Improving Cyber Risk Management with Security Ratings

By Robert DeStefano

Posted on Apr 8, 2021

Age, height, weight, and blood pressure are all measurements we track routinely to monitor our health. Why? Because we want to be sure that as time passes, the measurements of our health are in a good place, or if they’re changing, they are changing for the positive.

Managing a company’s cybersecurity health is no different. Like measuring our height, weight, age, and so on, we too need to have a baseline of cybersecurity health. That’s where security ratings come in. Security ratings give companies a baseline that allows us to level-set and continuously measure and manage our cyber risk exposure.

What is a security rating?

Security ratings grade your security performance by how well it protects information. In a digital world, data and your company's protection of that data parallels your income and protection of financial assets.

Consumer credit reporting agencies review a company's financials and assign a credit score by evaluating whether the company can protect its financial assets and keep from going into debt. Similarly, a security ratings organization reviews a company's security posture and assigns a security score by evaluating whether the company can protect its data assets from data breaches.

Cyber risk management is a journey

Your security score is a starting point in your cybersecurity journey. Even if your rating is low, let’s say, a D, or between 60-70, your rating should never be a source of shame. Instead, it’s the first step on a journey of improvement. SecurityScorecard’s ratings allow you to easily identify where your team needs to focus their attention and quickly build a plan to improve it.

Getting started with security ratings

With SecurityScorecard, you can obtain your organization’s top-level security rating for free. The rating gives you visibility into your company’s level of risk, actionable insights, as well as plan for remediating any issues.

Your security rating breaks down your security posture so you can see exactly where your teams need to focus their attention; perhaps endpoint security is too loose, or patches aren’t being prioritized or applied quickly enough. Then you can easily build a plan to improve your security posture.

The benefits of claiming your Scorecard

Learning your company’s weak points can feel intimidating, but there are good reasons to start your cybersecurity journey with a baseline security score.

For one thing, companies that actively manage their SecurityScorecard Rating see, on average, an 8 point improvement in the first three months. An improved security rating means improved overall security hygiene and a lower chance of a breach; companies with a Scorecard grade of F (under 60) are 7.7x times more likely to sustain a breach than companies with an A-rating (90 -100). So, even if you start with a low rating, increasing your score will make your company more secure.

Knowing your Scorecard gives you a globally recognized, highly reputable way to show customers you take cybersecurity seriously. It’s an assurance that their data is protected in your organization’s hands.

Your Scorecard also opens doors to improve your firm’s expenses; consider cyber insurance rates and how actions you take to improve your Scorecard could affect your assigned risk status.

Finally, how well is your organization protected by your own vendors? With the insights your Scorecard provides, there is further opportunity to reduce risk by turning attention to your suppliers. Vendor risk management shines a spotlight on how supply chain partners place value on securing your data, and how any weaknesses they have could pose a threat to your operations.

The art of security

Sun-Tzu is credited with the teaching that to know oneself is a 50% guarantee of success on the battlefield. While the context was knowing the strengths and weaknesses in military strategy, the metaphor definitely extends to cybersecurity.

Your organization could be under attack at any time, and your Scorecard tells you what an outsider (read: hacker) sees when they look at your organization and your defenses. Knowing this empowers you to assess your organization’s ability to defend itself against these threats.

Your Scorecard includes details on where weaknesses exist and actions you can take to remediate them. CISOs and security teams are able to harden barriers and improve overall security posture across over 80 cybersecurity issues spanning 10 different threat factors.

Right now, get started by claiming your free Scorecard and understanding your baseline.

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