How to Perform an Information Security Gap Analysis

By: Jav Zeb Iqbal.
Last Updated: August 17, 2021.

It is an evolving world. Everything is on a seemingly endless evolution—new technology crops in daily life, changing human life for good.

It is good to embrace the technological evolution we are witnessing today to reap from the heavy basket of benefits it brings forth.

However, while at it, we should also look from both angles. There is a dark side of this evolution that we ought to address with a lot of weight. 

As technology advances, network security threats are also increasing. As a result, new and advanced cybersecurity threats are coming up. The evolution presents IT experts, webmasters, bloggers, users, and all players in the IT landscape with a serious challenge. 

The cybersecurity solutions that worked for you yesterday might not work for you today. Similarly, the security challenges you were shielding your organization from may not even exist today. Instead, new challenges might have come up.

To Deal with such challenges, you need to perform an information security gap analysis.

What is an information security gap analysis?

A security gap analysis refers to the procedure or process of conducting an in-depth review of the existing security state’s general posture.

The outcomes of a proper security gap analysis will make known the cybersecurity risks your organization faces. 

One thing that must come up clearly in your security gap analysis is the SSL certificate. This will ensure encryption of the in-transit data between the web browser and the client-server. From the gap analysis, you will learn which SSL certificate type will be perfect for your site. 

If your website has multiple first-level subdomains, then you might consider buying the cheap yet premium Comodo SSL wildcard certificate. With this single cert, you can secure the chosen primary domain and an unlimited number of first-level subdomains under it. You will not know the kind of certificate you must buy unless you perform the cybersecurity gap analysis. 

Failure to conduct information security gap analyses will make your networks and digital resources susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. Therefore, you must regularly perform a security gap analysis considering the high costs of a successful breach to your cybersecurity systems. 

Performing a security gap analysis requires that you follow a specific procedure. Check the following section to learn more about the steps involved in completing a security gap analysis. 

Processes of a security gap analysis

    1. Identify A Specific Industry Standard Security Framework

The first step to performing an information security gap analysis is selecting a specific industry-standard framework. The benefit or reason for doing this is to get a baseline of best practices to determine your security posture. 

One of the most common frameworks you can work with is the ISO/IEC – 27002 standard. The framework will provide you with crucial guiding principles and best practices of data security. The framework covers critical elements such as access controls, risk assessments, and physical security, among many others. 

It will help if you compare your underlying security policies and the ISO/IEC – 27002 standards. On this point, I will highly recommend that you use cybersecurity platforms to find out if your existing security policies and practices comply with the underlying frameworks and standards. 

This is because cybersecurity platforms use automated tools that are more likely to discover gaps hard for humans to find.

The automated tools will reveal the security policies you adhere to, some
outdated guidelines that you will have to update and implement the missing
frameworks. 

    2. Evaluate your Employees and Processes

Your employees are directly involved with the cybersecurity tools, and they know a lot about what is going on. Therefore, one perfect way to learn more about your organization’s key objectives is by interviewing your staff. 

Your IT team should interview all stakeholders within your organization and relevant departments, such as the human resource and legal departments. Do not have to interview all the employees.

You can target the leadership teams, departmental heads, security administrators, and the IT staff. 

In addition to interviewing the key stakeholders, you should also analyze all processes. Here, your IT experts should collect all relevant facts and information about your IT systems, security policies, and application usage. 

The goal of doing all this is to discover, as much as possible, the surrounding environment of your IT systems, to understand which security policies are already operational, where your organization will be in the future as far as security is concerned. 

As you already know, human error is one of the leading causes of some of the most devastating cybersecurity threats. This step will help you address human behavior, which will help manage data threats.

   3. Gather all Relevant Data

The next stage of performing an information security gap analysis is gathering all the relevant data.

The primary objective of collecting data is to clearly understand how well the current security strategy you have in place operates within the technical architecture. In this step, you compare your controls to the best security practices such as ISO 27002 and NIST 800-53, 

This step will help you understand how your organization will hold up if a security breach occurs. In addition, it helps to identify the strength and weaknesses of your cybersecurity tools, policies, and strategies. 

You do not have to analyze every component or element within your cybersecurity environment. To uncover the weaknesses and gaps in the vulnerabilities that might exist in your system, you should take a sample of your network servers, device, or application and compare them to the existing frameworks

   4. Information Gap Analysis Stage

The last step is performing a detailed gap analysis. This step will help you identify the relevance of your security processes and controls to your cybersecurity strategy.

Gap analysis is usually a complex step that might require you to outsource a third party with the relevant skills and expertise. The advantage of outsourcing an expert to do the task for you is that they already know the best policies and practices that have already worked in other industries.

Furthermore, you can choose to work with a cybersecurity platform. Cybersecurity platforms work well because they automatically correlate the findings across multiple factors to create a perfect security profile showing your strengths and weaknesses. 

Conclusion

Cybersecurity threats are increasing each day. Organizations, individuals, and businesses should have a clear picture of their cybersecurity posture. Performing an information security gap analysis will help you uncover some of the weaknesses and strengths of your cybersecurity strategy.

However, to have a perfect information gap security analysis, you must know some security best practices, policies, controls, and frameworks. You must also be aware of the procedure that you will follow when conducting the security gap analysis.

This article discusses the process you must follow when doing a security gap analysis. 

 

Jav Zeb is a young and spirited British author with expertise in tutorial writing and product reviewing. She has completed AAT from the London School of Business and Finance, Birmingham. Interests: Drawing, Painting, Blog Writing, Interior Decor, and Reading. Living in: Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. You may reach her at [email protected].

 

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Last Updated By on August 16th, 2021 in Learning

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