Cybersecurity Risk Management

Cybersecurity risk management is a continual process of identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and addressing an organization's cybersecurity threats, and the potential impact each threat poses. Everyone in the organization has a role to play in the protection of the organization’s digital resources and data.

The importance of cybersecurity risk management increases with the costs for noncompliance and losses due to downtime, lost productivity, lost revenue and brand erosion. The establishment of a risk management system, and implementation of best practices, will help build resilience and a strong defense against cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity risk management identifies risks and vulnerabilities, and leverages administrative actions and solutions to ensure an organization is protected. Prior to establishing a cybersecurity risk management system, it is important to determine what assets need protection and prioritize them.

Every organization’s IT infrastructure is unique, with different risk factors. Developing a cybersecurity framework for each business area will help ascertain risk across business units. Mapping data gathered across the enterprise will equip IT and security teams with a better understanding of what decisions need to be made for governance.

Just having an Internet connection exposes an enterprise to cybersecurity risk. External and internal attempts to compromise an organization’s data occur regularly. So incident response plans should be in place to determine what actions to take if specific security incidents arise. If an actual breach occurs, the enterprise should have detailed plans to notify appropriate parties, inside and outside the company. These plans should include contact information for law enforcement, business suppliers, and customers, an action item checklist, public relations response, etc. NIST offers a comprehensive incident response action plan.

Ideally, an organization will develop a comprehensive security posture that includes a combination of technologies such as firewalls, endpoint protection, threat intelligence and access controls. Organizations might want to consider risk management services for a comprehensive assessment and solution recommendations to maximize their security budget.

Once an organization conducts its original risk assessment and advances to their desired risk posture; regular, periodic inspections are essential to look for new vulnerabilities and threats, and address findings to maintain its risk posture.

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