Ongoing Risk Management: How To Implement It as a Standard Practice

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In 2021, organizations with a mature zero-trust approach incurred an average breach cost of $1.76 million less than organizations without zero trust

Considering this vast difference, it’s no wonder that nearly 69% of organizations planned to increase their cyber spending in 2022. And a quarter of them expected to increase their cyber budgets by more than 10%. With the surge in cyberattacks brought on by the increase in remote work and other online interactions throughout the pandemic, it seems likely that this trend will only continue.

According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, about 85% of data breaches in 2021 involved a human element. Of those breaches, 36% involved phishing attacks, while ransomware attacks accounted for another 10%.

Amid such an evolving threat landscape, your top priority should be protecting your organization from malicious attacks with an advanced layer of cybersecurity. 

Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done exercise, and building a strong defense is not easy. Your business could be safe one minute, but unsafe the next. Securing your business’ mission-critical data necessitates a long-term, unwavering commitment to cybersecurity. 

While there are several pieces to this puzzle, the most important is ongoing risk management.

Unless you make ongoing risk management an operational standard, installing cybersecurity solutions alone won’t be enough to counter cyberattacks. To that end, let’s walk through the basics of cybersecurity risk assessment and risk management, and how SOL-I.S. can partner with you to protect your business.

Understanding Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

In simple terms, cybersecurity risk assessment refers to the process of understanding, managing, controlling, and mitigating cybersecurity risks across your company’s infrastructure.

In its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) states that the purpose of cybersecurity risk assessments is to:

“identify, estimate, and prioritize risk to organizational operations, assets, individuals, other organizations, and the nation resulting from the operation and use of information systems.”

The primary purpose of a cybersecurity risk assessment is to help your key decision-makers tackle prevalent and imminent risks to your organization. Ideally, an assessment must answer the following questions:

  • What are your business’ key IT assets?
  • What type of data breach would have a major impact on your business?
  • What are the relevant threats to your business and its sources?
  • What are your internal and external security vulnerabilities?
  • What would be the impact if any of those vulnerabilities were exploited?
  • What is the probability of a vulnerability being exploited?
  • What cyberattacks or security threats could impact your business’ ability to function?

The answers to these questions will help you keep track of and mitigate security risks before disaster strikes. Now, imagine having the answers to these questions when you sit down to make key business decisions. The benefits of having that information at your fingertips are far-reaching.

7 Reasons To Make Ongoing Risk Management a Standard Practice

In today’s cyberthreat landscape, not a single threat can be underestimated. Making routine risk management an operational standard is critical. 

In a recent study, 30% of respondents thought real-time threat intelligence was vital to their cyber risk management. In one assessment, your business may seem like it’s on the right track; in the next, you might spot vulnerabilities that could expose your network to bad actors.

That’s why having a continuous risk management strategy should be an integral part of standard operations for every business.

However, most organizations lack the capacity to transform data into insights for cyber risk assessment, threat modeling, scenario creation, and predictive analysis. This underutilization of data is, in fact, one of the biggest roadblocks to making routine risk management an operational standard.

Here are seven reasons why you can’t keep this key business decision on the backburner any longer:

1. Keep Threats at Bay

An ongoing risk management strategy will help you distance your business from prevalent and imminent threats.

2. Prevent Data Loss

Theft or loss of business-critical data can set your company back considerably and cause customers to flee to the competition. Implementing routine risk management can help you remain vigilant against attempts to compromise your data.

3. Enhance Operational Efficiency and Improve Workforce Morale

Downtime means lost productivity and increased frustration for your staff. Consistently staying on top of potential cybersecurity threats can reduce your risk of unplanned downtime, thereby keeping both productivity and employee morale high.

4. Reduce Long-Term Costs

Identifying potential vulnerabilities and mitigating them in time can help you reduce or prevent security incidents, saving your business a significant amount of money and potential reputation damage.

5. Improve Organizational Knowledge

Knowing security vulnerabilities across your organization will help you keep an eye on important aspects that need improvement.

6. Avoid Regulatory Compliance Issues

Ensuring your business has a robust defense against cyberthreats will help you avoid issues with compliance to regulatory standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI-DSS, and so on.

7. Set the Right Tone

Don’t assume there should be a single fixed template for all future cybersecurity risk assessments. In fact, you’ll need to update them continuously. But your first few assessments will set the tone for future ones as part of your risk management strategy.

Partner With SOL-I.S. To Protect Your Business

SOL-I.S. can help you gauge the cybersecurity risks your business is exposed to and ensure you are protected continuously. Contact us to learn how we can help you mitigate cybersecurity concerns with regular risk assessments. 

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