Cybersecurity risk management is the practice of identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities, assessing the impacts and likelihood of those risks, and mitigating the consequences if the risks become reality. Today’s ever-changing security landscape demands that every organization, no matter its size or industry, develops and implements a cybersecurity risk management plan. Investing time and resources in creating a risk management plan illustrates that businesses recognize no one is immune to falling victim of a cyber-attack.

It is important to note that not all risks that are identified can be eliminated and/or avoided. However, early threat detection and risk projection does buy your organization time, which can reduce the potential impacts of an event. Below you will find 10 things to consider when developing your organization’s cybersecurity risk management plan:

  1. Everyone Plays a Part

While the word cybersecurity has become synonymous with the IT department, be assured that it stretches far beyond that. Cybersecurity is not strictly an IT problem and recent studies have proven it. Human error is responsible for almost 80% of the security incidents we see today, which is why distributing responsibility across departments plays such a critical role in maintaining a low risk environment.  Working together to guard against human-related intrusions will help increase the organization’s overall security posture. The right tools and training can help employees distinguish between real and malicious emails as an example. Overall, initiating the process of building a culture of cybersecurity is key to distributing responsibility across the organization.

  1. Building a Culture of Cybersecurity

Company culture plays an integral role in developing a cybersecurity risk management plan. From the C-suite down to the part-time staff, a culture of cybersecurity must be embedded within each one of our employees. This requires executive team members to set good examples for others and practice what they preach. For instance, partake in cybersecurity training, practice good cyber hygiene, complete regularly scheduled cybersecurity education/testing, and more. There is no room for careless mistakes that can cost organizations millions of dollars, not to mention their reputations. Cybersecurity matters at every level, across every department.

  1. Training Employees

Implementing a cybersecurity risk management plan requires fully training staff at all levels to identify risks and take appropriate actions as needed. Continuous employee training is needed not only to build security awareness, but to ensure that all staff members are familiar with security protocol and prepared to respond and mitigate potential risks.

  1. Information Sharing

There are no benefits to exclusively hoarding information in cybersecurity. Information and specific details on cybersecurity risks should be openly shared across every department, at all levels. Exchanging information with stakeholders, government, and vendors are not only preferred but needed to see the big picture for most cybersecurity-related issues today. Clearly communicating potential business impacts of relevant cyber risks should also be a priority. For those who are not familiar or choose to be ignorant of cybersecurity issues, provide them with the context they understand – i.e.: relate it back to money.

  1. Cybersecurity Framework

There are many cybersecurity frameworks that have been published by government agencies. However, it is important to note that these frameworks are mere guidelines and should be tailored to the needs of your individual organization. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but careful analysis of each framework should help you choose the one that fits best. Examples include ISO 27001, NIST, and CIS Critical Security Controls.

  1. Develop a Risk Assessment Process

Risk assessment is critical to any cybersecurity risk management plan. The steps are as follow:

  • Identify the organization’s digital assets, including intellectual property and stored data
  • Identify potential internal and external threats, including insider threats, malicious actors, ransomware, etc.
  • Identify the impact to the organization’s assets and likelihood of each potential risk occurring.
  1. Incident Response Plan

Lastly, create and implement an incident response plan that prioritizes the previously identified risks. In the event a security incident occurs, employees should know whose responsibility it is and how to take their part.

Max Cybersecurity has years of experience in leading cybersecurity assessments and risk management. Our team is familiar with the top frameworks and is ready to assess your organization’s needs. While it may seem that your organization would never be a target of a malicious cyber-attack, we advise you think again. It is not a question of if¸ but when you’ll be hacked. Max Cybersecurity is staffed by seasoned former Homeland Security and Secret Service professionals. We are ready to help you prepare for and defend against cyber intrusions. More importantly, we can assist you to incorporate a team approach to cybersecurity.

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