Cybersecurity Risk Management


Cybersecurity Risk Management- The process of discovering, assessing, evaluating, and responding to your organization’s cybersecurity threats is known as cybersecurity risk management. The method adapts the concept of real-world enterprise risk management to the cyber environment. This strategy, in turn, assists businesses in identifying risks and vulnerabilities, as well as implementing complete security solutions and administrative procedures to secure the entire organisation.

Any cybersecurity risk management strategy begins with a cyber risk assessment. This stage provides a business owner with a summary of the dangers that could jeopardise their company’s cybersecurity, as well as the severity of those concerns. Cyber risk assessments are tasks used to identify, estimate, and prioritise risk to organisational operations, organisational assets, individuals, and other organisations as a result of the operation and use of information systems, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Failure to manage cyber risks offers hackers with opportunity to conduct major cyber attacks, according to our earlier essay, “Cybersecurity Risk Assessment – Made Easy.” A cybersecurity risk assessment, fortunately, helps a company to discover current risks. Based on an organization’s risk appetite, a cyber risk management programme determines how to prioritise and respond to such threats.

Since organisations began to possess assets that needed to be protected, risk management has existed. Risk management was first studied following World War II, and it has long been linked to market insurance to protect organisations and individuals from various losses caused by accidents.

According to studies, cybersecurity research began in the late 1960s and has grown over time under several labels such as computer security and information security. According to a document issued by NIST on risk management and government cybersecurity, government cybersecurity policy and practise have been founded on risk management principles since 1985.

I.T. agencies employ a combination of tactics, tools, and user education to detect and manage security risks in order to protect a company from cybersecurity assaults that can corrupt systems, steal sensitive data, and harm an organization’s brand. The volume and severity of security breaches and cyber-attacks increases the need for cybersecurity risk management.

What are the Impacts of Cyber Risks?

A cyber risk is the risk of data loss or harm as a result of communications systems or an organization’s information. Copyright theft, lower corporate productivity, and reputation damage are all examples of cybersecurity risks, in addition to data loss and monetary loss.

Any organisation can be exposed to cybersecurity hazards, which can come from both within and outside the organisation. Insider acts might be malevolent or unintentional when it comes to cybersecurity.

The financial costs of security incidents range from operational disruptions and regulatory fines to intangible losses like a loss of consumer confidence, reputational harm, or a change in leadership.

Corporate information theft, loss of financial data, theft of money, disruption of business operations, and loss of commercial contracts are all common cyber threats that result in significant financial loss. Furthermore, they can harm a company’s reputation and erode customer trust, potentially resulting in client loss and a drop in sales and earnings. A data breach currently costs $3.86 million on average.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessment: An Overview

The process of determining, reviewing, and evaluating risks in order to guarantee that the cybersecurity controls adopted are adequate for a company’s cyber threats is known as cybersecurity risk assessment.

Resources, effort, and time are wasted due to a lack of adequate risk assessment practises to aid in cybersecurity decision-making. Organizations may put in place safeguards for events that may occur but have no immediate impact on the firm, while undermining or disregarding risks that could cause considerable harm.

Meanwhile, risk assessments are required by many best-practice frameworks, standards, and policies, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.

How do you conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment?

A cyber-attack might undoubtedly harm the data assets identified in a cybersecurity risk assessment. Hardware, systems, laptops, customer data, and intellectual property are examples of these assets. Threats that potentially threaten those assets are identified during the cyber risk assessment process. Organizations select controls to address the identified risks after conducting a risk analysis. Data leakage, insider threats, hacking, and potential third-party risks should all be addressed by the measures chosen.

For recognising any changes in the organization’s context and keeping track of the entire risk management process, continuous monitoring and review of the risk environment is critical.

A business can build up a risk management system by first determining the assets it wants to protect and classify. According to NIST’s Framework for Improving Key Infrastructure Cybersecurity, there is no one-size-fits-all method. Due to the nature of their operations and technology infrastructures, different firms confront different risks. For the most valuable items, such as client data, regulatory compliance and industry challenges must be overcome in the financial services and healthcare sectors, for example.

The Risk Management Framework is a cybersecurity framework that has been adopted by the US government to undertake risk assessments (RMF). The RMF procedure is divided into seven steps. Before granting authority to function, these processes guarantee that systems have an adequate level of security measures in place. These are the steps:

All acts that could pose a cybersecurity risk should be meticulously documented and carried out. Company best practises, as specified by the ISO/IEC 27000 family, should guide corporate cybersecurity initiatives.

