As the past few years have shown, cybersecurity threats are on the rise and affect every business sector across the board. The performance of a Cyber Risk assessment will allow your organization to identify, understand and mitigate risk within your environment. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines Risk Assessment as “The process of identifying risks to agency operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), agency assets, or individuals by determining the probability of occurrence, the resulting impact, and additional security controls that would mitigate this impact..”
When broken down, the objective of a Risk Assessment is to enable you to recognize environmental (inherent or quantitative/qualitative) risks within and against your environments, allowing for planning and remittance or mitigation. The assessment will bring to light concerns such as:
- What data assets are most important to the organization?
- What vulnerabilities are internal or external?
- What is the effect to the organization if the data assets are exploited?
- What is the risk threshold level of the organization?
Once you know the above, you can draft a plan of action to implement security controls and mitigation strategies, as well as prioritize identified threats. Unfortunately, evidence has shown organizations, although having completed the assessment, may never act on the results – later finding themselves fighting an environment breach.
Once the assessment is complete and the bar set, you can use the results as a communication tool within organization management to measure future progress and gauge success of the effort. A Cyber Risk assessment is also not a onetime occurrence, rather a tool to be used anytime significant or regulatory change is introduced to the organization.
Risk reduction is a process, one continually changing and requiring regular attention.
If you’d like to discuss a Cyber Risk assessment for your organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Michael Hahn is Head of Security Practice for Prolifics with over 20 years of Cybersecurity advisory and consulting experience to fortune 500 and Government entities. As a technology leader and innovator Michael has a track record of partnering with clients to enable unique, resilient, and secure solutions within the IT space.