Practically every business today utilizes IT systems connected to the internet. As these systems expand, their attack surface increases exponentially – making cyber risk management an integral component of any company’s security posture.
Training employees on best practices is one way to reduce human risks; employees often represent the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity.
Identifying the Threats
Identification is key when it comes to managing cyber risk. Threats can have wide-ranging effects, from revenue losses to reputational harm; therefore it’s essential that businesses understand the various threats facing their operations.
The second step of risk evaluation is assessing risks. This involves calculating the probability that a threat exploits a vulnerability and its potential severity; also considering costs related to prevention in order to establish which approach would work best: avoid, transfer, tolerate or mitigate.
Testing is another crucial aspect of this process. By using penetration testing tools, you can conduct comprehensive system and network checks to discover any vulnerabilities attackers might use to breach existing defenses and attack. By regularly conducting these tests, any vulnerabilities discovered can be patched before attackers find them first. It’s essential that testing be ongoing – especially given how quickly cybercriminals find ways around existing defenses.
Assessing the Impact
Once you understand the threats you’re up against, it’s essential to assess their impact on your business. This can be accomplished by determining their probability of exploiting vulnerabilities and their severity; this will enable you to prioritize risks and determine which ones need immediate mitigation measures.
Utilising the data gathered, you can identify temporary (short-term) and permanent (long-term) solutions for your business. This might involve installing defensive tools, training employees, updating IT policies and instituting access controls; among many other solutions.
Remember this process is an ongoing one – you should constantly reevaluate and implement new mitigation strategies as the cyber threat landscape evolves. Your goal should be to lower risk as much as possible while remaining compliant with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA, thus keeping clients’ data safe, increasing trust in the security of your company, protecting you from fines or penalties, as well as showing competitors you take client security seriously and can do more than provide technical safeguards for their protection.
Mitigating the Threats
Enterprises can protect their operations by taking steps such as evacuating employees before hurricanes hit, activating emergency power systems during blackouts and isolating malware threatening its spread. Mitigating risks involves identifying them, assessing possible solutions and creating plans before taking appropriate steps to ensure successful outcomes.
Mitigating risk is both costly and essential for organizations that rely on technology. Particularly with COVID-19 pandemic, remote work arrangements and increasing use of third-party IT service providers, organizations are now facing more security challenges than ever before.
Once risks have been identified, assessed, and prioritized, it’s time to develop short-term and permanent solutions to mitigate them. This might involve patching software updates, creating new IT policies or training workers; depending on their severity it could even involve purchasing insurance policies or outsourcing risk management to third parties; either way, continuous monitoring must take place to ensure controls are working as intended.
Monitoring the Impact
Risk monitoring is an integral component of any risk management process. Once an organization has identified and assessed threats, they can monitor their effect on business operations.
This step involves evaluating the likelihood and impact of threats exploiting vulnerabilities as well as devising mitigation strategies to reduce those vulnerabilities. Furthermore, this step includes establishing whether risks have reached an acceptable level; criteria could include company tolerance levels as well as cost and effort required to mitigate them.
Companies may opt to transfer risk by outsourcing it or taking out insurance, while mitigating it with best practices and new technology. But companies must remain aware that risks are ever-evolving; to keep up with cyber attacks and protect themselves properly they should continually assess and monitor their risks.