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A simply superior approach: why Gartner thinks you need to know about continuous controls monitoring

Chances are, your organisation is reasonably comfortable with how it manages cyber security risk. Because—let’s face it—we all know that cyber security risks are very real, and the consequences of a cyber security breach can be very serious and costly. Successful organisations—at least those that want to continue to be successful—are, more than ever before, taking cyber security very seriously at board level too.

So the days are gone when cyber security risk was managed by periodic—say annual—audits, for which the organisation had spent two months preparing by means of internal inspections and compliance checks.

Take the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, for example, with which huge numbers of organisations must comply. A very formalised standard, it requires trained assessors to make ongoing checks, and rigorously covers around 250 separate controls.

Simply put, if your organisation processes payments made by credit and debit cards, then compliance with it is mandatory. And the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is just one of many such cyber security standards, of course. In each case, organisations—yours among them, very probably—invest considerable resource in complying.

Better by design

But suppose that there was a better way of complying? A more rigorous, real-time way of managing and seeing cyber security risk? And a more cost effective way, yet one which delivers better and more secure outcomes?

You’d be interested in learning more, we’d guess.

Well, that better, more rigorous, more cost-effective, and more secure means of compliance now exists. Industry giants have been doing it for some time, albeit in a restricted and somewhat labour-intensive way.

Yet now, it’s available for firms of any size, large or small. As an automated, affordable managed service. It’s called Continuous Controls Monitoring, often shortened to just CCM.

We are pleased to see that Gartner now recognises Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) as an emerging governance, risk and compliance technology with its own product category. We believe this is particularly relevant because Gartner rates the benefits of CCM technology as ‘high’ and reaching its peak in the next 5-10 years.

Gartner also sees Continuous Controls Monitoring as being essential tech for large, heavily regulated organisations in the next few years.

Too little, too late

To understand why Continuous Controls Monitoring, or CCM, is a better way of managing cyber security risk, consider how organisations typically monitor and audit these various controls.

Again, let’s use the 250 or so controls covered by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard as an example, although we could take almost any cyber security standard, and the same points would apply.

Essentially, organisations rank the various controls into a rough order of importance—perceived risk or likelihood, and perceived cost or consequence of any cyber security breach. Some controls might be checked only quarterly. Others monthly. Some weekly. In each case, the checking in question is mostly undertaken manually, and can be very labour intensive.

But while such an approach is sensible and pragmatic, it’s far from ideal. A lot depends on the accuracy of the judgements made about the perceived risk or likelihood, for example. Not auditing a given control for a year, or a quarter, might turn out well, but then again, it might not. As you can imagine, this approach leaves a lot to chance.

Likewise with assumptions made about the cost or consequence of any cyber security breach, of course. In some of the most notorious cyber security breaches, organisations actually turned out to be mistaken not in misjudging the risk of a breach, but misjudging the consequences of that breach. And of course, the consequences these days are made even more severe in this era of GDPR and related penalties.

A better mousetrap

But suppose it was possible to monitor these controls automatically and remotely, via telemetry? That could be transformational: assurance could be continuous and it could be highly visible in real time.

And that, in essence, is what Continuous Controls Monitoring does which is why some say it is transformational and is therefore a cyber security game changer. Granted, acquiring and building that telemetry can require investment, although experience highlights that doing so is easier than many organisations suspect and ROI can come very quickly.

But the prize is worth the effort: for every control brought into a Continuous Controls Monitoring regime, the result is real-time continuous assurance rather than monitoring weekly, monthly, or to some other timetable.

Better still as is the case with Quod Orbis, Continuous Controls Monitoring can be put in place within your organisation as a bought in managed service from a provider of Continuous Controls Monitoring. In this way, real-time continuous monitoring is undertaken by experts using a market leading Continuous Controls Monitoring platform.

And once again, the experience of real-life cyber security breaches underscores the importance of this enhanced approach to protecting against cyber security risk: when left to hard-pressed and busy IT employees, it’s far from unknown for alarms to be ignored, mistakenly perceived as ‘false positives’.

The ROI of Continuous Controls Monitoring

So the benefits of Continuous Controls Monitoring are readily understood.

Better security, to be sure. Genuine real-time security, for another. A lower cost, with telemetry and remote automated monitoring replacing expensive and scarce cyber security expertise, as well as a lower burden on the business and IT teams. A greater assurance of business continuity. And in most cases, a ready ability to demonstrate superior cyber security practices to interested parties such as customers.

In short, it’s a simply superior approach.

Want to know more? Please download our overview brochure or pick up the phone and call +44 (0)203 962 2206, and talk to the cyber security and Continuous Controls Monitoring experts at Quod Orbis.


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To find out more about cyber security and Continuous Controls Monitoring, please complete the form below with a short message and we’ll get right back to you. Alternatively, you can book a meeting directly.

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Niall Flavin

DevOps Engineer -

Uttamkurmar Lakhani

Technical Analyst -

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2nd & 3rd Floor,
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Liam Flavin

Intern Developer -

Ekaterina Kuzevanova

Back End Developer -

Mohamed Mohamud

Front End Developer -

Juan Morales

DevOps Engineer -

Luke Bakare

DevOps Engineer -

Rutvik Belapurkar

Technical Analyst -

Harman Singh Malhotra

Technical Analyst -

Jason Wilkes

Technical Lead -

Annie Greenfield

Marketing Executive -

Will Tonge

Head of Recruitment -

Will has spent the last 9-years embedded in Cyber Security working with global, household names and innovative start-ups.

