In this article we will be talking about reporting, specifically reporting on security compliance. Reporting is the proof your teams need, it enables administrators and organisations to prove their compliance with both internal and external security standards – to regulation authorities, shareholders and customers.
Reporting on security compliance enables organisations to not only identify potential security risks or vulnerabilities, but to show that they are no longer vulnerable, that the threat has been mitigated and the risk remediated. This report then enables an organisation to plan ahead for the next security compliance/audit cycle and develop processes and procedures to mitigate security risks.
While stock or in-built reports can be useful, they are often limited and most benefit can come from customisable reporting. These benefits include the ability to tailor reports to specific needs, the ability to combine data from multiple sources, and the ability to produce reports in a variety of formats.
At Runecast we have some top tips on how to build good reports.
1. Make sure the reports are clear and concise.
Reports should be tailored to both the audience of the report and to show the most salient information. Adding a detailed breakdown of marketing costs spent in the last quarter is not going to help the IT teams prioritise their CVE remediation efforts.
Customisable reporting allows users to tailor their reports to include the specific data points and metrics that are most important to them. This can be particularly useful for decision-makers, as it allows them to have a clearer and more accurate understanding of their security situation, which can in turn help them to make more informed and effective decisions.
2. Use data visualisation techniques to make the reports more informative and easy to understand.
We have all endured ‘death by PowerPoint’. At certain times in the past, especially during the height of the pandemic, it may have seemed like we would never escape the dread of yet another presentation with profoundly dull formatting, irrelevant information and/or outdated graphics (if there even were graphics!). Adding a splash of colour and personality can enliven even the dullest report.
In the same way that tools like Prezi breathed life into old style presentations, presenting important information in visual chunks can make them easier to understand and consume.
This is made even easier if the reports are coming from something that has a helpful or pleasing UI. One that is easy to interrogate, easy to manipulate and crucially, easily understood when presenting to people who aren’t familiar with the information can help avoid killing off interest in reports and their presentation.
3. Ensure that the reports can be customised according to the user's needs.
Being able to tailor reports to include only the data and information that needs to be shared with others, ensures that the reports are maintaining the desired level of transparency.
This can be particularly useful for organisations that need to collaborate with others on security matters. Being able to share reports with others, can better ensure that all relevant parties have access to the same data and information, which can help to facilitate more effective collaboration and decision-making.
4. Make sure the reports are updated on a regular basis.
A report is only as good as the information it contains. If that information is outdated (ad-hoc manual reporting methods frequently provide only a one-time snapshot of a given moment in time), then the report itself could be next to useless.
As we said above, the information on any report should also be tailored to the audience. For example, if a user needs to present a report to a group of stakeholders, a report can be tailored to include only the data and information that is most relevant to that audience. This flexibility allows users to better meet the needs of different stakeholders, and to adapt their reports as their needs change over time. Ensuring that this data is up to date should be the first sense-check when looking over any generated report.
Runecast is a patented AI-powered Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) which provides a myriad of tools to support IT Security and Operations teams. It offers Security and Compliance, Container Security and IT Operations Management (ITOM) features, with over 10 security standards and thousands of trusted sources, from vendor guidelines, knowledge bases and more.
Runecast offers customisable reporting and customisable standard generation. Combine any of the security and compliance monitoring points and report on them as you need. Our customisable reporting offers a range of benefits, including improved efficiency, enhanced decision-making, greater flexibility, increased transparency, and enhanced collaboration. By allowing our users to tailor their reports to meet their specific needs and requirements, Runecast’s customisable reporting can help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of security operations and decision-making.
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