Computers and the Internet ushered in an era wherein technology became an indispensable tool for how businesses are run. The digital age may have made businesses more productive, accessible, efficient and more, but it also brought with it new threats: cyberattacks.
Cyberattacks cost companies around the world more than AUD$8 trillion in 2021. With reliance on digitisation increasing daily, threats over the Internet have also increased. Today, organisations may find themselves vulnerable to cybercrimes or data breaches due to attacks from black hat hackers or personnel errors. But as cybercriminals get more sophisticated, so, too, the cybersecurity experts. Tools and strategies are continuously evolving to combat security threats.
One of these strategies for combating cyber threats is cybersecurity risk management.
An overview of cybersecurity risk management
Cybersecurity risk management refers to the practice of identification of potential threats, assessment of the impact of these threats, and how to address them effectively. With this approach, cybersecurity doesn’t fall solely on the IT security team’s shoulders. Given that as high as 95% of data breaches may have become possible because of human error, everyone in the organisation should be aware of their roles in keeping the company safe from cybersecurity threats.
In cybersecurity risk management, traditional risk management practices are adapted to a company’s digital security. Foremost are detecting risks and vulnerabilities, implementing actions to minimise risks, closing any vulnerabilities, and putting in place an effective cybersecurity solution.
Why is cybersecurity risk management important?
Some organisations don’t consider cybersecurity a continuing process after the initial risk assessment. Threats, however, continuously evolve. In this climate, a false sense of security is the last thing your company needs. A cybersecurity risk management framework in place ensures that cybersecurity—to paraphrase a movie about a certain superhero—remains your silent guardian and watchful protector.
Enumerated below are reasons cybersecurity risk management is essential:
1. Prompt identification of cybersecurity threats
As cyberattacks are seldom random, a cybersecurity risk management program in place can help your organisation recognize potential threats. Hints of a cyberattack can be discerned if you know where to look. Cybercriminals sometimes leave clues. There could be mentions of your organisation in dark web chatter. Similar-sounding domain names may get registered for phishing attacks, and confidential data like user credentials may sometimes be offered for sale.
Effective cybersecurity risk management notices these red flags quickly. After identification, proactive measures are carried out to prevent these threats from progressing.
Threats are assessed and analysed, enabling your team to pinpoint security gaps. The timely mitigation of possible threats makes cybersecurity risk management a vital component of your organisation’s day-to-day operation.
2. More effective IT support and coverage
A robust cybersecurity risk management ensures your system reacts to potential threats and triggers a security protocol. This automatic response means your IT department’s load is reduced, making personnel available for other tasks or projects.
Cybersecurity in the past meant installing antivirus, creating firewalls, or implementing a few security tools. In the modern security landscape, however, these traditional approaches to cybersecurity are no longer enough. Today’s organisations are exposed to cyber threats vastly different from just a few years ago.
Cloud computing, virtual systems, web applications, containers, and work environments with BYOD (bring your own device) policy make managing and identifying threats exponentially harder. Today’s IT support and coverage have no choice but to level up. Thus, a holistic, enterprise-wide approach to security becomes necessary.
3. Prevent financial losses
Data breaches and other cyber incidents can lead a company to financial loss. Whether caused directly by stolen data, brand damage, or the cost of recovering and installing new security solutions, the loss is significant. According to Statista, the average cost of a data breach from 2014-2022 is almost AUD$4.9 million.
Another compelling reason cybersecurity risk management is important: Implementing this program can minimise and help prevent cybersecurity attacks. Cybersecurity risk management can help your organisation comply with data regulations in crafting a suitable data security framework, preventing fines and costly data breaches.
Assessing risks from external sources is part of this security framework, but it doesn’t stop there. Also included in risk assessment is the threat that comes from internal sources: the employees. A risk assessment results in updating or creating a stronger data security policy that everyone from your organisation should comply with.
4. Avoid company downtimes
Successful cyber attacks can force businesses to a standstill, causing disruption and huge financial losses. While some can handle a hiccup now and then, not all enterprises have the necessary security protocols for such an event.
In a report by the research firm Gartner, the average downtime cost is more than AUD$8,000 per minute. This figure is just on the financial front. The total cost of downtime can include client trust, goodwill, and brand reputation. Your trust rating can take a hit. Suffice it to say, downtimes should be avoided like the plague.
Cybersecurity risk management can help your organisation prepare for such an event because of its comprehensive approach to security. Besides training your personnel to be proactive in security matters, risk management includes backing up vital files and having a cyberattack recovery protocol to deal with downtime.
Cyberattacks are getting costlier, and cybercriminals are getting more creative. Organisations need a more comprehensive approach to security.
Due to its holistic approach, cybersecurity risk management helps identify and mitigate threats at the earliest stage. It can also improve your organisation’s IT support, prevent financial losses due to cyberattacks and create a backup and recovery protocol to mitigate downtimes.
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- “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”, Source: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/05/06/the-worlds-most-valuable-resource-is-no-longer-oil-but-data
- “Why cybersecurity and regulatory compliance are one and the same”, Source: https://www.itproportal.com/features/why-cybersecurity-and-regulatory-compliance-are-one-and-the-same/