“Do more with less.”

These four words are all too familiar to most CISOs and Risk Managers. In fact, nearly 70% of cybersecurity practitioners and decision-makers feel that their organization doesn’t have enough security staff to be effective, found a recent Cybersecurity Workforce Study.1

Infosec and cyber risk management teams are usually small, stretched thin and overwhelmed with work. And this trend is only likely to continue considering only 35% of organizations plan to invest in strengthening cybersecurity2 this year.

So, how can you leverage your lean risk management team to work smarter, not harder?

Start with these 4 best practices.

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4 Best Practices for Lean Risk Management Teams

#1. Craft Your Team’s Mission Statement

The foundation for running an effective team (cybersecurity, risk management, or otherwise) is to understand why your team exists within the organization. Take the time to develop a mission statement for your team; make sure it includes the purpose and goals of the team and how it adds value and contributes to the organization’s success.

Understanding their shared mission brings employees together and creates a stronger team culture. Using their mission as a guide, they can align their activities as a group toward this common, shared goal so that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Groups that work together (but aren’t necessarily on the same team) can also benefit from having a mission statement. Having a defined mission with common goals can help you break through the siloes separating your Security, Compliance and Risk Management teams, leading to better understanding and synergy between them.

#2. Capitalize on Their Strengths

Set your risk management team up for success by knowing what each employee excels at or loves doing. Start by asking yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Are they always in the weeds, or do they understand the big picture?
  2. Are they people-focused or task-focused?
  3. Do they work in an orderly, structured way, or do they seem unorganized but still meet their goals?
  4. What types of tasks do they always volunteer for and enjoy?

A fun way to explore your team’s strengths is to use tools, such as the CliftonStrengths, DiSC Assessments, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the High5 Strengths Test.

These tools give employees the insights they need to understand themselves and their teammates better, which allows for more effective collaboration and communication both within the team and externally.

Employees want to use — and be recognized for — the knowledge and skills that make them unique. By identifying and capitalizing on your employees’ strengths, you’re not only ensuring that you have the right person working on the right task, but that your team members are motivated and enjoy what they’re doing when they come to work. As a leader, it also helps you identify knowledge or skill gaps on your team, guides your employee’s professional development and allows you to create opportunities for success.

#3. Close Their Skills Gaps

When people do more of what they’re good at and less of what they’re not, they tend to be happier, more productive employees. Your best technical analyst might never be a people person, but they can build a robust defense-in-depth strategy for your organization – and that’s awesome!

Understanding what kind of expertise your team needs (and where the gaps are) can be used to support your request to expand your team. And when you do get the chance to hire, look for someone who’s strong where the other members of your team are weak; consider not only technical or industry expertise but also the soft skills needed to communicate and collaborate effectively within your organization.

Consider looking for opportunities to expand your current team’s skill set by exploring training opportunities. This has 3 potential benefits:

  • You’re giving your employees the opportunity to stretch themselves and pursue something they want to learn.
  • You’re creating more holistic security and risk teams by filling skill gaps.
  • You’re addressing the changing needs of your team to keep up with current industry trends (which can change quickly in IT, Security and Risk Management).

Not everyone can afford SANS training, but don’t let that stop you. There are a ton of training options available (such as Cybrary or YouTube) that will help them learn new topics, as well as certification opportunities through organizations like ISC2, ISACA and CompTIA.

#4. Give Time Back to Your Risk Management Team

Almost half of security and risk leaders report that they don’t have enough resources for proper risk assessment and management. Automation to the rescue! Leverage it to maximize your risk management team’s efficiency, so they can focus on valuable tasks instead of tedious, manual work.

Put the RiskOptics ROAR Platform to Work

For example, the RiskOptics ROAR Platform can streamline your risk and compliance management with…

Up-to-Date Frameworks & Standards

In-app content maintained by risk experts gives you access to a host of compliance frameworks updated in the platform as regulations and standards evolve.

Automated Workflows

Based on the frameworks you’ve selected, ROAR pulls together the pre-mapped requirements, controls, evidence request templates, risks and threats you need to do your risk and compliance activities, such as audits, risk assessments and vendor management. That way, you can move forward confidently.

Automated evidence collection using integrations with AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and GitHub lets you automatically gather evidence to assess your infrastructure’s compliance with CIS benchmarks.

Real-Time View of Risk & Compliance

Expert-provided inherent and target risk scores help you create an instant baseline that eliminates guesswork, and integrations with third-party security vendors allow you to quickly identify which third parties require more scrutiny.

Real-time updates to risk scoring based on control assessments allow you to see how your compliance activities impact your risk.

Support Your Team’s Mission Today

See how ROAR can help you support your team’s mission and drive your organization’s business objectives by…

  • Drastically reducing the number of emails back and forth
  • Cutting down on audit fatigue
  • Minimizing errors
  • Increasing productivity and morale
  • Enabling your team to audit and assess more frequently
  • Giving clear insight into how well you’re protecting your company

Empower your risk management team to work smarter — not harder — with ROAR. Get your FREE demo now.


1 https://www.isc2.org/Research/Workforce-Study#

2 https://www.cio.com/article/302803/7-hot-it-budget-investments-and-4-going-cold.html