September 5, 2022
As cybersecurity risks grow and evolve, so too does the job of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and related professionals. No longer should CISOs simply be defenders of companies’ digital assets against cybercriminals. While that aspect of the job remains true, CISOs are also embracing cyber risk management, which involves thinking about cybersecurity in terms of business risk.
In doing so, CISOs are moving from a reactive to a proactive position. Without cyber risk management, CISOs might just focus on blocking threats as they appear and get budget approvals for additional defences after security incidents occur.
But by using a cyber risk management approach, fueled by cyber risk management platforms that provide cyber risk quantification, CISOs can better prioritize cybersecurity strategies and make the case to other leaders within their organizations to invest in cyber resiliency.
Cyber risk management involves identifying all relevant areas of cyber risk and assessing risk exposure in terms of business impact. It’s also a subsection of enterprise risk management.
In other words, instead of looking at cybersecurity as just a technology issue — e.g., ransomware causing IT staff to have to restore data — cyber risk management involves looking at broader business and financial issues, like the loss of customer trust or compliance penalties.
A strong cyber risk management approach uses data to inform risk mitigation. Through cyber risk quantification, organizations can assess what the financial impact would be of various cyber incidents and look at how different cybersecurity approaches could minimize losses.
But without the right technology, this financial cyber risk quantification, and cyber risk management as a whole, can be difficult. Effective cyber risk management involves staying on top of the full cyber landscape, including cyber threats, regulations, governance policies and more. Fortunately for today’s CISOs, a cyber risk management platform can help them navigate this potentially complex terrain.
By looking at cybersecurity in terms of business impact, cyber risk management helps CISOs and their organizations in several ways. Three top benefits of cyber risk management platforms that CISOs love include:
A good cyber risk management platform helps CISOs easily put cyber risk into business terms. The specific features and functions vary by platform, but in general, look for ones that enable you to create and oversee risk assessment and provide risk mitigation suggestions based on your view of risk and aligned with your security controls .
Also consider cyber risk management platforms that have extensive reporting capabilities so you can share findings with other stakeholders. Ideally, a platform should enable CISOs to look at and report on what’s happening within the broader cyber risk landscape and compare that to the security posture of the company, such as with industry benchmarking features.
The platform should also be able to track an organization's improvements over time. That way, CISOs can maintain buy-in that investing in cyber security helps the business as a whole.
Some cyber risk management platforms are designed to map to established cyber risk management frameworks (RMFs), such as NIST RMF and NIST Critical Security Controls (NIST CIS). These tools can also allow the CISO’s team to align workflows and tasks with the RMF’s focus areas, such as the NIST’s steps like Categorize (systems and information, based on impact analysis), Implement (controls), Assess (how controls are performing) and so forth.
So, if you use these frameworks or think they’d be beneficial to your organization, consider a cyber risk management platform that can map to them.
Financially Quantify Your Cyber Risk
Ultimately, to get the most out of cyber risk management, you need a cyber risk management platform that can help you financially quantify what cyber incidents and strategies specifically mean for your organization.
A cyber risk management platform with cyber risk quantification capabilities can get CISOs out of the haphazard process of tackling seemingly important but possibly low-level risks just because they surface from a recent event or vendor pressure.
Imagine that a company suffers an email attack. All of a sudden, the CISO may face pressure to “do something” about email threats, when perhaps other cyber risks pose a greater threat to the business. Without a platform that places email security into the right cyber risk context, the CISO can get pulled into a risk mitigation and procurement process that doesn’t deserve a high level of priority.
That not only makes a CISO’s job more challenging, but it raises your organization’s overall risk.
So, turning to a cyber risk management platform that can help you prioritize defenses, assess cyber investments, and gain stakeholder buy-in can go a long way toward strengthening your business.
Kovrr’s Quantum Cyber Risk Quantification platform gives you the insights you need to put cyber risk into clear business/financial terms. Get in touch to see how we can help you strengthen your security and reduce enterprise risk.
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Part two delves into the transformative potential of converting cyber risks from financial insights to actionable plans
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