Cyber attacks are major threats to organizations and industries across the board. And as technology advances, cybersecurity continues to be the focus that requires serious attention. However, many have weaknesses and gaps in their cybersecurity strategy. Common weaknesses can include the failure to identify and mitigate risks, as well as maintain compliance in the industry – leaving organizations more vulnerable to attacks.
Organizations must inevitably face the risk of harmful events that can cause reputational damage and cost hefty fines. For this reason, having an effective cybersecurity risk management program is much more than an option – rather a crucial component of business continuity. This post will discuss what risk management is, whether your business needs one, and several benefits of implementing the strategy.
What is cybersecurity risk management?
Risk management is the strategic approach of identifying, prioritizing, evaluating, and managing potential cyber threats to an organization. Cybersecurity risk management ensures the most critical and high-impact threats are handled most efficiently.
Powered by the rapid pace of globalization, the risks that businesses face daily have multiplied and grown more complex. As such, a cybersecurity risk management strategy must acknowledge that it cannot successfully eliminate all system vulnerabilities and block cyber attacks. Instead, a risk management strategy should be able to help organizations handle the most critical risks, threat trends, and cyber attacks.
Does my organization need a risk management strategy?
Anybody can fall victim to a cyberattack, no matter the size of the business or the customer base. An unprepared organization can face serious consequences in the case of a cyberattack – such as data loss, financial impact, and brand perception that would require years to bounce back. Unfortunately, installing anti-virus software is no longer only one aspect of risk management because it’s not enough to prevent these attacks. Establishing and implementing a robust risk management strategy will enable you to mitigate high-priority risks and improve your cybersecurity posture.
6 Benefits of implementing an effective risk management strategy
Risk management offers many advantages for organizations, empowering them to meet their security goals and performance objectives. Here are some benefits of prioritizing and adopting a cybersecurity risk management strategy.
1. Protect and maintain business reputation
A major data breach can destroy your organization’s reputation, making it impossible for you to fully regain the trust of your customers. Put yourself in their shoes – who would want to work with a company that couldn’t protect your data? How will you be able to trust them again? Fortunately, a strong cybersecurity risk management program can help you prioritize critical risks and stay one step ahead of these attacks. In doing so, you can continue to establish and build trust with your customers.
2. Enhance IT team support
Your IT team won’t have to constantly deal with crises when you have a solid risk management plan in place, ensuring there is an appropriate number of personnel and resources to keep all projects on track. A cybersecurity plan can help better support IT – ultimately increasing productivity, enabling teams to handle cyber issues more effectively, and improve the bottom line for your company.
3. Prevent revenue loss
Data breaches can affect every part of your organization, from your bottom line to the legal department to day-to-day business operations. However, the most obvious impact is financial. The global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, which can take years to recover from the initial attack. In addition, businesses responsible for someone else’s data are subjected to data privacy laws. As such, the companies that have been breached can be held liable and face hefty fines or penalties.
4. Eliminate or reduce downtime
The truth is that downtimes are painful. According to ITIC’s Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey, 44% of businesses indicate that hourly downtime costs exceed $1 million to over $5 million, excluding legal fees, fines, and penalties. Whether you are dealing with ransomware, DDoS attacks, or phishing scams, any type of attack can create hours of downtime for your business. Unfortunately, downtime after an attack can disrupt client access to critical services, making it impossible for employees to remain productive, and costing you a ton of money!
Delays in one area of business can lead to problems in another such as workflow backup, loss of productivity, and lack of internal and external communication. However, a risk management plan can help you better prepare for any cyber incident, mitigate potential downtime risks, and minimize the associated high costs.
5. Increase employee engagement and education
A risk management plan isn’t just for shareholders and customers, it can also benefit employees. Employee information can be vulnerable to a breach because it contains social security numbers, credit card information, birth dates, phone numbers, and more. Organizations that have an effective risk management strategy in place empower employees to have peace of mind knowing their data is always secured from unauthorized access. This leads to employees that are more engaged and aware of potential common threats that their organization faces, leading to better overall business efficiency.
6. Gain a competitive edge
Implementing a vigorous risk management plan ensures access permissions are granted to the right employees, as well as proprietary business information is protected from being leaked to other competitors. Having a risk management plan in place enables the organization to prepare for any cyber attack with fail-safes, setting you up for disaster recovery. Ultimately, a risk management plan can be used to show potential customers how seriously you take the security of their data and how prepared you are in case of a breach – giving you the ultimate competitive edge.
How SecurityScorecard can help
Understanding the many cyber threats that organizations face every day, and effectively managing them, is critical for business continuity. As such, developing a strong cybersecurity risk management plan can save your business money, protect your reputation, strengthen IT support, reduce any downtime, and educate employees.
SecurityScorecard Security Ratings help further protect critical data and assets, allowing organizations to have an outside-in view of the security posture of their IT infrastructure and a look into their highest priority risks. In doing so, you can detect potential gaps within security mandates and prioritize remediation immediately. Our platform instantly detects weaknesses and potential threats, providing extra security with eyes on the exterior areas of your business. Get your free score now.