Security Controls Explained

Security controls are measures put in place to safeguard various types of infrastructure and data that are crucial to a business. A security control is any precaution or preventative mechanism intended to avoid, identify, mitigate, or reduce security risks to real estate, data, computer networks, or other assets.


Data security controls are more crucial than ever now because of the increase in cyberattacks. A Clark School study at the University of Maryland found that cyberattacks now touch one in three Americans in the U.S. on average every 39 seconds, with 43% of these attacks going after micro enterprises. The average cost associated with a data breach in the United States between July 2018 and April 2019 was USD 8.2 million.


Businesses must strengthen their data protection procedures or risk facing fines as a result of the expansion of data privacy rules. Last year, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations of the European Union went into effect. California’s Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect in the United States on January 1, 2020, and numerous other states are presently debating similar legislation.


Strict fines are frequently included in these regulations for businesses that fail to comply. For instance, Facebook recently announced that it expects to pay the U.S. Federal Trade Commission more than USD 3 billion in fines for inadequacies in its data protection practices that resulted in numerous data breaches.


The Types of Security Controls


A number of security measures can be implemented to protect hardware, software, networks, and data against actions and occurrences that might result in loss or harm. Some of them include:



● Physical security measures
 include items like guards, locks, surveillance cameras, biometric access control systems, access control cards, and intrusion detection sensors around data centers.
● Digital security measures
 include firewalls, antivirus software, two-factor authentication, and usernames and passwords.
● Cybersecurity measures
refers to anything particularly created to stop data attacks, such as DDoS mitigation and intrusion prevention systems.
● Cloud security measures
are actions you take in conjunction with a cloud services provider to ensure the appropriate defense for data and workloads are in place. You must adhere to both industry standards and company or business policy security requirements if your organization uses the cloud to operate workloads.

Security Control Framework


Frameworks or standards are used to describe security control systems, along with the procedures and supporting documents that define their implementation and continuing maintenance.


Frameworks give an organization the ability to administer security controls consistently across various asset types using a tried-and-true methodology. The following are some of the most well-known frameworks and standards:


National Institute of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework


A voluntary framework was developed in 2014 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to offer companies advice on how to avoid, recognize, and react to cyberattacks. The evaluation techniques and procedures are used to evaluate the effectiveness, functionality, and results of an organization’s security controls (meeting the security requirements of the organization). To stay up with developments in cybersecurity, the NIST framework is frequently updated.


Center for Internet Security Controls


Every enterprise wishing to thwart cyberattacks should begin by completing the list of high-priority defensive measures that the Center for Internet Security (CIS) has developed. The most typical attack methods noted in the top threat reports served as the basis for the CIS controls, which were created by the SANS Institute and have been approved by a huge community of government and business practitioners.


In order to create their own security framework and IT security policies, organizations can make use of these frameworks or combine them with others. A strong framework guarantees that an organization follows these guidelines:



● Utilizes security controls to enforce IT security regulations.
● Informs users and staff of security best practices.
● Meets compliance standards for the industry.
● Operational effectiveness across security controls is attained.
● Continuously evaluates threats and uses security mechanisms to resolve them.

The strength of a security measure is only as good as its weakest component. Therefore, think about implementing security controls across identity and access management, data, apps, network or server infrastructure, physical security, and security intelligence using many layers of security controls (also referred to as a defense-in-depth strategy).

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