Cyber risk management is the process by which you determine potential cyber threats, and then put measures into place to keep those threats at acceptable levels. Your cyber risk management efforts should be formalized into a plan, which should then be updated often to stay current with evolving cybersecurity threats.
Considering just how dangerous cybercriminals can be to your organization, a current cybersecurity framework is no longer just a good idea; it’s required. Cybersecurity risk management is so important that multiple organizations offer guidance and standards to mitigate cyber threats. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is one; the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is another.
Cybersecurity risk is the likelihood your company might suffer damages because of a successful cyberattack. This risk includes data breaches, loss of critical information, regulatory enforcement (including monetary penalties) due to a breach, or damage to your reputation after a cybersecurity event. Risk is different from uncertainty in that risk can be measured, and protected against. For example, you can block phishing attempts or build strong firewalls (a risk) but you cannot stop a hurricane from downing your Wi-Fi networks for a whole day (uncertainty).
This means you should evaluate your business several times a year to understand how your company adheres to current information security protocols, and what new threats may have developed since your last analysis. This evaluation is known as a cybersecurity risk assessment. Regular risk assessments will help in implementing a scalable cybersecurity framework for your business.
What Are the Different Types of Cybersecurity Risk?
Cybersecurity risks come in many forms, and CISOs should be aware of all them when developing your risk management process. To start, the four most common cyberattacks are:
- Malware: malicious software that installs itself that causes abnormal behavior within your information system;
- Phishing: emails or messages that trick users into revealing personal or sensitive data;
- Man-in-the-Middle attack (MitM): cybercriminals eavesdrop on private conversations to steal sensitive information; and
- SQL injection: a string of code is inserted in the server, prompting it to leak private data.
When building your risk management strategy, prioritize which common cyber incidents you want to prepare for. Strategizing for those most likely to occur within your business, or for those events where regulatory compliance obligates you to address them. Then you can move forward with creating an effective risk management program.
Why Is Cyber Risk Management Important?
Your business should always be learning how to adapt to changing cybersecurity standards while also monitoring potential threats.
A cybersecurity event like an internal data breach or a successful cyberattack can cause significant financial losses. It can also create disruptions in the day-to-day operations of your business, as you inform employees and customers of the breach and the steps you’ll take in response.
By maintaining regular cyber risk management you can keep the chances of a cybersecurity event low, protecting your business for the long term.
What Is the Cybersecurity Risk Management Process?
Cybersecurity risk management is an ongoing process that involves regular monitoring and frequent analysis of existing security protocols. Generally, a cyber risk manager will work with key stakeholders and decision-makers across the business to draft a cybersecurity risk statement, where potential risks are identified as well as the company’s tolerance for each risk. Then, safety measures and training are matched with each cybersecurity risk.
The organization then follows policies and procedures in its daily operations to keep cybersecurity threats at a minimum, and the cybersecurity risk manager monitors the overall security posture. From time to time the risk manager should also report on how well security protocols are helping to mitigate cyber risks and potential threats, and make recommendations as necessary to improve security for the evolving threat landscape.
A follow-up risk assessment may be required to update the risk management strategy currently in place.
ZenGRC Helps Businesses with Cyber Risk Management
Reciprocity offers a flexible, integrated cybersecurity risk management dashboard with ZenGRC. Your business can easily share reports, record incident responses, and adapt to new cyber threats within one system.
You’ll have access to ZenGRC experts to help navigate your cybersecurity needs as your business scales, whether that’s continuing your current cybersecurity program or building all new network security.