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Cyber risk quantification is the process of determining the likelihood and potential impact of a cyber attack or security breach. The probability and impact will vary based on your company's size, threat type, and industry. Using risk quantification to understand the implications, CISOs and other leaders can improve cyber and business processes accordingly. 

By selecting a comprehensive cyber risk quantification approach, numerous processes can be improved, starting with enhanced cyber risk management. CISOs and business leaders can identify and prioritize risks and effectively direct mitigation activities toward these gaps, leading to a more secure risk posture. Cyber risk quantification improves communication between cyber and business leaders by providing a common language - monetary terms. By translating risk into a dollar amount, leaders can effectively communicate financial impact, risks, where to allocate resources, and the value of various mitigation strategies. 

Once your organization has established its cyber risk quantification process, CISOs can track these metrics over time to see where mitigation activities have succeeded. Historical data will help further justify security spend and showcase the ROI to executive leaders and the Board.

This blog will discuss three main cyber risk quantification models: the FAIR Model, NIST 800-30, and CyberInsight. Depending on the data you seek and your organization’s structure and maturity, you can select the cyber risk assessment model that suits your cyber risk management process accordingly.

Selecting the Right Risk Model 

NIST SP 800-30 

NIST 800-30 is a comprehensive qualitative cyber security risk assessment model for evaluating an organization’s cybersecurity risks per the NIST 800-30 risk management framework. If your organization benchmarks against the NIST CSF and has a lower maturity, this model will help round out your cyber risk management program. The NIST 800-30 framework delivers insights relevant to security and risk teams by assisting them in identifying and prioritizing potential cybersecurity risks and developing mitigation strategies. 

This risk analysis process has a few main components; a system characterization phase, a threat identification phase, a vulnerability assessment phase, and a risk assessment phase. Based on the results, teams can develop and implement mitigation strategies and regularly monitor these insights to ensure the security posture is effectively managed over time. 

NIST 800-30 is incredibly impactful if your organization uses an automated platform that can streamline the assessment process since spreadsheets would be inefficient and store dated information. You can use NIST 800-30 to determine the most relevant threats to your organization, the likelihood of these threats, and how these threats will affect your organization. 

The FAIR Model 

FAIR, or Factor Analysis of Information Risk, is a cyber risk quantification model that monetizes risk exposure by breaking down the risk by its loss magnitude and loss event frequency and analyzing how these two aspects interact. This assessment process involves data modeling techniques like Monte Carlo simulations. FAIR is especially valuable for mature organizations looking to improve communication with business-side leaders and the Board.

By translating risk into monetary terms, CISOs can bridge communication with these leaders and drive informed decision-making around resource allocation and investments. 

Risk teams can leverage this data-driven approach in conjunction with top industry frameworks like the NIST CSF and ISO 27001. The FAIR model risk assessment requires specialized knowledge and skills in data analysis, statistics, risk modeling, information security, business operations, and communication and collaboration. Use FAIR risk analysis to guide effective decision-making and establish top-down cyber awareness.

The CyberInsight Model

The CyberInsight model is a MITRE ATT&CK and VERIS-based risk modeling approach developed by CyberSaint and leading consulting firms. CyberInsight was modeled after how practitioners evaluate threat actor types, vulnerability opportunities, impact level of threats, and security control postures. 

With the CyberInsight model, users can objectively quantify their cyber risk posture, compare it to industry benchmarks like the NIST CSF, confidently decide where to take risks, and understand where they can obtain the greatest ROI from their security investments to create business value. This approach to risk analysis delivers real-time risk updates and immediately incorporates control strength changes.

CyberInsight is valuable for conversations around monetizing risk and threat modeling. This model can help CISOs and security leaders answer the following questions:

  • What cybersecurity risks are exceeding our risk appetite?
  • Where can we improve our cybersecurity defenses?
  • Are investments in security improving our cyber risk posture?

This cyber risk modeling approach is best suited for enterprise organizations with a mature cyber risk management program and is exclusively available through the CyberStrong platform. 

Enhance Cyber Risk Management with Risk Analysis

As cyber becomes a pillar of business success, it has become increasingly important to communicate to executive leadership and the Board. Utilizing any of the approaches mentioned above will empower your security and risk team to deliver actionable insights on risk posture and remediation activities. Using CyberStrong’s Risk Register, security professionals can perform cyber risk quantification analysis based on these three models and track all risks dynamically in a single location. 

Learn more about CyberSaint’s approach to cyber risk quantification here. Schedule a conversation with us to discover how you can use CyberStrong’s Risk Register or the CyberInsight Model.

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