Information security maturity: 5 Steps to Excellence

Companies maintain and guarantee the evolution of their business model by securing their IT systems. As we all know, IT systems are constantly exposed to risks and vulnerabilities of different nature that affect the development of the entire organization. Similarly, markets themselves demand security, speed and friendliness of the companies’ computing resources.

In this sense, it’s pretty clear the need for an information security maturity model that enlighten us on compliance and its procedures. Moreover, to ensure, maintain and protect the IT assets; CIOs and their teams must fully know the degree of their information security maturity so to apply the necessary plans to reach optimal levels on security. Let’s then know what are they.

 

Information security maturity models

First of all, models on information security maturity follow standardized measures. Thanks to them, companies establish their levels in both, degree of development and strengths of information security measures.  Also, these models help us to make adjustments to achieve those aspired goals in digital security.

Of course, achieving any model on information security maturity involve the implementation of a Security Management System which; on the other hand, is also complex due to the migrations that creating a Security System (ISMS) demands.

Moreover, most models of information security maturity set very specific control objectives. Thanks to them we find the recommendations to help organizations to adapt the security policies for their IT assets. For information purposes, we name some of them:

  • ISM3
  • IBM-ISF
  • NIST CSEAT IT SMM
  • Gartner’s Security Model
  • SUNY ISI
  • SSE-CMM
  • CERT/CSO
  • CSMM

For the purposes of this post, we only focus on the similarities that these standards share. Thus, we summarize in 5 levels the main features that determine the information security maturity. Like this, you can give a quick diagnose to your business’ information security maturity, and set your new goals in digital security:

 

Level 1.  Blind trusting

This is the initial or startup stage which, according to the Gartner’s Security Model, ranks companies at the 25% of full maturity. Also, this level suggests the establishment of several documents with clear guidelines and directions for employees to ensure information security. It is a very general stage that focuses in the security of physical infrastructure.

 

Level 2. Repeatable

At this stage, companies locates at 75% of their information security maturity. The main indicators of this stage are the critical review of their security status; and the development of formal security policies. If there are no security team assigned, then the organization proceeds to assign it.  In addition, physical security acquires some level of confidence, but there isn’t any documentation that provide guidance.

 

Level 3 Defined

Again, Gartner places these companies in their 95% of full maturity. Strategic security programs start and also, they may also display the results of the previous stages. More consistent IT security procedures are promoted, same as the introduction of standard process to ensure the company’s real data.

 

Level 4. Managed

This level also receives the name of safety tests level, and indicates 100% of maturity of the information security. It ensures that employees take corrective actions aimed to identify and mitigate weaknesses in the infrastructure. It also establishes measurable quality objectives and the framing of security threats.

 

Level 5. Maintenance

At this level or stage, organizations should be able to handle all the incidents related to information security. This level ensures that all policies and procedures perform and execute appropriate IT security levels.  Improvements in information security represent significant saving in resources.

Again, these 5 levels to determine the information security maturity are merely informative; this means that there isn’t a single model to follow. In other words, they are rather a quick guide to diagnose your current situation regarding your information security maturity which we strongly recommend to delve into with us; so you seamless progress towards excellence in digital security. while making your company a benchmark institution among your competitors in the market.

 

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