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Using Risk Management to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Using Risk Management to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Justin W 2119 21-Jun-2019

Cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated as technology evolves. The adoption of new techniques by the cybercriminals has made it necessary for organizations to monitor their risk management systems continually.  

Some of the cyber threats that your organization is likely to encounter include data breach, ransomware, crypto mining, and malware. According to Cyber Attack Trends Analysis 2019, the cybercriminals are using more targeted approaches to interfere with the operations of institutions and governments globally. One of the recently adopted technique is the use of crypto jacking malware, which affected approximately 20% of all the organizations globally in 2018.

To avert the devastating effects that can befall your organization when a cyber-attack occurs, it’s necessary that you institute measures to safeguard your data. You’ll achieve this by developing a robust risk management plan that’ll allow you to detect and mitigate the threats before they cause harm to your organization.

What is Risk Management?

Risk management involves various steps instituted to protect your organization from cyber threats. The five steps include:

  • Risk Identification. To achieve an effective risk management system, you should always ensure that you conduct a thorough risk identification process
  • Risk Analysis. Once you’ve identified the risk, you need to analyze to determine the probability of their occurrence and the potential damage that its occurrence would cause
  • Risk Evaluation. This stage involves the ranking of the risk based on the combination of occurrence likelihood and the consequences/ financial implications to the organization. You’re expected to decide whether to accept, reject, or transfer the risk. If you accept it, then you should start devising techniques of treatment to mitigate the risks before any attack occurs
  • Risk Treatment. This involves the planning of a response to mitigate an existing risk. You should always start with the highest ranked risks (those that are more likely to occur and those that would cause more financial damage to the company). The mitigation procedures should always endeavor to either eliminate the risk or reduce it to an acceptable limit. All the contingency plans should be tested to ensure that they are effective in mitigating the risks
  • Risk Monitoring and Review. After you’ve established the mitigation plan, you’re obliged to ensure consistent monitoring of its efficacy. It’s paramount that you adopt automated tools that will review the system continuously and periodically generate a report. This approach will make it easy to detect cybersecurity threats early enough for eradication

When carrying out all these steps of cybersecurity risk assessment and management, you should involve all the stakeholders. This is crucial since it’ll help in developing a comprehensive cybersecurity framework that’s applicable for all the departments in your organization.

Also, the incorporation of the stakeholder’s opinions guarantees the development of an error-free and robust security system that will easily pass all the tests of the regulatory bodies. Additionally, this inclusive approach will enhance the auditing process, save on operational cost, and improve customer experience.

Tips for Developing a Strong Risk Management System to Reduce Cybercrime Activities

The process of establishing a highly effective security system for your organization can be overwhelming. However, using these techniques will ensure that you achieve a system with the potential to curb all cybercriminal activities:

Have a Multi-Sectorial Approach

The involvement of all the stakeholders is crucial since it leads to a highly detailed security-control system. Some of the officials that should be included in the process are the chief information security officer (CISO), chief risk officer (CRO), and chief information officer (CIO). You should never make the mistake of thinking that a single group in your organization can curb the internal and external threats as well as technological landscape vulnerabilities.

Besides these crucial security officials, you should ensure that you incorporate departmental heads to represent the interests of all the departments. This will make the implementation phase of the security controls more manageable.

Ensure that the Security Controls Conform to Standards and Guidelines

Every industry is guided by regulatory requirements whose compliance significantly reduces the chances of cyber-attacks. Whether you’re in the hospitality, manufacturing, or service industry, you should strive to follow all the guidelines.

Some common standards include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and COBIT. These guidelines offer a cybersecurity framework that eases the auditing process, thus making the compliance inspection easier and consequently improving the cybersecurity situation of your business.

Use Automated Tools to Determine Efficiency

The evaluation process should involve the use of an automated application/tool that regularly generates a report for discussion by the stakeholders. This method assures the detection and rectification of problems that would otherwise be costly to your organization.

The development of an efficient risk management system is necessary for enhancing your organization's cybersecurity situation. However, you’ll only achieve this if you develop a sturdy risk management plan. As such, we recommend that you follow all the tips provided herein to achieve a high-level cybersecurity framework.

Updated 12-Jul-2020

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