Including Cybersecurity Assessments in your Risk Management
The Procipient® Cybersecurity Module: Assessing Your Risk?
The cost of cybercrimes is expected to exceed $6 trillion annually by 2021. At the same time, spending on cybersecurity is expected to exceed $1 trillion, according to CSO magazine.
As your company considers its investment in cybersecurity, it’s important to begin with a thorough evaluation of your current state and level of risk. Cybersecurity risk assessment is often considered a task for the IT team alone. In fact, it belongs in your company’s wider enterprise risk management (ERM) program.
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Cybersecurity incidents can happen to any business of any size. Conducting a risk assessment empowers you to identify, analyze and evaluate your company’s risk.
You may be under the mistaken impression that your business is not a target. However, companies generally thought of as lower risk are often targeted because hackers believe they're an easier target, or they're trying to breach a larger company by going through their partners. In addition, many hacks are the result of malware – software designed to test and breach your defenses – and these programs don’t differentiate target companies.
However, not all companies need to take the same countermeasures to protect themselves, and not all elements of your business are similarly at risk.
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A proper cybersecurity risk assessment ensures that your implementation team is focused on the controls that are most appropriate for your specific organization.
Without a risk assessment to inform your cybersecurity choices, you could waste time, effort and resources. For example, if your website doesn’t connect to internal systems, stores no customer data and contains no financial information, a huge investment in website protections may be misplaced. By contrast, protecting internal systems that store proprietary customer data should be evaluated as a higher priority.
Elements of a Great Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
There are a lot of ways that a company can conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment. Have your internal IT team or CSO use a template to evaluate the segments of the business to his or her understanding. Or hire an outside consultant to lead the company through the exercise.
Ultimately, hiring an outside consultant doesn’t allow your company to own the risk assessment to truly know and understand your risks. Additionally, it can be less collaborative, potentially missing key stakeholders in identifying risk. An outside consultant may not tailor his or her questions to your business structure and systems, leading to irrelevant questions and wasted time.
Divorcing the cybersecurity assessment from your company’s overall risk can also leave important gaps in your understanding of your risk profile. For example, if your entry-level admin knows about an insecure computer terminal in the lobby that is overlooked in an IT-driven assessment, your risk may be higher than you think.
Consider these elements when reviewing your assessment tools:
Assessing both tangible and intangible assets. Information is an asset, along with the server where it resides.
Assessing training, processes and policies to determine if they are adequate to protect the company.
Assessing your enterprise in alignment with your business structure and/or strategy – by category of cybersecurity elements, business unit or department.
Integrating with your overall enterprise risk management processes to ensure cybersecurity is a part of overall risk.
Incorporating workflows, subject matter experts, reviews and approvals to make the risk assessment truly collaborative.
The Procipient® Cybersecurity Assessment Module provides the flexibility and configurability to achieve these goals – all while keeping cybersecurity integrated into your enterprise risk management program.