Glossary / Risk Management

Risk Management

The detection, assessment, and prioritization of risks through the implementation of choices to track, control, and minimize the possibility or effect of unfortunate events.

What is Risk Management in Cybersecurity?

Risk management is the detection, assessment, and prioritization of risks through the implementation of choices to track, control, and minimize the possibility or effect of unfortunate events.

Within cybersecurity, risk management is the practice of prioritization of cybersecurity defensive measures based on the potential for adverse impacts in the event of an attack. No single organization can completely eradicate every system vulnerability or block each attack. By applying risk management to organizations, security teams can prioritize the most important parts of their security strategy to their organization’s operations.

Security professionals use a variety of techniques to combat cyber threats. They identify risks and vulnerabilities and apply appropriate countermeasures. They also educate users about security issues.

This strategy also involves identifying your risks and vulnerabilities and applying administrative actions and comprehensive solutions to make sure your organization is adequately protected.

Many companies use software to protect themselves from criminals and subsequent damages. These programs include firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and more. Companies also use training methods to educate employees about what to do if a hacker gets into their system.

Risk Identification

Cybersecurity risk management is an ongoing process of identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and addressing your organization's cybersecurity threats.

The first step in any risk assessment is to identify all the things you need to consider when assessing risk.

The following list will help you get started:

Threats – What could happen to your company?

Vulnerabilities – Where might those threats come from?

Risks – How likely is it that something bad will happen?

Controls – How much control does your organization have over these threats?

Mitigation – What can be done to reduce the impact of these threats?

Impact – How much damage would this cause?

Probability – How likely is it to happen?

Severity – How severe is the impact?

Consequences – What happens if it does occur?

Identifying Your Risks

Once you've identified your risks, you'll want to determine how serious they are. This will allow you to prioritize them. You'll also want to assess whether there are any mitigating factors that may lessen their impact. For example, if you're considering investing in new technology, you'll want to know how well the technology works, if there are any security risks, and how easy it is to implement.

Once you've determined which risks are high priority, you'll need to decide what controls you should put in place to mitigate them. There are many different types of controls, but some common ones include:

• Firewalls

• Antivirus software

• Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

• Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software

• Patching

• Encryption

• Password Policies

• Access Control Lists

• Network Segmentation

• Application Whitelisting

• Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

• Anti-Spam Filtering

• Email Archiving

• Cloud Backup

• Virtual Machine Monitoring

• Log Analysis

• Incident Response Plan

• Business Continuity Planning

Assessing risk

After you've identified your risks and developed a plan for controlling them, it's time to start looking at your vulnerabilities. A vulnerability is anything that makes your network or computer system susceptible to attack. It could be a weakness in your firewall, outdated operating system, or poorly configured application.

Cybersecurity risk management isn't simply the job of the security team; everyone in the organization has a role to play. Often siloed, employees and business unit leaders view risk management from their business function. Regrettably, they lack the holistic perspective necessary to address risk in a comprehensive and consistent manner.

Risk Management Process

You'll want to develop a formal process for managing cyber risk. This process will give your organization a clear way to manage its risks, including who needs to do what, when, and why. To create a successful cyber risk management program, follow this three-step process:

  • Define your objectives.

  • Identify your strategy.

  • Implement your plan.

IT leads with fresh ideas and new technologies, often viewing security and compliance as annoying roadblocks to progress. Security knows safety but is often out of touch with regulations and evolving technologies. The sales team is looking to keep their customers happy, clamoring for an efficient way to complete security audits. Compliance wants to keep everyone out of trouble with strict adherence to regulations, often operating without an in-depth understanding of security.

Once you've identified risks, you'll want control measures for each one. These can range from basic firewalls to virtual machine monitoring software.

How should a risk management plan be developed?

Cybersecurity risk assessment, as well as other types of risk assessments, should be performed before any major changes or upgrades to systems. These assessments help organizations identify potential threats and vulnerabilities within their networks.

Architecture: The existing IT that makes up the organization’s current environment.

Controls: The collection of data should then be matched up to a cybersecurity risk framework to discover gaps between existing security controls and best practices.

This assessment sets the roadmap for making investments and managing cyber risk in a way that’s completely aligned with the business. Once controls are implemented, organizations must also continually monitor and evaluate the environment for changes to the threat landscape to tweak the risk management process appropriately.

The Benefits of Risk Management

Implementing risk management assessments ensures that cybersecurity is not minimized in daily operations. Having a risk strategy in place ensures that compliance with well-informed decisions, steps, procedures, and policies are followed at set intervals by the entire team, and cybersecurity defenses are kept up to date.

The core function of a risk management plan involves the identification of any privacy risk that may negatively impact the business' IT assets from a cyber attack. The organization is required to determine the likelihood of the occurrence of these threats and activities, and define the potential business impact.

What goes into a cybersecurity risk management plan?

A plan should include the following:

  • Identify potential security threats and threat sources

  • Determine how to mitigate those risks through protections and risk identification

  • Monitor and report on the status of your risk management processes and any cyber incidents

  • Maintain a record of any changes made to existing processes or systems

  • Implement new technologies as appropriate

  • Measure effectiveness of your cyber risk management strategy

Should my business perform a cyber risk assessment?

Cybersecurity software monitors your business' infrastructure, prevents breaches and unauthorized access, sends security questionnaires, and reduces third-party risk. Small businesses may not have the staff or resources to perform these tasks internally. In that case, outsourcing risk analysis and assessment to a third party allows them to focus on what they do best.

An organization should ideally have dedicated in-house teams processing risk assessments and risk mitigation. These teams should include staff with an understanding of how your digital and network infrastructures work, executives who understand how data flows, and any proprietary knowledge that may be helpful during the assessment. Transparency is key to a thorough cybersecurity assessment. Small businesses may lack the right people in hand to do a thorough job.

As mentioned above, your company may need to outsource assessment services to a third party. Cybersecurity software monitors your cybersecurity score, prevents breaches, sends security questionnaires, and reduces third-party risk, all of which are necessary for the security of your business.

In Conclusion

Cybersecurity and DevSecOps teams assessing your cybersecurity risk vulnerabilities and applying risk management processes need round-the-clock threat intelligence to anticipate and track bad actors’ every move, and how they might attack your business.

Intel 471 customers rely on TITAN, an intuitive intelligence SaaS platform built by intelligence and security professionals for intelligence and security professionals. It enables them to access structured information, dashboards, timely alerts, and intelligence reporting via the web portal or API integration.

But TITAN doesn’t stop there. Use TITAN’s programmable RESTful API to power numerous connectors and integrations, integrating and operationalizing customized intelligence into your security operations.

Intel 471 cybercrime intelligence empowers digital forensic experts and analysts to monitor and respond to threats in near real-time — enabling them to support the cyber defense mission with timely and actionable intelligence. These analysts can also explore the alert context in our intelligence reports and data collection giving them a richer understanding of your organizational risk to better mitigate threats.