Security ratings may seem simple — they provide you with an easy-to-understand assessment of your security posture, and the cybersecurity of other organizations, like vendors and suppliers.
However, security ratings can be used for many different use cases, from managing your digital supply chain to sniffing out shadow it. Read on for a list of uses for ratings you may not have considered.
12 use cases for SecurityScorecard
1. Supply chain risk management
There are a number of risks to the digital supply chain. The third-party companies in your supply chain aren’t your employees; they’re often not on-site, and you can’t force compliance the way you can with employees. This is cause for concern; data breaches caused by third-parties amplify the cost of a data breach by an average of $207,411, according to the Ponemon Institute’s latest Cost of a Data Breach report. Vendor information security controls are more difficult to verify (if you’re using questionnaires, you may just have to take your vendors’ word where security is involved), take longer to identify, and may take a longer time to correct. Take the SolarWinds attack last year, in which criminals targeted SolarWinds, using the IT company to send out hacked code to thousands of customers, including U.S. government agencies.
SecurityScorecard’s ratings give you visibility across your vendor ecosystem, allowing you to see each vendor’s security posture at a glance. Even when you’re not actively looking at a vendor’s score, our platform allows you to set automated alerts, so that your team is notified when one of your suppliers suffers a breach or otherwise falls out of compliance. This gives you the ability to enforce your security policies (rather than taking vendors’ word on their security control) and maintain your business continuity even if a supplier is attacked.
2. Incident response automation
If your organization suffers a breach of security, your team has to be ready to spring into action. Incidents can last for a long time; Ponemon found that attackers can be in a system for an average of 280 days. The longer they’re in your network, the more damage they can do.
SecurityScorecard continuously monitors for risks that impact your IP reputation, providing real-time visibility and actionable alerts. Our platform alerts you to breaches, so you can take action and our The Rule Builder feature allows you to customize your alert thresholds and cut off access to vulnerable vendors if it seems like an attacker is using a third party to compromise your network and data.
3. Security readiness
Maintaining security readiness can be a challenge for an organization. Threats and attacks are constantly evolving, and the changing threat landscape can be difficult to keep up with.
Security Scorecard’s platform gives you an up-to-the-moment look at your risk and the risk of your extended enterprise.
Some of the factors we monitor include patching cadence, so you know when old software hasn’t been updated, old and improperly configured FTP that may be exposing unencrypted data to the internet, open ports, and unauthorized remote desktop services. We also monitor your IP and the IPs of your vendors for malware and phishing attacks. If a breach or credentials are compromised is detected, you’ll be alerted.
Onboarding vendors and doing your due diligence can be a time-consuming and often painful process for everyone involved. Questionnaires can be particularly tedious; vendors are sent hundreds of questionnaires every year and may simply be cutting and pasting answers into a blank questionnaire. They’re also not particularly helpful for you — even if a questionnaire isn’t copy-pasted policies, they only provide a snapshot of one moment in time and not the whole picture of a company’s security controls.
SecurityScorecard provides a way to continuously monitor vendor controls, be alerted to breaches, and streamline the onboarding process. Atlas, for example, helps pare down onboarding by allowing vendors to upload responses to questionnaires. Atlas’s machine learning then compares their answers to previous questionnaires and the platform’s analytics, verifying responses almost immediately and alerting you to any issues immediately so you can take action and secure your cyber assets.
5. Shadow IT
Technology is easily accessible to most people these days. That’s the good news and the bad news; your workforce may be comfortable with the technology they use to their jobs, but they also might be comfortable enough with technology to download applications and software on their own and run them on your organization’s devices and networks. The system of unauthorized apps and technology running on your systems, or shadow IT, is often exploited by cybercriminals who know that your IT team might not be aware of these apps and that your security protocols aren’t being followed when it comes to logins or encryption.
SecurityScorecard helps your team track down rogue apps and unauthorized software by providing you with reports on Unknown HTTP certificates, domain WordPress sites, and open ports within your organization. Once you can see the shadow IT, you can start confronting the departments who are using it and possibly bringing some of those apps out of the shadow and into the official technology stack.
6. Remote workforce
In the last year, many knowledge workers transitioned to remote work. Because the pandemic forced so many workers home quickly, there wasn’t a lot of time for many companies to plan a secure transition to remote work. This means remote workers are vulnerable to attack through their home internet and their own devices and apps.
Without an IT department in the same facility, endpoints can easily become insecure. SecurityScorecard scans for risks such as outdated browsers and operating systems, as well as malware, leaked credentials, and unpatched VPNs. Having this information at your fingertips means that your team can reach out as soon as a problem with a remote worker is detected.
7. IT Infrastructure hygiene
Yes, attacks happen, but often breaches can be caused by something as simple as a mistake. The number of non-criminal breaches, like cloud leaks, are on the rise. NetDiligence found that claims for staff mistakes have been increasing over the past few years. In fact, misconfigured cloud storage and open security groups were responsible for more than 200 breaches that exposed 30 billion records over the past two years, according to a 2020 report from Accurics, and although they’re not malicious, a single mistake can be costly: Ponemon found that breaches caused by cloud misconfigurations cost more than the average breach by between half a million dollars and $4.41 million.
SecurityScorecard can help you monitor the integrity of your IT infrastructure by keeping tabs on the configuration of your cloud infrastructure, alerting you to outdated browsers and operating systems, and expired FTP services, and weak or expired certificates.
8. Reputational risk monitoring
When your organization suffers a breach, there’s a lot at stake. Finances, data, and your reputation. Once your customer’s data has been compromised, it can be difficult to regain your brand’s integrity.
SecurityScorecard protects your brand by monitoring the Internet for hacker chatter, to see if your company is being discussed. We also help you monitor your networks for leaked data and credentials, and our DNS scans allow you to see if you’re being spoofed and if customers are being directed to sites run by criminals instead of your own site.
9. Security compliance gaps
Maintaining compliance is critical in many industries, and if there’s a gap you want to be sure you find it before you fall out of compliance. SecurityScorecard offers a compliance tab summary of all the regulatory requirements you need for your organization to be compliant.
The platform’s quarterly and yearly risk assessment reports evaluate your organization against your peers and your competitors and offer a comprehensive look at security posture to evaluate your compliance and risk.
10. Investment payback
It can be hard to prove the ROI of your cybersecurity program to your organization’s board. After all, how can you show that a costly breach didn’t happen?
SecurityScorecard lets you show your board how your organization’s security program is. Our board reporting tool shows decision-makers, at a glance, your security posture. Our tools will also help you illustrate the financial impact of a breach.
11. Program validation
The board of directors will often have plenty of questions about their expenditure on cybersecurity. SecurityScorcard’s board reporting tool will allow you to answer questions about what was done to mitigate the possibility of a breach, your company’s current risk status, and your risk score versus those of your competitors.
12. Vendor analysis
Analyzing your vendor’s controls and keeping on top of any changes in their security can be a headache for any organization. SecurityScorecard allows your team to continuously monitor vendor controls and will alert you instantly if a vendor is breached. The sooner you know about a breach, the sooner you can protect your own systems and data.