Government agencies, under continuous risk of cybersecurity threats, must continuously monitor the health and strength of their systems to maintain confidence in their security posture. Are your agency’s deployed security controls resilient to new exploits and attacks? Have your strategies evolved as changes have occurred to your infrastructure? Whether the threats are external, as from hackers and malware, or internal, like a rogue or inexperienced employee, it’s incumbent upon all federal agencies and their supporting contractors to continuously monitor and protect their systems and data.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) mandates the process for continuous monitoring, which it describes in NIST SP 800-137 Information Security Continuous Monitoring for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. That process includes:
- Defining a sensible risk tolerance level given both perceived and potential vulnerabilities and overall threats to the organization.
- Planning what measures, metrics, and monitoring controls would be most appropriate to prevent, detect, and mitigate any incursion into the organization’s system or infrastructure.
- Implementing a continuous monitoring program and reporting on trends and real-time data.
- Analyzing findings and suggesting recommendations for improved performance.
- Responding to the recommendations by implementing new technical controls as needed.
- Evolving the monitoring program as new threats emerge, new systems come online, and new technologies allow for enhanced data keeping and analysis.
The goal is for organizations to routinely validate security controls against possible threats, and then bolster or adjust the continuous monitoring plan to accommodate. Luckily, federal agencies don’t have to carry the burden of continuous monitoring alone.
GovDataHosting's Network Operations Center maintains an advanced monitoring system for every network device and customer virtual server hosted in our government cloud. Each are continuously checked and monitored, keeping an eye on not only uptime, but also individual features, processor utilization, memory utilization, and services running on every server.
Our security monitoring systems continuously analyze event log information and system activities to alert security management personnel of any unusual activity that requires attention. If an incident occurs, support staff is immediately notified via alarms, email, screen pop-ups, and paging. Proper response protocol then springs into action.
Continuous monitoring allows you to make informed, risk-based decisions on the strength and resilience of your system. Don’t take your security posture for granted. Reach out to GovDataHosting to discuss keeping a trained eye on your mission-critical systems and data.