Organisations must regularly conduct cyber risk assessments to test their preparedness for cyber threats and ensure they have the best possible remediation strategies.
But not all cyber risk assessments are created equal.
A regular cyber risk assessment process usually boils down to just a few major steps:
#1 Identification of:
#2 Analysis – Assessing the already existing control and how they fare against possible threats and vulnerabilities.
#3 Risk Assessment – Determining how likely it is for a specific incident to happen, and how much of an impact it would have with the current controls and strategies.
#4 Remediation – Prioritisation of identified security risks and determining adequate controls to mitigate risk for each.
There’s a notion that cyber risk assessments do not do much in terms of protecting the organisation against cyber threats, but in reality, the assessment isn’t the problem – it’s how it’s conducted.
When the above steps are not taken correctly, major risks could go undetected. Usually, the mistakes that happen are:
Nowadays, cybersecurity concerns everyone – from IT to CSO, CISO, CTO, and to all board members, as it has such a huge impact on the organisation when security is compromised. Therefore, everyone needs to collaborate during cyber risk assessments; otherwise, a huge chunk of data will be missing.
Check out our article on collaborating together here: https://www.boardish.io/unite-it-with-compliance-ciso-dpo-cio/
The board can’t do much with terms like “low risk” and “high risk.” For them, the financial impact is the most important factor – knowing how much money they could lose (or save) in the long term.
Without quantifying impact, you can’t give them the full picture. When you can show them they would suffer multi-million losses after a data breach that’s identified as a high-risk threat, it will be much easier to secure $45,000 for threat mitigation!
Organisations tend to test their perimeter against threats but forget all about internal security policies. Oftentimes, data loss and breach happen due to lack of access control inside the perimeter.
Internal security strategies on how is data shared, who has access to sensitive documents, and what happens if they are accessed from BYOD devices must be part of the cyber risk assessment too.
Many cyber risk assessments don’t look extensively outside of their organisation yet grant access to sensitive data to third parties, which are often the point of entry for security breaches.
Are you making sure your partners are taking care of their cybersecurity as much as you do? Have you fortified or put mitigation in place if they are breached?
While something might be considered a low-risk for your industry, your particular organisation might be at high-risk because there are no good controls in place.
Risk assessments must always be conducted specifically for the company, using their numbers and values, and implemented controls. That’s the only way to get quantifiable data that is relevant and specific to your organisation.
Keeping your organisation safe against security threats requires a more proactive approach than simply having a security strategy and security software in place. Cyber risk assessments, when done correctly, help identify weak spots and remediate them effectively.
Maintain control over solution effeciency!