Cybersecurity Risk Management

Having an effective cybersecurity risk management plan helps in thwarting these malicious attacks and mitigating risks for your organization. Implementing an effective risk management plan has many benefits.

According to Purplesec, a cybersecurity service-based company, cybercrime has surged up to 600% compared to last year due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

As more exceeding businesses go digital and employees are forced to work remotely, cybersecurity issues rise as cybercriminals have a large surface area to attack.

A cyber attack can mean damages grave repercussions on the business functioning and objectives. Therefore, making your cybersecurity system robust is the need of the hour as cybercriminals are looking to expose the vulnerabilities in the system.

What is Cybersecurity Risk Management?

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Cyber Security Risk Management (CSRM) is a process or an operation to identify potential risks in a company’s network. This is done by evaluating and gauging the impact of the risks identified and developing a sound response strategy or a plan; if these risks become a reality and make sure your organization is adequately protected.

The IT department and professionals in an organization depend on a combination of technologies and strategies to prevent cyberattacks that can steal critical data, compromise the systems and hold the essential company data ransom.

Why is Cybersecurity Risk Management Important?

A Cybersecurity Risk Management enables the detection of vulnerabilities and flaws in a security system and allows the organization to keep the vulnerabilities in check.

Cybersecurity Risk Management enables to detection of inherent threats along with the threat of an outside attack. It allows assessing the risks identified while applying the regulatory actions and specific solutions to ensure that the system is robust and well protected.

A proper Cybersecurity Risk management implementation helps prevent further damage and eliminates the likelihood of under attack by addressing the vulnerabilities internally.

Cybersecurity Risk management implementation enables mitigation of risks, prevention of attacks, protection of critical assets and data, reduction in operational costs, and avoids time and wasting resources.

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Cybersecurity Risk Management Framework

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The following checklist is a must to build a sophisticated Cybersecurity Risk Management Framework to ensure protection from attacks:

Understand the security landscape of your organization

The security team must have a clear overview of the organization’s security landscape. Knowing the security architecture allows the security team to undertake swift actions when a cyberattack occurs.

For instance, knowing the complete landscape, like the location of the devices and servers to know the location of the pathways which lead to the fire exit, is crucial as it enables to respond speedily to a crisis or a security breach.

Identifying the gaps

It is essential to identify the gaps and loopholes along the process beforehand rather than knowing at the time of the attack. Moreover, it gives enough time to recover and possibly launch a counter to thwart the attack.

It is crucial to frequently carry out a risk assessment and categorize them based on impact to address the risks with high impact.

Create a cybersecurity team

Having a dedicated team to deal with threats and attacks allows us to tackle the threat in an incredibly higher efficient and effective way.

Having a committed full-time team of internal organization employees who know the organization better rather than hiring a third-party team helps build a robust system and mitigates risks that evolve through an internal security breach.

Train your employees about cybersecurity risk management rather than hiring a skilled worker from outside.

Assign responsibilities

Although it is better to have a dedicated team to deal with cyber-attacks and threats, assigning responsibilities to each organization member helps prevent these attacks.

Every employee must be aware of the possible risks and know suitable actions to prevent attacks or breaches.

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Train and educate employees

Every employee must be educated and trained efficiently about the risks involved in a cyber-attack or a security breach.

Risk management training ensures that the employees know how to tackle these attacks and risks and take a suitable preventive measure to mitigate the attacks.

A security-aware workspace should be encouraged through education. A well-trained employee has a better understanding and knowledge of the systems and procedures need to undertake during an attack and is an asset to an organization.

Implement the risk management framework

The risk management framework is a structured process to identify potential risks and chalk out a strategy to minimize the risks or completely nullify or eliminate the risks. The five steps of RMF are

  1. Identify the risk
  2. Analyze the risk
  3. Evaluate or rank the risk
  4. Treat the risk
  5. Monitor or review the risk

The most frequently embraced cybersecurity frameworks are PCI DSS, ISO 27001/27002, CIS Critical Security Controls, and NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Security.

Develop a risk assessment program

A cybersecurity risk assessment aids the organization in identifying potential risks and internal vulnerabilities in its system. The risk assessment program defines a parameter for organizational configuration, allocates assets and responsibilities. Also, provides documented procedures containing the risk assessment implementation plans.

Hiring ICS security vendors would be a good move when developing risk assessment programs. These professionals can assess an organization’s systems for vulnerabilities and risks. They’re also responsible for keeping security systems safe. This is why companies, especially those dealing with sensitive data, should find the ICS provider for their needs.

Create a sound incident response plan

A sound incident response plan includes the steps or actions to be taken by an organization to continue its business operation; generally in the event of an attack or a significant disruption.

Also known as the business continuity plan; the plan is documented, tested frequently, developed, and improved upon; ensuring that the organization has recovery strategies ready to deal with different kinds of attacks at any given time.

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5 Benefits of Cybersecurity Risk management

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The following are the benefits of cybersecurity risk management.

Prevents loss of revenue

Cybersecurity risk management protects small businesses or an organization from losing a significant amount of money to recover from a cyber-attack. Cybersecurity risk management continually looks for risks and vulnerabilities in the organization’s system and develops a recovery strategy or fills the security gaps.

Protects reputation

A cyber-attack on a large scale cause data breach and leakage of critical data. This not only costs the company in revenue but also its reputation.

A breach of data may cause loss of trust in the company among the consumers and the stakeholders; which dents the organization’s reputation. Cyber security risk management allows you to mitigate these risks and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals all the time.

Educated Employees

Cyber security risk management allows the employees to learn a great deal about cyberattacks; and what preventive measures are to be taken to thwart this attack. So, educated employees that are more knowledgeable about cybersecurity create a security-aware workplace. So that it can help in mitigating risks and attacks from the ground level.

Enhance IT support

Since cyber security risk management involves regular testing, development, and improvement of systems to prevent attacks; the cybersecurity team is well versed with various cybersecurity trends. As a result, it is in a better situation to prevent new and evolving attacks.

cyber security risk management also ensure a proactive team which deals with cybersecurity crisis regularly.

Limits Downtime

Ransomware or a phishing attack creates many hours of downtime; leading to unproductive employees and substantial financial losses and operational disruptions. Cyber security risk management allows you to develop a good incident response to tackle the attack effectively, thus reducing downtime.

An organization’s cybersecurity is a non-stop challenge, with attacks getting more sophisticated and evolving. Cybersecurity Risk management is an ongoing process that identifies risks and vulnerabilities. Also, formulates a plan to deal with them effectively.

Cyber security risk management, through periodic and frequent tests and development, maintains the organization’s risk posture at the desired level.

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Author Bio: Cyril James has a stable foundation in the Information Technology and Communication industry with above 13 years of experience. His expertise extends in Information Security, specializing in network, web, mobile applications, and cloud penetration testing across different industry domains related to banking, insurance, energy, telecom, IT products, services, etc. He is well-versed in penetration testing methodologies, including OWASP, OSSTMM, and PTES. In addition, he has a firm knowledge of the technical ideas of cloud computing, machine learning, and many programming languages. Cyril is ideological and strategy-builder, has excellent communication skills and is excellent at managing teams. He has established and currently directs SecureTriad, a Penetration Testing Services Company.

Images by Gerd Altmann and Tumisu from Pixabay

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