With the world becoming increasingly digital and interconnected, almost all business leaders, regulators, and even consumers agree that cybersecurity is a problem that demands constant monitoring. But while most businesses recognize cyber risk as a critical concern, there remain gaps in achieving higher levels of cybersecurity and effectively addressing cyber risk within the organization.
Stakeholders that have invested in cybersecurity demand that programs provide evidence of value in terms of risk reduction. Therefore, the question remains - what should organizations be doing to prove to regulators that they've achieved the level of business resilience required to eliminate, or at the very least mitigate cyber risk? Here are five things you should know about risk-based cybersecurity:
1. What is risk-based cybersecurity?
The first step of an effective risk management program is identifying critical assets and the business processes dependent on them, understanding how those systems work with other parts of the organization and what they mean for your customers. It also means identifying the vulnerabilities within those systems, whether technical or human-based, to determine how cyber threats can exploit them.
2. Cyber risks and cyber threats are not the same
The potential for loss, damage, or destruction of an asset as a result of a hazard exploiting a vulnerability is known as risk. In the context of cybersecurity, cyber risks involve hacking, vulnerability, financial losses, legal implications, compliance issues, reputational damage, and business disruption.
On the other hand, cyber threats are the attacks that exploit these vulnerabilities, including malware, phishing, backdoors, cryptojacking, and DoS.
3. The problem with the mature-based cybersecurity approach
The disadvantage of maturity-based cybersecurity is that it encourages unnecessary constant supervision. In maturity-based approaches, programs tend to monitor everything, causing the queue of applications to be monitored to overwhelm the analysts' capacities and decelerate IT teams' productivity. This approach is inefficient because the reality is that only certain applications pose a higher potential for risk while others don't have critical vulnerabilities.
4. Why the risk-based approach costs less
The mature-based approach of monitoring everything not only leads to inefficiency but also means more spending. The risk-based approach centers on risk reduction, allowing the organization to determine where resources should be allocated, align implementation programs, and how to prioritize investment.
With the risk-based approach to cybersecurity, threat information is combined with an understanding of which regulatory standards apply and your risk tolerance level before a response plan can be put in place for when breaches do occur. This understanding of which cybersecurity programs need the most attention means less time and money is spent in areas recognized to pose the least amount of threat to the business.
5. Risk-based approach has been proven to effectively reduce risk
By simply reprioritizing initiatives based on risk rates, organizations have minimized backlogs and increased risk reduction at no additional cost. Spending and overinvesting on new software could be avoided by scaling back and focusing on targeted cybersecurity programs.