Cybersecurity Risk Management: Identifying, Reducing, and Managing Cybersecurity Risks

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The Ultimate Guide to Cybersecurity Risk Management

Do you have difficulty knowing what your employees, suppliers, and customers do with the information that they can access through your network? Likewise, are you aware of how the organization’s crucial data is kept in the cloud, on desktops, or servers?

In the ever-changing information security landscape, discerning the differences associated with data risks plays an instrumental role in helping protect sensitive data. Such an understanding enables an organization to design a cybersecurity program for the best response, and hence, limit reputational damage.

So, what’s the key to foiling cyberthreats? The best cybersecurity risk management frameworks work closely to create a robust cybersecurity system. By providing for good governance and proactive risk management practices, a private/public sector organization can prepare, adapt, thwart, or recover from disruptions.

Let’s learn how you can identify, reduce, and manage cybersecurity risks.

What Is Cybersecurity Risk Management?

These are processes that focus on helping you identify the potential cybersecurity risks in your business, assess the adverse impact of those risks, and plan how to react if they become a reality.

During this process, you need to accept the uncomfortable truth that you can’t block every cyber-attack or do away with every system’s vulnerability. Fortunately, cybersecurity risk management allows you to attend to the flaws, threat trends, and cyber-attacks that could cripple your business.

Identifying Cybersecurity Risks

When you want to identify risks, there are specific steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Identify and Document Asset Vulnerabilities

Conducting risk assessments helps you understand the loopholes that cybercriminals use to access your company’s information systems. You’ll also know where your vulnerabilities lie. Here, start by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What information do you collect?
  • How do you store that information?
  • Who can access the stored information?

Then, look at how you protect and secure your data, computers, emails, and network.

Step 2: Identify Internal & External Threats

Carefully research and familiarize yourself with the different types of cyber crimes and how hackers target organizations. But don’t focus only on the outside. It’s in your best interest to come to terms with the fact that a resentful employee can also become a malicious cyber threat actor

Step 3: Assess Your Vulnerabilities

The availability of numerous tools on the internet has made it easier to scan networks. In addition to determining whether your software is up to date, these tools can also help you scan for known vulnerabilities.

While assessing your vulnerabilities, you can use brute-force attacks against the end-users or run pre-defined exploits against your company’s information system.

Step 4: Identify Potential Business Impacts

Once threats and vulnerabilities are identified, the next step is to determine the impact each might have on your organization and assign an impact rating. How’s that important to your business? This allows you to weight threats according to the financial, reputational, and operational effects of a cyber-attack.

Step 5: Identify & Prioritize Your Risk Responses

Now that you understand the potential consequences of an attack, start prioritizing how to solve flaws in your system. Prioritization is based on residual risk after considering controls and practices in place to mitigate risk. Those areas that present the most risk should be addressed first. Suppose you make changes to your security system—then you’ll have to test them to make sure that the changes haven’t negatively impacted your system.

People are often the most significant security liabilities. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure that your employees understand their role in cybersecurity through ongoing training.

Reducing Cybersecurity Risks

Although you can’t completely secure your business from all cyberthreats, there are specific ways that you can reduce the risk of attacks. Technological risk mitigations include firewalls, engaging automation, and threat hunting software.

You can also apply some of the best practices for mitigation, such as:

  • Updating your software
  • Dynamic data backup
  • Multi-factor access authentication
  • Cybersecurity training programs
  • Privileged access management (PAM) solutions

But that’s not all. Let’s learn more about other surefire ways of reducing cybersecurity risk.

1. Encrypt Your Data

Never store sensitive data in normal-text format. Instead, encrypt all the data both in transit and at rest in servers, workstations and databases. This is an essential step that can support you in your efforts to protect your organization against hackers.

2. Ensure You Have A Kill Switch

another efficient way of preventing large-scale damage is by having a kill switch. Simply put, this is where your IT team shuts down all access to your servers when they notice something suspicious. These threat response processes can even go to the extent of taking down websites for maintenance while your information security team acts to resolve the issue.

3. Protect Outbound Data

Data protection is two-way traffic. Just as you protect your information system from incoming malware, you should also make sure that your data never leaves the system. How? To prevent honest mistakes, such as your employees releasing sensitive data from your system, focus on egress filtering. Data loss prevention (DLP) solutions provide visibility into data usage and address data related threats including the risks of inadvertent or accidental data loss, and the exposure of sensitive data.

4. Use Patches

Information security goes way beyond encrypting and protecting your data. All it takes is a simple mistake for hackers to get into your system. That’s why it’s wise to maintain an active patch management program through scanning your systems regularly and updating with the recommended patches.

Managing Cybersecurity Risks

In the modern world of cybersecurity, one bitter truth most business owners acknowledge is that managing cyber risk in your organization is becoming more challenging than ever. Keeping your systems secure can be overwhelming, even with the best cybersecurity framework.

Why is this so?

You don’t have to look far. Start with the use of cloud services and third parties contacting sensitive data. Furthermore, companies face new laws and regulations that govern how sensitive information must be protected. In addition to handling their risks, today’s enterprises must also manage vendor risk.

Now, factor in how the pandemic forced some employees to work remotely on scrambled security protocols and unsecured networks. With all these obstacles, how can you manage information security risks today?

When it comes to enterprise risk management, you need to follow a set process. This begins with identifying and assessing the risk based on the possibility of threats and the potential impact. After considering risk mitigation strategies, the residual risk for each threat is your rationale for prioritizing security efforts. The final step, monitoring, is designed for risk response, and it factors in the continually shifting environment.

Get in Touch with SCA For Cybersecurity Risk Management

Identifying, reducing, and managing risks are crucial steps in cybersecurity risk management. At SCA, we can help you identify risks, evaluate them, and determine strategies to reduce and eliminate cybersecurity risks effectively.

Check out our breach notification guide and learn more about the breach notification laws in your state.

At SCA, our knowledgeable and experienced security analysts provide nothing less than first-class information security assessments and compliance advisory services. Contact us today at (727) 571-1141.