Continuous Monitoring: How It Works & How To Get Started

Adding a new component to the system inside the authorization boundary that doesn’t substantially change the risk posture. Changes to some aspect of our external system boundary, such as ports, that don’t change the risk posture. Improving our implementations in excess of the minimum requirements described in our SSP control descriptions. Assessing changed controls on an ad hoc basis as requested by the AOs for any changes made to the system by the It may become necessary to collect additional information to clarify or supplement existing monitoring data.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

There is a need to have a better understanding of the implementation and use of these controls, rather than worrying about the number of them. In order for continuous monitoring to work in real-time and at the scale TPRM requires, much of the process needs to be automated. And different products on the market offer different benefits and strengths, so there’s no easy answer for which to go with. She’s devoted to assisting customers in getting the most out of application performance monitoring tools. In the DevOps and IT operations lifecycles, Continuous Monitoring is a mechanism for monitoring and identifying compliance and security risks. Continuous monitoring and observability can be regarded as the DevOps pipeline’s final phase.

What is Continuous Monitoring?

He is working on his doctorate degree in information technology, focusing on the intersection of cybersecurity and innovation. The thresholds and timing have to be set by the organization’s leadership and by that of the overarching governing agency body. After the data were collected and reviewed, a comparison table was created to show how many control types were used and how many were not used. A high-level estimate was made from these data of the effectiveness at total coverage of the currently offered automated solution. Implementing continuous monitoring can give you the knowledge you need to stay on guard against all new threats that arise.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

Gain a competitive edge as an active informed professional in information systems, cybersecurity and business. ISACA® membership offers you FREE or discounted access to new knowledge, tools and training. Members can also earn up to 72 or more FREE CPE credit hours each year toward advancing your expertise and maintaining your certifications. Companies have to continuously work on implementing updated security measures and identify the loopholes in the existing measures which may occur because of some unexpected changes to firmware, software and even hardware. Don’t miss the top customer experience and digital experience conference of the year — live in Austin, Texas May 10-12. CMSWire’s customer experience channel gathers the latest news, advice and analysis about the evolving landscape of customer-first marketing, commerce and digital experience design.

What Is Continuous Monitoring?

Yet, there is no perfect guideline to ensure you strike the ideal balance between collecting data and overwhelming the infrastructure. If after the first sprint, you realize you overwhelmed the infrastructure, adjust accordingly. Prior to beginning the assessment activities, expectations should be appropriately set through the development of a security assessment plan . Preparatory activities should be planned together, by the organization undergoing the assessment and the provider conducting the assessment, to limit any unexpected issues and to gain a clear understanding of the level of effort required. The security controls implemented and documented in the previous steps are essential components for conducting an effective assessment.

These steps ensure transparency, maintain accountability, and can be used to track growing threats and trends that develop. Once technology flags an issue, humans on the TPRM team can step in to better weigh how serious the issue is and determine the best steps to take to address it. Doing all this the moment a risk arises can vastly reduce the chances of a serious cyberattack, breach, or other catastrophes. An extensive range of regulatory, data privacy, and Sarbanes Oxley compliance solutions and industry-specific compliance solutions. Lastly, but most importantly, make sure to conduct regular inventory checks of your network and also to identify the assets that need any maintenance or patch updates.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

Determine the process frequencies in order to conduct the tests at a point in time close to when the transactions or processes occur. Identify the control objectives and key assurance assertions for each control objective. Digital Trust World Conference Expand your knowledge, grow your network and earn CPEs while advancing digital trust. What We Offer Benefit from transformative products, services and knowledge designed for individuals and enterprises. She currently works for a university as a technical trainer and documentation specialist.

Information Security Continuous Monitoring Reference

Equally important is ensuring that everyone who needs access to monitoring data and insights has that access, because it’s hard to react in real time when monitoring data is not visible to everyone. David Vohradsky, CGEIT, CRISC, is an independent consultant with more than 30 years of experience in the areas of applications development, program management and information risk management. He has previously held senior-level management and consulting positions with Protiviti Inc., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NSW State Government, Macquarie Bank, and Tata Consultancy Services. The selection of the correct tools and strategies is the real challenge, because the importance of each tool and its specific effectiveness is different for each company. For government organizations, risk management is very different from that of a private company. The rumors about the undue complexity of continuous monitoring implementation are actually based on misunderstandings of the NIST’s mention of over 800 controls.

Technology today has become an integral part of all business processes, but the ever-increasing threats to cybersecurity have given rise to the importance of a foolproof Continuous Monitoring Program. The National Institute of Standards and Technology introduced a six-step process for the Risk Management Framework , and Continuous Monitoring is one of those 6 steps. Continuous Monitoring helps management to review business processes 24/7 to see if the performance, effectiveness and efficiency are achieving the anticipated targets, or if there is something deviating from the intended targets. The truth is that the most challenging part of continuous monitoring is not being overwhelmed by useless metrics and alerts.

