As businesses have evolved, so have cybercriminals and the means they use to try and penetrate their digital assets. Every day, new threats arise and unscrupulous organisations create means to attack physical networks, cloud services, and other key business functions and this is why having a robust cyber security risk management plan is critical.
As you will see below, cyber risk management enables your organisation to stay ahead of the curve, protect its systems, and prevent cyber-attacks, improving your bottom line and keeping your digital assets functioning. Below, we explain cyber security risk management in more detail, why it’s beneficial, and how it typically works.
What is Cyber Security Risk Management?
Cyber security risk management is the process of analysing your company’s digital assets, assessing the effectiveness of your current security systems, and developing an ongoing plan to improve those systems and mitigate any potential cyber threats.
Why is Cyber Security Risk Management Important?
With the basics of cyber crime risk management understood, it’s important to know the benefits and see how this process can improve your company’s protection.
Specific threat types are monitored
At its core, a cyber risk management platform allows your company to deal with specific threats including but not limited to:
- Dark/Deep web activity
- Social engineering
- State-sponsored attacks
- Payment fraud
It will assess which attacks are most likely to be employed and provide robust defensive solutions for each threat so that they cannot harm your digital assets.
It allows a company to stay protected as threats evolve
Cyber security threats used today look completely different from those used a decade ago, and they will look different from those used a decade from now. Cyber threats are continually evolving and a risk management cyber security plan allows your company to evolve at the same pace and stay on top of the latest cyber threats no matter how they evolve.
It can help a business comply with industry regulations
Depending on the size and scope of your business, efficient cyber security risk management could be a regulatory or legal requirement. For example, it could be part of your GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) process. Oftentimes companies have to show proactive cyber security management to comply with industry standards, particularly in the public sector.
Your company’s security becomes proactive instead of reactive
Many companies have a reactive approach to cybersecurity. Essentially, nothing is done until an attack happens. Risk management in cyber security is proactive and aims to give your company a robust security system that is continually working to protect your digital assets. With this method, attacks should never happen and thus your company enjoys improved security and no downtime.
Understanding the Typical Cyber Risk Management Process
As you can see, a cyber security risk management plan is vital for the evolution of your company’s protection, but what does it entail? Typically, there are four steps: initial security analysis, continual threat monitoring and mitigation, and ongoing reviewing and adaptation.
Initial risk analysis
To implement a global threat intelligence platform and cyber risk management plan, there must be an initial assessment of your digital assets and security systems. Typically, the following things are determined:
- Scope of the attack surface (i.e. how many digital assets could be vulnerable).
- Which IT systems and business processes are critical and have to be online 24/7?
- Which data is most critical to the running of the business?
- Are there any regulations and laws that must be complied with?
With this information, it can then be determined the security plan to employ in line with your business needs. The greatest security risks are also determined i.e. which types of attack and vulnerabilities are likely to be employed against you.
Continual threat monitoring
Cyber risk management isn’t a one-time process; it’s continual and evolves in the same way cyber attacks evolve.
This includes continual monitoring of the digital assets outlined during the initial risk analysis. Analysis is often conducted on industry activity and common threats that affect your type of company. This analytical data is used to improve your security systems and make sure your digital assets have the best chances of being protected.
Continual threat mitigation
At the same time as the threat monitoring, a cyber security risk management plan may also include means of mitigating potential attacks. The ideal scenario is to use preventative measures instead of dealing with an attack once it has happened.
Examples of preventative security measures include retiring potentially vulnerable assets, updating assets with software patches, and employing intrusion prevention systems around critical assets.
The management plan is continually adapted to keep up to date with the latest threats. If attacks are prevented, data from the breaches is analysed so that further improvements to your security systems can be made.
Cyber Security and Risk Management are Essential for Digital Businesses
Too many businesses see cyber security as an afterthought but this can ultimately leave them unprotected and vulnerable to attacks. This is why being proactive and implementing a thorough cyber security risk management plan is vital.