CyberStrong: A Primer on Cyber Risk Management for Business Managers in 2021

Cyber risk management includes identifying all the potential threats to the company’s resources, as well as preventing unforeseen events.
cyber risk management

Cyber risk management includes assessing and identifying all the potential threats to the company’s resources, as well as preventing unforeseen events. Whether it is life insurance, a lock to protect your office, or a fire detector, you use it to avoid any possible accident or break-in.

You probably already know the risk management processes aimed at protecting your business. However, in the 21st century, the biggest threat is the evolving cybersecurity attacks. Digital technology development has made companies embrace more and more technologies and modern solutions, and hackers jump at the opportunity to attack the weakest points of the systems you use. As a manager, you need to adopt a risk-based approach to cybersecurity to prevent both physical threats and those that happen in cyberspace. 

Step 1: Identify the Weaknesses

The first step in your cyber risk management approach is to assess your risk and check whether your measures are accurate. Then you will know which threats are relevant for your company and which vulnerabilities are the most susceptible to cyberattacks and work on them in further steps. 

Penetration testing consultancy can be helpful to find the weak points in your system. It’s a simulated cyberattack that can detect which parties are the most vulnerable to cyber threats. The targets of cybercriminals attacking a business might include computers, systems, networks, or data. Testing allows you to understand which party is the most endangered. 

Step 2: Analyze the Risks

Once you identify your company’s vulnerabilities, you need to determine what can happen to your systems, networks, and data. To protect yourself, put yourself in the shoes of hackers, and think about how their attacks can affect your assets. 

It’s crucial to know how significant the impact of a potential breach is and how likely it is to occur. If you get to know that your network lacks security, you need to assess how big the losses would be in your revenue and your customers’ trust if a sneaky hacker steals their sensitive data. 

If your business was ever a target of a cyber attack, take a historical approach. Analyze what happened in the past, the nature of the attack, and how it influenced your company. 

Step 3: Prepare for the Attack

Once you assess the threats, it’s time to work on your safety measures and implement the new ones to prevent the potential dangers and be ready when an attack occurs. The measures can be preventive and detective. The preventive ones aim to mitigate the consequences of an attack and secure your systems and data. In contrast, detective steps like continuous data exposure detection help you identify when an attack has already happened. 

Firstly, in order not to lose the information crucial for making significant decisions in your company, always do the backups and secure them. 

Apart from that, encrypt the information and network. There are plenty of data encryption techniques that work as your network security protection. Always use Wi-Fi security, and install the firewall. If you run an e-commerce company, pay a lot of attention to authentication in your online store and protect your customer’s sensitive information. Check if your business is compliant with website security certification. 

Step 4: Establish a Cybersecurity Culture in Your Company

If you’ve already aware of the dangers in cyberspace and you implemented new measures to protect your detected weak points, it’s time to train the staff in your company. Even the most effective methods won’t help if an uninformed employee is a victim of phishing and opens a suspicious link in an email. 

Regardless of the occupation, train all your employees on cybersecurity and make them aware of their responsibility if they have access to any sensitive business information. In 2021, plenty of companies started to work remotely, which posed other dangers to your business. Warn your employees against using their personal, unprotected devices while working. 

They need to be aware of the consequences of their actions. Cybersecurity employees’ training should include information on different types and forms of cyberthreats. They should be mindful of the password security importance and use the information in practice, and they should know how to detect an attack and report it. 

Step 5: Review and Monitor

As technology is developing rapidly, and hackers are smarter and smarter, you should never rest on your laurels when it comes to cybersecurity. Especially in 2021, when we live in cyberspace to a large extent and companies implement new solutions to their business plan, you should review your safety measures to check if they adequately protect your assets.

If you’ve already created a risk assessment policy for your organization, report each threat with a possible solution. Detailed documentation is not only a guideline for each member of your company but also allows you to clearly see which aspects should be improved in case of an attack or breach. It’s crucial to regularly assess whether the solutions and controls effectively detect and prevent the risks and report how each safety measure worked in a dangerous situation. 

Conclusion

If you’ve already implemented a risk management strategy in your company, you’ve probably noticed that the steps to improve cyber risk management are similar to the assessment and mitigation of the physical risks. The cyber risk assessment is crucial if you don’t want to hinder your business flow and suffer significant financial and reputational losses. 

As technology became a vital aspect of every business, it turned out to be an equally vast space susceptible for crimes. It doesn’t matter if you run a small business or manage a huge corporation. If you send sensitive documents, confidential emails, store your data in the databases, or conduct any financial operations, you might be the next victim of a cyberattack. 

Think about it as locking your door – you don’t expect the burglars to break into your office, but you secure yourself from a potential crime. Do the same to your systems, and never neglect the threats in the cyber world. 

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