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Risk Register Examples for Cybersecurity Leaders

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Risk registers are a widespread utility among many cybersecurity professionals that allow practitioners to track and measure risks in one place. This type of reporting can quickly help align your teams to the initiatives that matter and save valuable resources, time, and labor. By utilizing compliance, scope, and efficacy, any project team can utilize a risk register to better their cybersecurity.

Creating a register might seem easy using a generic risk register template found online, but properly managing risk and potential impact can be difficult. Deciding what goes into a risk register depends on your organization’s cybersecurity posture, potential risks, residual risks, and identified risks. Typically, risk registers are used by security teams to create an inventory of potential risk events, with the likelihood, impact, and description of an event to track the risk. A separate record should accompany this inventory to log control deficiencies that can contribute to the risks inside your risk register. Coordinating with stakeholders, project managers, and other personnel in your company is necessary for accurately scaling and reviewing the risk log in your register. But using a risk register alone proves nothing towards compliance if it’s not accompanied by a risk management plan to monitor and track your compliance initiatives continuously.

As shown below, your risk register should include:

  • Risk Description: Describe the measured risk and how it threatens the organization.
  • Cause: The event or trigger that causes the risk to happen.
  • Result or Impact: The impact your organization faces if the risk occurs.
  • Likelihood: How probable the risk is to happen to your company.
  • Outcome: How detrimental the risk can be if it happens.
  • Risk Level: How high of a priority the risk is based on your risk matrix.
  • Cost: Expense to mitigate the risk or minimize its impact as much as possible.
  • Mitigation Actions: The actions the security team carried out to mitigate the risk.

 

 

By using an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) solution responsible for managing risk continuously, risk registers function more as a method for reporting amongst team members than actively proving compliance. As a static form of reporting, there’s potential room for error and impact on a risk response plan if a risk register is not supplemented by continuous compliance. But having a risk register in place can help delegate across risk management, track risk owners, improve risk identification, prioritize your response and action plans, and risk response based on high, medium, or low-risk categories.

Many cybersecurity frameworks and standards in use today require risk registers as a supplementary way of proving your organization is effectively executing its risk management processes in tandem with a continuous solution. By utilizing an Integrated Risk Management solution like CyberStrong, you can prove compliance across a multitude of frameworks, project risk information across an enterprise, and measure your cybersecurity posture as a whole. Creating and maintaining a risk register can be automated and streamlined using CyberStrongs patented AI to quantify your risk and save your organization valuable time, labor, and resources. If you have any questions about how creating a risk register or how using CyberStrong can help automate your compliance process, give us a call at 1-800-NIST CSF or click here and request a free demo.

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