What Is Continuous Monitoring? Benefits & Best Practices

December 1, 2022

 

In any organization, all the processes of the organization must be subjected to strict scrutiny and transparency. Such ensures that the organization thrives in all its facets. However, notwithstanding how critical it is that transparency is guaranteed, the members of many organizations hardly ever give it the seriousness it deserves.

One of the ways an organization can guarantee that its procedures and activities are done with strict adherence to the organization's requirements and the highest standards possible is through continuous monitoring. Here is how that works.

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Understanding Continuous Monitoring

Continuous Monitoring, also known as Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM), is the use of technology that reduces corporate losses and audit expenses. This is accomplished by the ongoing monitoring and auditing of the controls included in applications to eliminate sudden occurrences, cut down on compliance costs, strengthen governance, and ensure that business doesn't stop.

Utilizing efficient methods for continuous auditing and control monitoring of the many facets of the applications involved is another way that Continuous Controls Monitoring may assist in reducing company losses. It assists companies in validating the efficiency of controls intended to reduce risk. It is an essential component of continuous auditing and consists of a collection of automated operations monitoring internal controls.

Continuous monitoring keeps an eye on various processes, including authorizations and access, system configurations, master data, transactions, and business process settings. One of the best ways organizations undertakes Continuous Monitoring is through Monitoring for Threat Alerts. Authenticate.com is one of the best platforms that undertakes this process by providing a mechanism for auditing and monitoring by assigning an verify identity to all entities involved for efficient monitoring.

Benefits of Continuous Monitoring

The regulatory landscape of many jurisdictions demands that continuous monitoring be undertaken for legal compliance and consumer protection. However, continuous monitoring has numerous benefits transcending beyond compliance and legal requirements, as follows:

1. Risk Management

A central aspect of continuous monitoring is identifying the likelihood of risks attaching through the actions of internal entities within an organization or external forces that affect the organization. Continuous monitoring makes it possible to identify risks before they become ripe and address them. Doing so facilitates efficient management of risks in both the short and long term.

turned on monitoring screen

2. Increase in Transparency Within an Organization

By using real-time monitoring, security teams can get an accurate picture of their IT infrastructure operating at any given time. An organization may not recognize crucial occurrences and trends without the capability to automatically gather, standardize, and analyze data from all locations in the network. As such, monitoring allows for transparency in all the goings-on in an organization.

3.Reducing the Likelihood and Instances of Downtime, If Any.

The availability and performance of the system should always be a priority for those in charge of IT operations (ITOps). ITOps can respond more rapidly to application performance problems and correct mistakes with continuous monitoring, which enables them to do so before the errors result in service disruptions that harm consumers.

Tips on Implementing Continuous Monitoring Effectively

To help IT departments efficiently monitor network traffic, identify abnormalities or suspicious patterns of activity, and derive actionable insights, software developers have an obligation to design powerful and flexible solutions. There are five main phases to implementing a software system for continuous monitoring:

ITOps must first define the scope of their continuous monitoring deployment before deploying the system. After doing so, it is important to classify the assets to protect into categories according to how vulnerable they are and how much damage might result from a hack. This is the substance of risk assessment. The security measures implemented on assets with a higher risk profile will be more stringent than those implemented on assets with a lower risk profile, and vice versa.

After conducting a thorough risk analysis, the IT department must decide which controls will be used to safeguard various IT resources. Passwords and other authentication methods, firewalls, anti-virus software, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and encryption measures are all examples of appropriate security controls.

IT management may begin gathering data from security control applications by configuring a continuous monitoring software solution as they coordinate the required security policies to safeguard critical information assets.

Log aggregation is a feature of continuous monitoring software that compiles log files from all networked programs, including those responsible for securing data. Log files record every action the program takes, from identifying security risks to recording vital operational data.

graphs of performance analytics on a laptop screen

Continuous monitoring is not just meant to collect data from the whole IT infrastructure. With log aggregation centralizing millions of data points daily, information must be continuously evaluated to ascertain whether or not there are security, operational, or business concerns that demand the attention of a human analyst.

Today, many IT departments use big data analytics tools, such as AI and ML, to sift through mountains of log data in search of anomalies.

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Conclusion

Continuous Monitoring is an essential part of any organization’s management processes. As indicated above, continuous monitoring has broad advantages in risk assessment, increasing transparency, and reducing the likelihood of downtime, aside from compliance with regulations. As such, it is essential to ensure that continuous monitoring is regularly undertaken to realize these benefits.

 

 

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