Continuous Threat Exposure Management Program

by | Dec 22, 2022

Security organizations and the threat exposure challenge 

Digital transformation and technological advancements continue to shape the modern business landscape. This trend introduces increasing challenges in security organizations in managing their threat exposure. One major challenge is the expanding attack surface that organizations must protect. With the proliferation of new technologies, business initiatives, and touchpoints with external partners and suppliers, it can be difficult for security teams to keep up and gain the required visibility into the growing number of potential vulnerabilities and threats. 

Another challenge is maintaining a dynamic and current security posture over time. As new threats emerge and existing vulnerabilities are addressed, security teams must be able to adapt and respond quickly to ensure that their systems and data are protected. This can be especially difficult when managing large, complex infrastructures with multiple stakeholders and varying priorities. In addition, with limited time and resources, security teams struggle to identify and prioritize critical threats and allocate resources accordingly. This can get even more difficult without a clear understanding of the potential impact of different threats and the resources required to address them. 

Continuous Threat Exposure Management 

Gartner’s Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) program is a new approach to achieving lasting and robust cyber resilience. CTEM addresses the limitations of traditional risk management frameworks by proactively monitoring, evaluating and mitigating vulnerabilities and security gaps. The CTEM program expands and refines the existing Threat Exposure Management approach, aiming to reduce threat exposure through improved collaboration and validation. It addresses a comprehensive range of cyber resilience aspects and is designed to avoid communication gaps between departments.  

The five Principles of CTEM 

CTEM is based on five principles: scoping, discovery, prioritization, validation, and mobilization. By following these principles, organizations can better protect themselves from potential attacks: 

The first principle of CTEM is scoping. This involves defining the scope of the CTEM program, based on business risk and potential impact. This may include other than the initial scoping for internal on-prem assets, also external or SaaS-based business applications, and hosts. 

Once you define the program’s scope, the next step is discovery. This involves identifying the assets and vulnerabilities within the program’s scope and creating an inventory of these items. This can be done through a variety of methods, including network scans, penetration testing, and vulnerability assessments. 

Once you identify the assets and vulnerabilities, the next step is prioritization. This involves ranking the identified vulnerabilities, taking into account factors like exploit prevalence, available controls, mitigation options, and business criticality. By prioritizing the vulnerabilities, organizations can focus their efforts on the most critical assets and areas first, reducing their overall risk. 

Once you prioritize the vulnerabilities, the next step is validation. This involves verifying that the vulnerabilities have been properly identified and ranked and that the remediation efforts are effective. This step involves continuous assessment and validation of both security configurations and the suggested remediation paths. 

The final step in the CTEM process is mobilization. This involves implementing both manual and automated remediation efforts and continually refine and improve the security posture with the right teams and procedures. This step requires organizations to define communication standards (information requirements) and cross-team approval workflows. It also requires having business leaders on board and involved. 

Optimize your Security Posture  

By following these five principles, organizations can effectively manage their security posture and reduce the likelihood of a breach by continuously monitoring and improving the security posture rather than simply reacting to potential threats after they have occurred. 

Implementing a CTEM program requires a dedicated team of security professionals with the skills and expertise to manage the program effectively. In addition, organizations implementing a CTEM program should also have the necessary tools and technologies to support the program. This may include network scanning tools, penetration testing tools, and vulnerability management tools. 

A consolidated security platform is the answer 

A consolidated security platform brings together the tools and technologies needed for CTEM in a single, integrated solution. This can also help reduce the time and effort needed to manage the program and ensure that the organization’s security posture is continuously improved. By using a single consolidated platform, such as Veriti’s Unified Security Posture Management solution, organizations can more easily facilitate cross-team collaboration between security and IT teams, ensuring that all relevant parties are aware of potential threats and can work together to mitigate them. 

Veriti’s Unified Security Posture Management Platform 

In the validation stage of CTEM, Veriti’s solution can help by continuously monitoring security solutions configurations and usage. Once correlated with threat intelligence feeds, security logs, and sensor telemetries, Veriti generates actionable insights, exposing security gaps and misconfigurations that hinder the organizations’ security posture way before business applications are affected.   

In the mobilization stage of CTEM, it is essential to mitigate potential threats once they have been identified and validated. Veriti’s solution can help with this by providing actionable insights and recommendations for optimizing the organization’s security posture. By integrating CTEM with organizational-level remediation workflows, organizations can ensure that the necessary cross-team collaboration takes place and that the required actions are taken to mitigate potential threats. 

Achieve cyber resiliency  

Organizations seek ways to effectively monitor and mitigate vulnerabilities in their systems as the importance of threat exposure management grows. Veriti’s offering helps organizations better protect their environments against a range of threats and stay ahead of best practices. Continuously monitoring and managing threat exposure allows organizations to proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, improving their overall security posture and reducing risk of a successful attack. This helps organizations achieve cyber resilience and navigate the constantly evolving threat landscape with confidence.

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