by Tova Dvorin, June 18, 2024

time-icon 3 minutes read

Organizations increasingly debate “shift left” vs. “shift right” – but what do those terms mean practically for your organization? In this blog, we delve into what each of these strategies entail; what they mean in terms of Cyber Governance, Risk, and Compliance (Cyber GRC); and how these strategies can fortify an organization’s cyber resilience by exploring the practical implications of “Shift Left” and “Shift Right” methodologies.

Understanding Shift Left: Proactive Cyber GRC

“Shift Left” is a proactive approach that involves integrating GRC practices earlier in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Traditionally, GRC activities like risk assessments, compliance checks, and security testing were conducted towards the end of the development process. However, with Shift Left, these tasks are moved upstream to the initial stages of planning and design.

Shift Left emphasizes the importance of authoring and incorporating security policies across the organization from the get-go. By establishing comprehensive security policies early on, organizations ensure that all stakeholders are aligned with security objectives, leading to consistent and robust security practices throughout the development lifecycle.

Early Risk Identification

By incorporating risk assessments and compliance checks at the outset of a project, organizations can identify potential vulnerabilities and compliance gaps before they escalate. This early detection enables proactive risk mitigation strategies, reducing the likelihood of security incidents down the line.

Security by Design

Shift Left encourages a “security-first” mindset, where security considerations are embedded into the design and architecture of systems and applications from the outset. This approach fosters the development of resilient software that is inherently more secure, minimizing the need for costly retroactive security measures.

Automated Testing and Compliance

Automation plays a crucial role in Shift Left practices, enabling continuous integration and automated testing pipelines. Automated tools can perform security scans, vulnerability assessments, and compliance checks throughout the development process, providing real-time feedback to developers and ensuring that security and compliance standards are met at every stage.

Embracing Shift Right: Reactive Cyber GRC

While Shift Left focuses on proactive risk mitigation, “Shift Right” complements this approach by extending GRC activities into the operational phase of software deployment. Shift Right emphasizes ongoing monitoring, incident response, and adaptive security measures to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities in real-time.

Continuous Monitoring and Detection

Shift Right involves the implementation of robust monitoring systems that track system activity, user behavior, and security events in real-time. By continuously monitoring for anomalies and potential threats, organizations can detect and respond to security incidents promptly, lowering incident response times and minimizing the impact on operations.

Incident Response and Remediation

Inevitably, security incidents will occur despite proactive measures. Shift Right advocates for well-defined incident response plans and procedures to swiftly contain and remediate security breaches. This includes incident triage, forensic analysis, and post-incident reviews to identify lessons learned and strengthen defenses for the future.

Adaptive Security Measures

Shift Right acknowledges the dynamic nature of cyber threats and the importance of adaptive security measures. This involves staying abreast of emerging threats, evolving attack techniques, and regulatory changes to adjust security controls and policies accordingly. By remaining agile and adaptive, organizations can effectively mitigate evolving cyber risks.

Runtime Prevention

An essential aspect of Shift Right is focusing on runtime prevention. Technologies such as Extended Detection and Response (XDR), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Cloud Detection Response (CDR) and Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) are crucial for detecting and preventing attacks during runtime. These tools provide comprehensive visibility and protection, allowing organizations to prevent and respond to threats in real-time, ensuring robust runtime security.

Achieving Cyber Resilience: Shift Left vs. Shift Right

Incorporating both Shift Left and Shift Right methodologies into an organization’s cyber GRC strategy fosters a holistic approach to cybersecurity. By proactively addressing risks early in the development lifecycle and continuously monitoring and adapting to emerging threats in production environments, businesses can enhance their cyber resilience and minimize the impact of security incidents.