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What is Cybersecurity Risk Management?

Cybersecurity risk management is the process of identifying potential risks, assessing the impact of those risks, and planning how to respond if the risks become reality. It involves continuous security monitoring across internal and third-party network ecosystems in order to ensure all exploitable vulnerabilities are identified and remediated. Regardless of size or industry, it is essential that organizations develop a cybersecurity risk management plan. While some risks, even if identified in advance, cannot be eliminated, having effective cybersecurity risk management can help reduce the potential impact of attacks and save your company from financial and reputational loss.

Establishing a cybersecurity risk management system

Before you set up a cybersecurity risk management system, you first need to determine which risks to prioritize. Organizations across industries have different potential risks so it is important to build a risk management plan that addresses pertinent threats to your business.

Key threats to monitor

Understanding different cyber threats can help you identify vulnerabilities on your network and better prioritize risk. Potential risks include:

  • Unauthorized access to your network
  • Misuse of information or data leakage
  • Failed processes
  • Data loss
  • Disruption of service

Once threats have been identified, the next step is to rank them based on the risk they post to your business. Map the risk levels first and then conduct an analysis to determine how likely a risk scenario is to occur and what financial impact it could have on your business if it were to occur.

Develop security controls to manage risk

After you have ranked risks, the next step is to develop security controls to manage the threat they pose to your organization. There are several different security controls you can implement to help mitigate potential cybersecurity attacks on your networks.

Security controls include:

  • Setting up and configuring a firewall
  • Segregating networks
  • Creating and using a password policy for all employees and devices
  • Using at-rest and in-transit encryption
  • Installing anti-malware and anti-ransomware tools
  • Using multi-factor authentication for users accessing business systems
  • Using vendor risk management software

After you establish security controls to monitor risk, it is important to continually evaluate their effectiveness. Cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more complex so in order to stay protected you need to make sure your controls are properly identifying and remediating risk.