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Unleashing the Power of Outcome-Driven Cybersecurity: The CARE Model and Live Patching

Tim Walker

February 29, 2024 - Senior Content Writer

As a CIO, security officer, or compliance officer, have you adopted the CARE model yet? In your role, you understand the importance of cybersecurity. You’ve invested in various security technologies and implemented policies and procedures to meet regulatory requirements. However, how do you know if your current approach is truly effective? Are you simply ticking boxes on a compliance checklist, or are you measuring outcomes that matter?

With today’s rapidly changing threat vectors, it’s more important than ever to take an outcome-driven approach to cybersecurity. This means investing in a CARE (Cybersecurity, Assurance, Risk, and Engineering) model that focuses on the metrics that truly matter.


The Conventional Approach


The traditional approach to cybersecurity has been to focus on compliance. Organizations invest in various security technologies and implement policies and procedures to meet regulatory requirements. While compliance is important, it is not enough.

Compliance measures are often static, while threats are dynamic and constantly evolving. Compliance also tends to focus on inputs (e.g., number of security technologies implemented) rather than outcomes (e.g., number of successful attacks prevented).

The problem with focusing on compliance is that it does not necessarily result in a strong cybersecurity posture. Just because you have implemented a firewall does not mean you are protected against all possible threats. Instead, an outcome-driven approach to cybersecurity focuses on metrics that directly measure the effectiveness of security measures. This approach involves identifying key risks and implementing controls that are specifically designed to mitigate those risks. By measuring outcomes such as the number of successful attacks prevented, organizations can gain a much clearer understanding of their true cybersecurity posture.


Challenges of Traditional Approaches


Traditional approaches to cybersecurity often rely on a reactive model. Organizations wait until a threat occurs before implementing measures to mitigate that threat. This approach is problematic because it leaves organizations vulnerable to emerging threats. Moreover, traditional approaches tend to focus on siloed solutions. For example, organizations may invest in endpoint security solutions but fail to consider the potential vulnerabilities of their networks or cloud-based solutions.

Traditional approaches also tend to rely on a one-size-fits-all model. Organizations often implement security measures that are not specifically tailored to their unique risk profile. This approach can result in a bloated security infrastructure that is difficult to manage and potentially ineffective.


The CARE Model


An outcome-driven approach to cybersecurity requires a new model. The CARE model is an effective framework for implementing such an approach. The CARE model is based on four core pillars: Cybersecurity, Assurance, Risk, and Engineering.

Cybersecurity: This pillar involves implementing measures that are specifically designed to prevent or mitigate cyber attacks. Examples of measures that fall under this pillar include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and anti-malware solutions.

Assurance: This pillar involves ensuring that cybersecurity measures are effective. Examples of measures that fall under this pillar include vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and security audits.

Risk: This pillar involves identifying key risks and implementing controls that are specifically designed to mitigate those risks. This may involve developing risk management plans, implementing access controls, and implementing incident response plans.

Engineering: This pillar involves implementing technology solutions that are specifically tailored to an organization’s unique risk profile. This may involve developing custom security solutions, implementing secure coding practices, and implementing secure design principles.

In addition to the four pillars of the CARE model, another crucial aspect of an outcome-driven approach to cybersecurity is live patching. Live patching allows organizations to apply patches and updates to their systems in real time, without requiring downtime or service interruption. By patching vulnerabilities as soon as they are identified, organizations can minimize the risk of exploitation by attackers.

Live patching is an essential component of an agile cybersecurity strategy, as it enables organizations to respond quickly to emerging threats and stay ahead of the curve. By implementing the CARE model and utilizing live patching, organizations can build a robust cybersecurity posture that is truly outcome-driven and resilient in the face of evolving threats.


The CARE Model in Action


Ransomware is a particularly insidious threat that has been on the rise in recent years. Traditional approaches to ransomware prevention typically involve implementing various security technologies, such as firewalls and antivirus software. While these technologies can be effective, they are not enough on their own.

Using the CARE model to implement an outcome-driven approach to ransomware prevention would involve identifying the specific risks associated with ransomware and implementing controls that are specifically designed to mitigate those risks. For example, organizations could implement an Offline Data Backup and Restore (ODBR) solution that allows them to quickly recover from a ransomware attack without paying the ransom.

The ODBR solution would include regularly scheduled backups, secure offsite storage, and rapid restoration capabilities. This approach not only mitigates the risk of data loss but also reduces the incentive for attackers by making ransom demands less effective.

Furthermore, organizations could employ advanced threat detection systems that use behavioral analysis and machine learning algorithms to identify potential ransomware activity before it can cause significant damage. This proactive stance goes beyond traditional antivirus solutions by focusing on detecting and responding to unusual patterns of activity that may indicate a ransomware attack is underway.

Additionally, employee training and awareness programs are essential in an outcome-driven approach implemented via the CARE model. Employees are often the first line of defense against ransomware attacks. Regular training sessions on identifying phishing emails, suspicious attachments, and other common attack vectors can significantly reduce the risk of a successful ransomware attack.

Lastly, continuous monitoring and incident response planning are crucial. An effective incident response plan ensures that the organization can quickly and effectively respond to a ransomware attack, minimizing damage and restoring operations as swiftly as possible. This plan should be regularly tested and updated to reflect the evolving nature of ransomware threats.


Final Thoughts


Transitioning from a traditional, compliance-focused approach to an outcome-driven model like the CARE model, supplemented with strategies like live patching for specific threats like ransomware, empowers organizations to develop a more dynamic, effective, and resilient cybersecurity posture. This CARE model approach not only addresses current threats but also positions organizations to adapt quickly to new challenges, ensuring long-term security and compliance in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

To learn more about automated, non-disruptive security patching with live patching, click here.


Unleashing the Power of Outcome-Driven Cybersecurity: The CARE Model and Live Patching
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Unleashing the Power of Outcome-Driven Cybersecurity: The CARE Model and Live Patching
Learn all about the CARE model for cybersecurity: beat ransomware, fix traditional limitations, and ensure resilience with a new patching approach.
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