[Approx. 5 minutes reading time]
When it comes to cybersecurity for your business, it is not a set and forget thing.
While it might be tempting to think that you can buy a few pieces of software, and everything is sorted – it’s simply not the case.
The cybercrime world is constantly shifting and if you’re not evolving with the times, then you are leaving yourself, your people, and your business, vulnerable to an attack.
Managing your cybersecurity risk and putting precautions in place should be a continuous process of refinement if you want to make sure that your business is secure.
So today, we’re looking at 5 key factors to include in your cybersecurity risk assessment, so you can keep on top of your cybersecurity risk management requirements.
Let’s get stuck in.
1. Setting Clear Priorities
When you’re doing a cyber security risk assessment, you need to identify those components of your business that are of the highest priority.
- Where does your most important data lie?
- What is of most value to a hacker?
- What are the most exposed nodes on your network?
These sorts of questions help to prioritize resource deployment and focus attention on the right places*, rather than just trying to cover everything at once.
Go deep in those areas first before you move on to the lower risk areas.
Not every area of your business will require the same level of security.
2. Cybersecurity Insurance Coverage
You probably have already insured the physical assets in your possession, but what about your digital assets?
Cybersecurity breaches are incredibly costly both in terms of legal settlements but also the financial impact due to reputational damage.
As a business operating in the modern world, you really should be insuring against that risk as part of a sound risk management process.
If you aren’t, then you leave yourself open to a major breach that could sink your entire company.
3. Documenting Controls
When we refer to controls, we mean processes, procedures, and even software that is put in place to guide the actions of the business and protect against risk.
This is the only way to do real risk management as a company scales and so it’s crucially important that you get this right.
When it comes to risk assessments, the most important thing is that these controls are well documented so you can accumulate knowledge over time*.
If they are implemented in a haphazard way and you don’t have a clear audit trail of why they are around, then you end up duplicating a lot of work, breeding inefficiency in the process.
However, if you are taking the documentation seriously, you can create living, breathing documents that codify your company’s risk management plan – which can then be effectively assessed and commented on when doing your evaluations.
4. Employee Training
Building on the point above, your employees are often the weak link in the chain because they can be manipulated into giving away key information (intentionally or unintentionally) that can be used by hackers.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to invest in some high-quality training for your staff so that they are constantly up to speed with what’s happening in the industry, and they have the knowledge they need to remain vigilant and alert*.
Being proactive in providing this training can save a lot of headaches and is a key part of any cyber security risk management plan.
It’s also a great way to collect insights from your employees about where your risk management efforts should be going.
They are often much closer to what’s happening on the ground than those in leadership might be, and they can provide a perspective that is invaluable when setting up a risk management plan.
5. Make it a Routine
You won’t know where your vulnerabilities lie unless you are consistently putting your system and processes to the test.
There are a number of cyber security risk assessment companies who can come in with a fresh set of eyes and help you with any cyber security risk assessment needs.
These evaluations should be happening regularly and the reports that are generated need to be translated into fast action, if you are going to remain ahead of the game.
Ensure that your leadership structure, IT team, and compliance team are all on the same page in this regard and that it becomes something that’s built into the core of the mission.
In our experience, by implementing these 5 suggested key concepts, you’ll be well on your way to good cyber security risk management practice in your business.
We know it feels like just another thing that needs to be done, amongst the other 1000 IT or security measures that would be nice to have, but this could be the ONE thing that saves you from a cyber stalker tomorrow, today or right NOW.
The team at Continuous Networks are passionate about helping our clients put themselves in the best possible position to protect against cyber security threats.
That’s why we’ve developed a quick and simple CyberSCORE online risk assessment that you can complete in just a few minutes and get a personalized report sent to you that highlights where you are on your cyber security risk management journey.
You can take the assessment here, and we hope that it can prompt some important conversations within your organization so that you can take action and upgrade your current cyber security risk management.
For more information on Cybersecurity Risk Management, be sure to check out our Cybersecurity Services HERE.
1 ‘How to Perform a Cyber Security Risk Assessment’ by Abi Tyas Tunggal. https://www.upguard.com/blog/cyber-security-risk-assessment
2 ‘Importance of Information Systems Documentation for Security – What, How, and Why to Document?’ from Lifars. https://lifars.com/2020/07/importance-of-information-systems-documentation-for-security-what-how-and-why-to-document/
3 ‘What you need to know (and do) about cybersecurity training’ by Eleni Zoe. https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2019/03/cyber-security-training-for-employees-101.html