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Risk Assessment  

As technology advances, the risk of cybersecurity threats increases, and businesses of all sizes are vulnerable. Companies are now adopting more preventive measures to shield themselves from potential cyber-attacks.  


Establishing a cybersecurity enterprise risk management framework that can protect your organization is essential. This framework will help you systematically identify, evaluate, and manage risks in a structured approach.  


Please don't wait until it's too late to act. Take proactive steps today to secure your business from potential threats.  


Risk Assessment  

Understanding Cyber Risk 


Cyber risk is a term that indicates the potential for encountering negative consequences, such as financial loss, compromised confidential information, or disruption of online business operations. Cyber risks are commonly associated with events that can result in a data breach, also called security threats. Cyber risks include phishing, ransomware, malware, insider threats, data leaks, and cyberattacks. Effective strategies can reduce cybersecurity risks.  


It's also worth noting that while cyber risks and vulnerabilities are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. In cybersecurity, a vulnerability is a weakness in a network or system that, if exploited, can lead to unauthorized access. On the other hand, cyber risk refers to the possibility or likelihood of a vulnerability being used, which could harm or damage the network or system.  


In other words, a vulnerability is a potential entry point for a cyber-attack, and cyber risk is the probability that the vulnerability will be exploited to cause harm.  

Cyber risks are categorized into four groups:  

  • zero,  

  • low, 

  • medium, 

  • and high risks. 


What is a Cyber Risk Assessment? 


Cyber risk assessments are critical processes that involve identifying, estimating, and prioritizing potential risks that individuals, organizations, and even the entire nation may face due to using information systems. These assessments are conducted using guidelines established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They aim to ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed about potential risks and are better equipped to respond appropriately.  


The goal of a cyber risk assessment is to provide executives and directors with a comprehensive summary of the risks involved in operating information systems, thereby enabling them to make informed security decisions. 


Benefits of Cybersecurity Risk Assessment 


A cybersecurity risk assessment can benefit your business in several ways. Below are three of the most helpful ways this assessment can prove useful. 


Determine cybersecurity vulnerabilities


It's important to remember that no matter how robust your cybersecurity infrastructure is, it's still possible for it to be breached. This can have severe consequences for your business. Attackers who can spot gaps or weaknesses in your network, computers, or other devices and other aspects of your IT infrastructure can use them as starting points to launch attacks against your business and its programs.  


Testing your infrastructure and carrying out a financial risk analysis for potential issues regularly provides an opportunity to identify and resolve them before they can be exploited by someone who wants to harm your business or customers. 


Mitigate cybersecurity threats


Despite preventive measures, your business will likely face cyberattacks. Around 48 percent of companies have been targeted by phishing attacks in the past year, and 64 percent have suffered web-based attacks at some point. Knowing how to react to such attacks is essential in minimizing the damage they cause, restoring any lost information, or making necessary fixes. 


Failing to adhere to proper security protocols, operational risk mitigation, clicking on phishing links or making other human errors, having a faulty firewall system, or other vulnerabilities may be linked to cyberattacks. Knowing the potential risks your business may face is essential, as it can help you take the necessary measures to minimize the damage caused.  

Shockingly, around 60 percent of companies do not have a cyber response plan, leaving them unnecessarily vulnerable to attacks. This lack of planning may significantly increase their response time, making it much longer than required to address a potential cyber threat. 


Compliance regulations


It is crucial to comply with both general and industry-specific regulations to maintain the security of your data and devices, primarily if your business handles sensitive customer information. However, not all companies are equally diligent about following these regulations, and some employees may be less stringent than others. 

Identifying areas of non-compliance with cybersecurity assessments and compliance risk evaluation can assist business leaders in developing more robust policies that more effectively monitor compliance and address individuals or departments that consistently fall short of compliance regulations. 


How To Perform a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment  


Evaluating an organization's cybersecurity status is a complex task so is enterprise risk management. To conduct a risk assessment, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding and definition of the entire scope of your cybersecurity posture.  

Typically, a cybersecurity risk assessment involves a three-step process. 


  1. Recording all possessions and assessing their significance

Before conducting a cyber risk assessment, it is essential to have a complete understanding of your enterprise risk management. This involves identifying all the devices, users, and applications connected to your network. Once you have gained insight into your environment's assets, the next step is to document the specifics of each asset.  

This includes detailed information such as the type of device, its location, the user associated with it, and the applications installed on it. By documenting these details, you can comprehensively understand your network and identify potential vulnerabilities that cyber-attacks may target. 


  1. Identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities. 

The next step in the cyber risk assessment process is to identify vulnerabilities across your network, prioritize them, and assess the existing controls to counter these issues. In this step, you evaluate your organization's capability to safeguard itself from cyber threats and pinpoint areas that need improvement in your cybersecurity program. 

Implementing a risk-based strategy for vulnerability management can be advantageous for your organization. Identifying vulnerabilities can be challenging due to various attack vectors and prioritizing them can be even more difficult. A risk-based approach to vulnerability management allows you to comprehend the context around each vulnerability and the underlying asset it affects.  

This knowledge enables you to evaluate your vulnerability to potential breaches and cyber-attacks and take measures to address vulnerabilities most effectively. 

 

  1. Calculating likelihood and impact

The final stage of the cyber risk evaluation process involves converting the probability of a cyber-attack and its potential consequences into quantified risk. By measuring risk in financial terms, you can effectively communicate it to important stakeholders, such as the CFO and the board. This approach also assists security teams in making well-informed decisions regarding the allocation of resources and reduction of risk based on financial impact. 

Automated cyber risk quantification involves using machine learning and AI to continuously analyze operational data to measure cyber risk. The advantage of automation is that your risk calculation will update in real time as new threats and vulnerabilities emerge, security threats are addressed, or other changes occur in your environment. This ensures that your organization's risk calculation remains accurate and current, facilitating better decision-making. 


Cybersecurity Risk Assessment with Prismware  


At Prismware, we are committed to providing comprehensive assistance to your business in identifying and resolving potential cybersecurity threats. We believe in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of your sensitive data and ensuring the safety of your information systems.  

Our team of experts is dedicated to enhancing the security of your business and your customers, and we work closely with you to develop customized policies and solutions that meet your specific needs.  

Contact us today to get started! 

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