  • Common control providers should also use the organizational plan as a base for the control set’s continuous monitoring strategy.
  • The thresholds and timing have to be set by the organization’s leadership and by that of the overarching governing agency body.
  • Today the CMSWire community consists of over 5 million influential customer experience, digital experience and customer service leaders, the majority of whom are based in North America and employed by medium to large organizations.
  • Continuous control monitoring is possible only when control testing can be fully automated.

Your threat priority list also helps you determine your response to an eventual attack. A compliance specialist can then create tests with pass/fail parameters and schedule them to perform at timed intervals. Systems for compliance operations make it easier to build up automation for managing alerts, communicating, looking into, and fixing control flaws. performs quarterly security policy and account reviews to satisty various AC, AU and CM controls.

A Practical Approach to Continuous Control Monitoring

Working from this model would be able to show organizations which areas are being continuously monitored and which areas still need to be tracked the traditional way. Though the promise of ISCM is great, there are many challenges to overcome to realize complete implementation. The only way to overcome those challenges is to get started on implementing ISCM and to share the lessons learned with the cybersecurity community. The primary literature studied for this research on ISCM was developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology . A combination of the risk management framework, control set and the continuous monitoring implementation guidance can be used to set up a federally accepted continuous monitoring plan. Continuous monitoring software tools incorporate a feature called log aggregation that collects log files from applications deployed on the network, including the security applications that are in place to protect information assets.

With the help of SRS technology, you can increase your security without adding more work to your plate. Be smart about figuring out what you need from a continuous monitoring solution and how you implement it, and it can be a powerful tool to make your organization safer. For one thing, you need to think through how to address each issue your continuous monitoring program helps you identify. What steps will you take when a vulnerability is revealed to reduce your risk? In addition, you want to identify any gaps in what the product monitors and your organization’s needs.

steps to implement continuous monitoring

This task ensures that the system developers have planned for changes that will happen to a system over time throughout the life of the information system. To be effective, the organization should develop an organizational continuous monitoring program that monitors security controls in an ongoing manner to ensure that they remain effective across the enterprise. Common control providers should also use the organizational plan as a base for the control set’s continuous monitoring strategy. To be most effective, this plan should be developed early in the system’s development life cycle, normally in the design phase or the COTS procurement process. System development decisions should be based on the overall cost of developing and maintaining the system over time.

Benefits of continuous monitoring

The team-based approach to incident handling ensures that all parties are informed and enables incidents to be closed as quickly as possible. This page documents policies and procedures related to continuous monitoring. It’s adapted from the Continuous Monitoring Strategy Guide available from FedRAMP. So, identify where continuous monitoring will offer the greatest benefit for your organization, and focus your efforts on that context. The collection and analysis of data in real time, as opposed to analyzing data after it has been collected or performing periodic audits. Certificates Choose from a variety of certificates to prove your understanding of key concepts and principles in specific information systems and cybersecurity fields.


Impromptu control testing is most likely to leave holes in the organization’s control management, cause duplicate effort, and incur unforeseen costs. The effectiveness of’s continuous monitoring capability supports ongoing authorization and reauthorization decisions. Security-related information collected during continuous monitoring is used to make updates to the security authorization package. Updated documents provide evidence that FedRAMP baseline security controls continue to safeguard the system as originally planned. Continuous monitoring eliminates the time delay between when an IT incident first materializes and when it is reported to the incident response team, enabling a more timely response to security threats or operational issues. With access to real-time security intelligence, incident response teams can immediately work to minimize damage and restore systems when a breach occurs.

It gives feedback on what’s going wrong, allowing the appropriate individuals to get to work on fixing the problem as quickly as feasible. Pay close attention to the encryption status in your network, especially with imported data. If this isn’t viable, create encryption policies for data in motion and at rest.

To make sure that your employees are well-equipped to respond to the most challenging situations, it is recommended to design collaborative workshops where business and technical users work together to respond to fire drill situations. If your employees are well aware of cyber threats and cybersecurity practices, there is a greater chance of them regularly updating their systems and applications, and in the process strengthening your overall cybersecurity. You can also create code templates that have been approved by the security team so that developers face minimal security interference. Cybersecurity monitoring might sound simple, but its implementation depends greatly on the organization. The larger the organization, the more complex its IT infrastructure, and the broader the CCM solution will be.

Why Choose Intone Continuous Control Monitoring (iCCM)?

Organizations are unable to recognize, resolve, or comprehend critical insights on specific hazards due to a lack of continuous monitoring. After identifying the most critical systems, the monitoring scope should identify and include the most important metrics and events. For example, you continuous monitoring development background may prioritize application errors or include performance-related events and metrics. You may have to decide between capturing firewall configuration change events or blocked traffic details. Similarly, you may need to find what capacity-related problems on your servers are most critical.