How Enterprises Can Use Continuous Configuration Monitoring to Reduce Risk and Optimize Productivity

Control failures can have severe consequences, leading to security breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information or systems.

Several factors can contribute to control failures, including lack of access controls, ineffective authentication processes, lack of monitoring, failure to apply security patches in a timely manner, and human error.

In many cases, security breaches occur because of a combination of these factors. To mitigate the risks associated with control failures, it is essential to regularly review and update security controls, as well as monitor systems and data to detect and address potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.

For overextended security teams and IT engineers, however, doing so is easier said than done.

Deploy a standard & repeatable process

Recent research reveals that development and security teams continue to consider vulnerability management a high priority, but gaining visibility and actionable insights is difficult due to complex supply chains and capricious ecosystems. According to the research:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of CISOs say vulnerability management is more difficult because the complexity of their software supply chain and cloud ecosystem has increased.
  • Only 50% of CISOs are fully confident that the software delivered by development teams has been completely tested for vulnerabilities before going live in production environments.
  • 77% of CISOs say it’s a significant challenge to prioritize vulnerabilities because they lack information about the risk these vulnerabilities pose to their environment.
  • 58% of the vulnerability alerts that security scanners alone flag as “critical” are not important in production, wasting valuable development time chasing down false positives.
  • On average, each member of development and application security teams spends nearly a third (28%) of their time – or 11 hours each week – on vulnerability management tasks that could be automated.  

These findings reinforce why companies need a standard and repeatable process for managing controls and system configurations. Without one, controls decay, configurations drift, and companies pay the price—typically with a breach or failure to meet compliance.

Fortunately, proactive companies can avoid these outcomes.

Support security & development teams

Continuous Control Monitoring (CCM) is a process by which organizations can identify and manage risks using automated controls to monitor data and detect anomalies or discrepancies that may indicate potential risks or fraud.

CCM also provides continuous visibility to detect any issues that may arise before they can cause significant damage. By monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics, organizations identify trends, patterns, and outliers that may require further investigation or action.

CCM can be used in a variety of contexts, such as financial reporting, compliance, and security. In the context of financial reporting, it ensures the accuracy and completeness of financial statements by detecting errors or omissions in real-time. Regarding compliance, organizations can meet regulatory requirements by identifying potential violations before they occur. And in the security space, CCM helps detect and prevent unauthorized access to systems and data.

Additional security benefits include:

  • Rapid identification and response to threats: CCM allows for real-time monitoring and analysis of software supply chains, which can help identify potential threats or vulnerabilities quickly. This enables organizations to respond rapidly, preventing threats from causing significant damage or disruption.
  • Risk reduction: Reduces the risk of security breaches and other security incidents by proactively monitoring and identifying potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the supply chain.
  • Improved visibility and control: Provides enhanced visibility and control over software supply chains, enabling organizations to identify potential issues before they become major problems. This can help reduce the likelihood of downtime or other disruptions that could impact business operations.
  • Proactive management of third-party risks: Helps manage the risks associated with third-party vendors and suppliers by monitoring their performance and adherence to established security standards.

CCM keeps software supply chains operational and ecosystems secure. By proactively monitoring and identifying potential threats or vulnerabilities, organizations reduce the risk of security incidents and maintain the integrity of their software supply chains.

While monitoring controls is clearly essential, it solves only part of the problem: how to accelerate DevOps productivity while also maintaining adherence to compliance regulations.

Automate toolchain management

GitLab has released a report stating that 66% of its survey respondents reported wanting to consolidate their toolchains, and that toolchain management is an ongoing barrier to developer productivity.

Toolchains can be complex and require specialized knowledge to configure and manage, which can take away from a development team’s productivity. Toolchains also require ongoing maintenance and updates, which can be time-consuming and disruptive to development workflows.

What’s more, toolchains must integrate seamlessly with other development tools and processes; otherwise, they can cause delays and additional work for developers. Toolchains may also not be easily customizable to meet developers' specific preferences and requirements, leading to frustration and reduced productivity. And finally, projects or teams may require different versions of toolchains, which can cause confusion and complexity, leading to developers spending time managing and switching between versions, ultimately impacting their productivity.

For a potential solution to these problems, let’s return to CCM, which can improve toolchain management in several ways:

  • Early detection of issues: CCM can help identify potential issues in the toolchain, such as configuration errors or compatibility issues before they impact developers' productivity. This enables IT teams to address these issues proactively and prevent them from causing delays or disruptions.
  • Real-time monitoring: real-time monitoring of the toolchain allows IT teams to detect and respond to issues quickly.
  • Compliance: ensures the toolchain adheres to established security and compliance standards, helping to prevent potential security breaches or regulatory violations.
  • Improved visibility: providing greater visibility helps optimize the toolchain for maximum productivity and efficiency.
  • Automation: automating certain aspects of toolchain management, such as updating software versions or applying patches, frees up DevOps teams to focus on other critical tasks.


To summarize, CCM improves toolchain management by providing real-time monitoring and early detection of issues—it helps ensure compliance, improve visibility, and automate certain tasks. This helps organizations optimize developer productivity, reduce downtime, and improve overall toolchain performance.

CCM also provides real-time monitoring and early detection of vulnerabilities, allowing organizations to respond quickly and prevent control incidents from causing significant damage. This treats control incidents as seriously as security incidents, helps teams develop a reliability mindset, and makes sure a lapsed control does not result in a security compromise.