6 Stages of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Every Business Should Know About

According to the cost of a data breach report, the average cost of a data breach is 3.86 million. What is even more frightening is that this is not even the worst part. The same report also suggests that a data breach incident can go undetected for 280 days. Yes, you read that right, 280 days.

Despite these alarming numbers, very few businesses do anything to prevent data breaches. Most businesses lack an incident response plan. Very few of them invest in cybersecurity training and awareness programs. Some even use aging hardware and software with a lot of software bugs and security vulnerabilities. Buy VPS server and upgrade your hardware and update your software or switch to a secure alternative. 

A meager percentage of companies hold their vendors accountable and make them comply with regulations. All of which leaves gaps that cybercriminals exploit and fulfill their malicious designs. So, how can you fix this issue? By implementing a cybersecurity maturity model in your organization. In this article, you will learn about the six stages of cybersecurity maturity businesses should know about.

Why Implement Cybersecurity Maturity Model?

The main purpose of the cybersecurity culture maturity model is to shed light on the current state of security operations. It gives you a direction and tells you about the next stage and how to get there. Additionally, it highlights focus areas in which you can divert all your energies to move to the next stage smoothly.

Dimensions of Cybersecurity Maturity Model

There are six dimensions of the cybersecurity maturity model.

  • Vision
  • Operating model 
  • Data and technology 
  • Engineering and operations
  • Change management and people 
  • Enablement

6 Stages of Cybersecurity Maturity Model

There are six stages involved in the cybersecurity maturity model.

  1. Inactive

Most security analytics projects are driven by sporadic business and individual needs. That is why most businesses ignore the need for long-term security planning and a roadmap. These sporadic activities happen in isolated pockets in your organization due to the lack of an enterprise-wide mechanism. 

If your analytics projects are still running in the testing environments, you might be in the inactive stage. At this stage, any step you take will have an instant impact but on the flip side, you still have a long way to go to reach cybersecurity maturity. 

  • Aware

This stage is also known as the exploring stage. At this stage, your organization might still be dependent on temporary processes and analytical insights reporting. Decision-makers might consider the feasibility and impact of every step they ever take on a superficial level during this stage.

Even though the company is aware of the advantages of data-driven security analytics and what they need to do to support security analytics but has not created a strategy or methodology to make it possible. 

Bruno Haring sums it up brilliantly when he said, “People have started considering security as a business risk. Even the board members look at security from the same perspective and are interested in doing something about it, which is good news.”

  • Active

When your company graduates from the awareness stage to the active stage, security analytics starts to become an integral part of your daily routines. Your cybersecurity team will identify security analytics use cases that go beyond temporary requests. You will start to see a difference as these applications are more strategic and focused in nature. This will go a long way in enhancing your daily operations and help you make the right decisions at the right time.

Even the reports you create and submit will look beyond statistics and focus more on answering strategic questions. You cannot expect high stakeholder engagement during this stage as it would be low to moderate at this stage. The good thing is that you can predict future risks and future model states, thanks to insights. In short, you start to move in the right direction and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Operational

Once your organization reaches this stage, they are in a much better place as data analytics might have significantly enhanced their understanding. Stakeholders will start to use daily operations to support their decision-making. Security analytics projects might be running in different departments and new insights might be coming out of these projects but due to poor integration, organizations fail to take full advantage of that useful insights.

  • Systemic

As the organization moves from the operational to the systemic stage, data analytics becomes the focus of attention throughout the organization. From day-to-day operation, it will become a strategic focus and then become an important part of your business strategy. It is during this stage that you will see higher engagement and commitment from stakeholders for your transformational efforts. In fact, you will also get much-needed support from top-level executives during this stage.

Best of all, everything from security roadmap, to security strategy is aligned with the small-business objectives. Insights will be put to good use to bring improvements throughout the organization. During this stage, organizations should create cross-functional teams so everyone can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge. You do not have to invest in expensive training programs and also save your business from downtime caused by cross-functional team training. Focus on standardizing tools and streamline data collection processes. 

  • Transformational

This is the stage where organizations look to accelerate innovation by adopting new techniques and tools. The core objective of this phase is to use the data available at your disposal to gain a competitive advantage. Since security analytics have been baked into the organization’s fabric, architecture, and infrastructure, it allows security analysts to collect and combine data from different departments to get a holistic view of the threat landscape. This enables them to create comprehensive security models, improve the company’s security posture and detect and respond to threats in a much efficient manner.

Which stage of cybersecurity maturity you are currently at? Let us know in the comments section below.