Cybersecurity risks have a far-reaching impact. As we’ve come to know, the effect of cyber has grown far beyond information systems and can render a company obsolete. The data and the cyber risk metrics used to track and analyze the success of a cyber security program are essential. The more accurate and actionable the insights, the more CISOs and security professionals can leverage them to drive cyber risk management further and report on cyber risk posture clearly to Board members and executive stakeholders. In today's interconnected world, the risk of cyber threats is increasing, and organizations must be proactive in their approach to cyber risk management. As the cyber landscape evolves, so should your cyber risk management and reporting strategies.
In this blog post, we will discuss how cyber risk metrics can impact how professionals strategize cyber risk management and why it's vital for organizations to track them in a cyber risk dashboard. A cyber risk dashboard will help security practitioners continuously monitor vital metrics and improve cyber risk reporting with centralized access to risk assessment and risk scenario data.
Understanding the Threat Landscape
Cyber risk metrics provide organizations with a clear understanding of their threat landscape. By monitoring metrics such as the number of successful and attempted cyber-attacks, types of attacks, and the source of attacks, organizations can identify their most significant threats and focus their risk management efforts accordingly.
A cyber risk dashboard should populate data of the most prevalent threats in your relevant industry and compare your organization’s preparedness to those of similar size and industry-wide companies. The Executive Dashboard, available through CyberStrong, enables practitioners to drill down across BUs, crown jewels, and strategic business initiatives and helps inform decisions regarding each unit and practice.
Prioritizing Risk Management Efforts
With limited resources, organizations must prioritize their risk management efforts to address the most significant risks first. By tracking cyber risk metrics, organizations can assess the likelihood and impact of potential risks and prioritize their actions accordingly. Cyber risk quantification can help security professionals contextualize the potential loss impact by translating that risk data into financial terms. By assigning a dollar value to the risk, the security team will better understand the elements at risk and clearly inform business-side leaders of the potential loss impact and exposure. Cyber risk quantification bridges security and business to prioritize and invest in risk management collectively.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Risk Management Efforts
Cyber risk metrics provide organizations with a way to measure the effectiveness of their risk management strategies. By tracking historical control score data, practitioners can see the progress made over time by the change in control score. There must be more than just monitoring the number of attempted cyber-attacks to protect an organization, as that entirely relies on the security team's ability to respond to attacks. Security teams must take a more proactive preventative approach by tracking control failure in real-time before malicious actors can exploit such vulnerabilities.
Security practitioners can track historical maturity data in a cyber risk dashboard to centralize maturity information in a single space. This will help leaders understand where maturity can be improved by unit, product initiative, or enterprise. Where control maturity is lacking, security practitioners can focus their efforts there or re-evaluate the efficiency of their risk management strategy.
Improving Incident Response Times
In a cyber attack, the speed at which an organization responds is critical for minimizing the damage and reducing the risk of data loss. Cyber risk metrics such as incident response times allow organizations to measure their preparedness for responding to security incidents and make improvements where necessary.
Compliance with Security Policies
Cyber risk metrics can help organizations track compliance with security policies and best practices. While compliance is not the end goal of cybersecurity, it is a critical aspect of healthy cybersecurity. Large organizations often need to benchmark against one to many industry or custom-built frameworks. Your cyber risk dashboard should include extra visibility around framework maturities relevant to the company. CISOs and security practitioners can use this to provide additional context around the company’s overall security posture in real time.
As more organizations move to the cloud, monitoring cloud security metrics, such as the number of unauthorized access attempts or the effectiveness of cloud security controls, is essential. By tracking these metrics, organizations can ensure their data and systems are secure in the cloud and adjust their risk management strategies accordingly.
Data Backup and Recovery
Regular data backups and disaster recovery planning are critical for ensuring that an organization's data is protected during a security incident or natural disaster. Cyber risk metrics such as the effectiveness of data backup and recovery processes can help organizations ensure their data is protected and improve their risk management strategies.
By tracking cyber risk metrics in a centralized format, security professionals can distinguish risk trends within their organization and develop a better approach to them. Whether that is targeted units or a particular threat vector that targets the enterprise more, like phishing attacks, cyber risk metrics can help organizations identify trends in the threat landscape and adjust their risk management strategies accordingly.
Cyber risk metrics can improve collaboration between different organizational departments. By reporting on clear and actionable cyber risk metrics, departments such as IT, risk management, and business operations can work together to develop an effective risk management strategy.
Building a Culture of Cybersecurity
By tracking cyber risk metrics and regularly sharing the results with employees, organizations can build a culture of cybersecurity and increase employee engagement in risk management efforts.
Developing Secure Cyber Risk Management Strategies
Tracking and monitoring cyber risk metrics are critical in effective risk management strategies. To effectively do so, cyber professionals need a cyber risk dashboard, similar to CyberStrong’s Executive Dashboard, to help deliver clear and actionable insights to Board leaders and the entire organization. By tracking cyber risk metrics, organizations can assess their risk exposure, prioritize their risk management efforts, and make improvements where necessary. By doing so, organizations can reduce the risk of cyber threats, protect their data, build for a better future, and ensure the organization's success.