Passionate about bringing people and technology together, Will has worked in various settings, helping build high-growth organisations across multiple sectors. During this time, he has built an extensive network with access to some of the best talent out there.

Outside of QO, his young daughter keeps him well on his toes!

Shaun Barnes

DevOps Team Lead

Mark Hudson

Non-Exec Director -

Mark works with SMEs and charities to develop strategies to help them grow and access development capital. He is a NED, charity trustee and mentor to a wide range of people. His plural career started in 2017 after 16 years at pwc as a Deals partner working with large corporates and PE houses; at pwc he also ran the Retail and Consumer practice and was Chairman of the pwc UK Supervisory Board. Prior to pwc he was an executive director at Welcome Break and Iceland Group, and a partner at Bain and Company. He trained as an engineer at Imperial College and has an MBA from INSEAD. 

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Eamon Flavin

Non-Exec Director -

Eamon is a highly regarded and massively respected technology career professional as well as serial entrepreneur. He has started, grown and successfully taken to market three technology business.

Genuinely expert in technology, Eamon has enjoyed long-term working relationships with many of the world’s top companies and organisations in finance, banking, government, manufacturing, engineering, technology and the charities sector.

He draws on unparalleled contacts and experience and provides advice, solutions and recommendations, as well as helping respond to emergencies. Eamon has grown in-house and client teams and has a gift for hiring great people.

Peter Martin

Non-Exec Director -

Peter has the ability to do what many fail to and that is to consistently bring together highly professional teams and build a business environment that is supportive, agile, professional and where everyone enjoys coming into the office.

Bringing a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to the role of non-exec director, Peter has already demonstrated his ability to bring an exceptional flair for dealing with complex situations with a clear, considered approach.

Personally, Peter brings humility and a strong moral compass to the team. His disarming and self-deprecating approach wins everyone over.

Anwen Haynes

Head of Marketing -

Anwen has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for over 20 years. From transforming end-to-end customer journeys in retail with strategic customer-centric plans to target driven focused strategies for B2B sales. With extensive experience in digital marketing including SEO, as well as Brand development, she loves to develop a cohesive approach to brand image and communications to drive and develop the business proposition and perception.

Alice Walker

Head of Customer Success -

Alice has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. Starting in Procurement, she moved into Software Asset Management before transitioning into Customer Success Management. Working across a variety of roles for different industries as both a customer and a service provider has given her a great understanding of what makes a great service. She has always been passionate about building and maintaining great customer relationships and helping her customers achieve their goals.

Owain Rowley

Lead Developer -

Owain has spent nearly a decade building software solutions and products within the cyber security sphere for the likes of government entities, large telecommunication companies, banks and card transaction companies.

This level of experience allows him to swiftly identify business and security processes that can be streamlined with automation, increase the efficiency of existing processes, as well as generate insightful data visualisations and models for members of an organisation at each different level.

Ami Penolver

Head of HR & Legal -

Ami is a finance sector career professional, with many years’ experience working in financial services, both in London and throughout the UK. In addition to financial control, she looks after HR and legal for the company.

Being a mother of two also equips her with the basic skills required to manage a senior team of management and technology consultants.

Ami’s sense of balance and perspective is an essential ingredient of the Quod Orbis culture.

Alastair Dickson

Commercial Director -

Alastair has spent the last 20 years working in Cyber Security and Risk Management. He is a passionate believer that security solutions should enable a business to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital world, while not putting the organisation’s data or productivity at risk.

Alastair has developed high-performing teams in some of the industry’s most competitive markets and launched new innovative technologies to market.

Being a rugby coach, and also having four sons at home, means he has lots of experience in keeping a passionate team in order but always has time for some fun!

Gary Penolver


Gary has 15 years’ experience in senior technology roles, and has already been closely involved in starting and taking two technology companies to market.

Totally comfortable with a fast-moving, state-of-the-art technical landscape, he helps his clients maintain and improve security and compliance.

He has a reputation for delivering pragmatic and easy to maintain solutions – business owners and managers enjoy knowing that the security and compliance is well managed and automated, properly instrumented and reported at a competitive cost point.

Honest, open, unflappable and very social, Gary is trusted by many household-name organisations to protect their, and their client’s data.

Martin Greenfield


Martin is an experienced technology and organisational transformation specialist and an excellent, proven leader and communicator in mission-critical operations, particularly in security technology.

Over the past 20 years, multi-billion pound commercial organisations, including global banks, utilities and major investment funds have trusted Martin to transform their operations to meet financial, operational and compliance targets.

Martin optimises operations, managing and transforming operational teams of between 50 and 500 people, to deliver the highest levels of audit compliance, risk management and financial efficiency.

Often working with other major consultancies and suppliers for new global corporate owners or management teams, Martin will help integrate and streamline operations on a global basis.

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See it for yourself – automated Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM), with complete cyber controls visibility in a single pane of glass, continuance compliance, automated audits, our unique service wrap, and more.

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