As organizations recognize the importance of cyber risk management, the challenge of selecting the right cyber risk management services for the company comes. An efficient cyber risk management program can help organizations to protect their critical assets and data from security threats and data breaches and to respond effectively to security incidents when they do occur. There are several facets within cyber risk management, including cyber risk assessment, cyber risk quantification (CRQ), risk mitigation, third-party risk management, and executive reporting.
Considering the scale of recent cyber attacks, governing bodies have taken the initiative to roll out regulations mandating adherence to certain facets of cyber risk management. For example, the new SEC Cyber Reporting Requirements require reporting to stakeholders in the event of an incident. While each element has its value, organizations can achieve full-scale security if they leverage a service that provides end-to-end solutions for cyber risk management.
Each facet impacts the other; risk assessment data feeds CRQ data, and CRQ data is needed to perform risk mitigation analysis. And, well, you can’t manage third parties without the ability to assess and analyze their cyber risks, and you can’t report to executives without any of this crucial cyber risk data.
Critical Components of Cyber Risk Management Services
The following are some of the critical components of a cybersecurity risk management solution:
Cyber Risk Assessments
Organizations must assess the cybersecurity risks to their digital assets and crown jewels. This step includes identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities and estimating the likelihood and impact of a successful attack.
Risk assessment data is foundational for cyber risk management. This information is how security teams prioritize risks and structure their cybersecurity plan based on what must be addressed immediately. Additionally, assessment data equips CISOs and security leaders to make better-informed decisions as this information is used for CRQ and mitigation efforts.
As the first step of cyber risk management, risk assessments inform control selection, incident response planning, security awareness training, and vulnerability patching. It is the essential starting point for risk management and sets the organization up for success. Assessments are a repetitive process; organizations should opt for a service that leverages automation so that organizations can rely on the most accurate and up-to-date information.
- Follow our latest guide on conducting cyber risk assessments.
Cyber Risk Quantification
There are two types of cyber risk quantification: black-box risk quantification and transparent/"glass-box" risk quantification. The former option accounts for services that dole out risk scores and ratings without a transparent approach. Scores and ratings may have been helpful in the era when business leaders were unmotivated to understand cyber, but this is no longer the case. Board members and executives want to know the impact of cyber risk and what can be done to improve cybersecurity. CISOs and security leaders must leverage transparent quantification methods that translate cyber risk data into business terms that the company can act on. The data must be actionable. Think about what you can do if you are given a score of four out of five. How does that guide your operations? How does that score help you make a decision? As opposed to knowing the potential financial loss associated with each assessed risk.
There are several risk quantification models that security teams can rely on. With CyberStrong, professionals can conduct quantification based on three models: FAIR, NIST 800-30, and CyberInsight. With CRQ data, CISOs can communicate the value of cybersecurity to business stakeholders in a language they understand. Business stakeholders are more likely to support cybersecurity investments if they can see the potential financial impact of a cyber-attack. CRQ can help security professionals quantify this risk in terms of lost revenue, productivity, and compliance costs.
CRQ can help security professionals to identify the areas where their organizations are most at risk and to prioritize their security investments accordingly. CRQ can also be used to measure the effectiveness of security programs over time. By tracking the change in risk exposure over time, security professionals can see how their security investments are paying off.
In the above section, we noted that CRQ could help security teams prioritize areas of risk. This process leads to deciding how the organization will treat identified risks. There are four categories of risk treatment: avoidance, mitigation, transfer, and acceptance. Each option requires an understanding of the potential impact. Depending on the severity of the impact, security professionals can choose a treatment plan.
Risk mitigation differs from the other options as it depends on the cybersecurity team to develop the best course of action to reduce the likelihood of impact, regularly review their risk mitigation strategies, and make adjustments as needed.
Mitigation plans involve implementing security controls, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, or developing incident response plans. The Risk Remediation Suite is a new set of features in CyberStrong that centralizes all cyber risk data within a single dashboard for enhanced transparency. Additionally, security teams can conduct ROI analysis across projects, factoring in duration, cost, risk mitigation, and potential business impact. Further, CISOs can prioritize risk initiatives based on maturity improvements, allowing informed decisions on resource allocation.
Third-Party Risk Management
An organization’s supply chain security must be a priority alongside standard risk management operations. This includes assessing third-party risks, identifying the types of data third parties can access, and monitoring the supply chain continuously. Additionally, leaders must conduct due diligence on all third-party vendors before entering into a contract. This step should include a review of the vendor's security posture, financial stability, and reputation.
While the company’s security team is not personally responsible for another organization’s security, there can still be far-reaching consequences if the third party falls victim to a breach or cyber attack. The organization must be prepared to safeguard its assets and data from such consequences.
Reporting on Cyber Risk to the Board
Boards and stakeholders want to understand cybersecurity. At this point, they need to, and regulatory bodies are beginning to mandate communication between security leaders and executive leaders. The challenge for CISOs and security leaders is to convey technical knowledge in terms that business leaders can better understand. This necessitates two things: cyber risk quantification and visually engaging dashboards. CRQ, based on the FAIR model or CyberInsight, translates cyber risk into financial terms. An executive dashboard dedicated to the top relevant information to leaders helps security leaders convey the impact of cyber on business operations and centralizes all important metrics for easier management.
Continuous control monitoring (CCM) and regular improvement are imperative to the cyber risk management process. Organizations must monitor their security posture and continuously improve their risk management program. This process includes monitoring for new threats and vulnerabilities and regularly testing the effectiveness of security controls. Cyber risk management is an ongoing process that must adapt to new regulations and threats and scale with the organization.
A dynamic cyber risk management service supports every facet of risk management operations as it understands how each step impacts the other. While you can deploy a different solution for each process, opting for a service that supports each allows for data that can seamlessly work together and mitigates the inefficiencies of disparate systems.