall security posture.

Promoting a culture of proactive security

The integration of CIS Controls and Verizon’s incident classifications encourages organizations to adopt a proactive security mindset. Instead of waiting for security incidents to occur, businesses can leverage the insights provided by the DBIR to identify potential vulnerabilities and prioritize control implementation accordingly. This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of incidents and breaches, allowing organizations to detect and respond to threats more effectively.

Incorporating the CIS Controls and incident classifications into security awareness and training programs further strengthens an organization’s security culture. By educating employees about the relevance and importance of these controls, businesses can create a workforce that is knowledgeable and proactive in safeguarding sensitive information and assets.

The mapping of CIS Controls to Verizon’s incident classifications in the 2023 DBIR offers organizations a valuable resource to enhance their cybersecurity strategies. By aligning controls with incident types identified in the report, businesses can prioritize their security efforts, assess their risk posture, and implement safeguards to mitigate vulnerabilities. This integration empowers organizations to proactively protect against evolving threats, leveraging the insights provided by Verizon’s extensive research and analysis.

By adopting a targeted and strategic approach to security, businesses can fortify their defenses, reduce the likelihood of incidents and breaches, and build a resilient cybersecurity framework for the future.

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