NIST Risk Management Framework

  • Prepare
  • Categorize
  • Controls to choose from
  • Controls should be implemented.
  • Controls to Evaluate
  • Activate the system.
  • Continuous Surveillance

Cybersecurity Risk Management Process

To determine the company’s targeted risk outcomes, start by creating a cybersecurity plan from multiple business areas. New technologies that can acquire and map data across the business enterprise can be used by security teams. After mapping their data, they can make better judgments about controlling and lowering their data risk footprint.

Confidential data, such as data contained within spreadsheets, rows, and comments included in long email threads or employee presentations, might leave a corporation by accident, even with specialised training, an effective cybersecurity programme, and a solid cybersecurity culture. Scanning the firm for confidential data in transit and then removing any data that doesn’t exist greatly minimises the danger of private data being lost.

The Capability Maturity Model, which includes five levels, can be used to lead your company’s risk management plan to jumpstart your risk management process. A risk management maturity model is a great method for a company to figure out where they are now, compare where they are now to where they want to go to get the most benefit, and talk about the value and cost of investing more in cyber risk management.

After deciding on the ideal risk exposure state, organisations examine their technology infrastructure to lay the groundwork for the current risk assessment and what steps they need take to get from where they are now to where they want to be.

Once the ideal risk exposure state has been identified, the next step is to examine the business technology infrastructure to lay a foundation for the current risk state and what the organisation has to do to get from where it is now to where it wants to be.

To make a system completely safe, you must make it impossible for anyone to have access to it. The more restricted a system is, the more likely authorised employees are to do their tasks. When certified users are unable to access the data or procedures they require to carry out their responsibilities, they may try to develop workarounds that disrupt systems.

How Can Organizations Reduce Identified Cyber Risks – Risk Reduction Measures

Encrypt all sensitive and confidential data while it is in transit and at rest. Encryption isn’t a new feature, but it must be done in a presentable and purposeful method to protect data from outsider threats and intruders. Risk management encryption features include advanced key management, granular role-based access, granular task separation, standards-based cryptography, and state-of-the-art algorithms.

Although data encryption protects against exterior breaches, it is worthless when it comes to internal data theft. Insiders who have access to sensitive data are virtually certainly in possession of the information required to decrypt it. As a result, businesses must take steps to prevent trusted insiders from wiping data from their systems.

Businesses must also strike a balance between data security and data sharing capabilities. Businesses must protect sensitive information like names and credit card numbers from searches and modifications.

In addition to technical considerations, constant security education and training are critical. Many cybercriminals have shifted their focus away from Trojan horses, malware, and other viruses and toward phishing and spear phishing. They try to get users with administrator credentials to reveal their identities or important company information.

Companies should incorporate security information in their policies, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, so that employees and business associates are aware of what is necessary.

Because being online increases the majority of a company’s cybersecurity risks, a plan must be in place to assess what can be done in the event of specific occurrences. More stricter security measures will be required if hacker attempts against the company or industry increase. If a data breach occurs, the organisation should have thorough preparations in place, including contact information for appropriate authorities, stakeholders, and consultants, as well as a checklist of action items and a strategic communications response. A specific incident response actions plan is provided by NIST.

  • Other cybersecurity strategies that businesses can adopt to decrease cyber risks include:
  • Reduce the number of devices that have internet connection.
  • Install network access controls on your PC.
  • Individuals having admin details and other administrator control rights should be kept to a minimum.
  • Older operating systems with limitations should be phased out (i.e., devices running on older O.S. and Windows XL no longer has the support)
  • Download and apply operating system fixes automatically
  • Install anti-virus and other protection applications.
  • When accessing system files and other application components, require two-factor verification.
  • Install network firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Endpoint protection, firewalls, threat intelligence, intrusion prevention, and network access controls are just a few of the technologies that any comprehensive security strategy should incorporate. Businesses should invest in cyber risk management, which is a continual activity, in addition to these protection measures. A company’s threat and risk assessments should be conducted on a regular basis. After receiving a preliminary risk assessment and going from its current risk viewpoint to the right risk posture, this approach assists in determining how to solve cybersecurity risks to keep a business’ projectile motion at the desired level.

Key takeaways

The process of detecting, assessing, evaluating, and responding to your organization’s cybersecurity threats is known as cybersecurity risk management.

The danger of loss or harm caused by communications networks or an organization’s information system is known as cyber risk, and it can be internal or external.

Cyber risks result in monetary losses as a result of operational disruptions and regulatory fines, as well as reputational damage, which leads to a loss of customer confidence, a drop in profitability, and a change in leadership.

Cybersecurity risk assessments identify, evaluate, and assess cyber threats. The plan guarantees that the cybersecurity measures selected are appropriate for the dangers that a company faces.

Information encryption and the adoption of security solutions are recommended for protecting data from outsider threats and attackers. Endpoint protection, firewalls, threat intelligence, intrusion prevention, and network access restrictions are examples of dependable security solutions.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.