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Activating Cyber Risk Management

Activating Cyber Risk Management

Activating cyber risk management in an organization requires the cultivation of a cyber-aware culture. A cyber-aware culture sets the stage for well-informed decision-making concerning the allocation of budget and resources to reduce financial loss potential of cyber events.

Lack of cyber awareness hampers an enterprise’s efforts to prevent, mitigate, and remediate cyber incidents.  Under such circumstances, the responsibilities of cybersecurity often get relegated exclusively to IT, bypassing the opportunity to strengthen cyber risk posture through wider organization involvement.  The wider organization may even lament the expense and operational disruption of cybersecurity practices without understanding the positive impact to the organization.

What is a cyber-aware culture?

Organizations cannot be truly aware of their cyber risk posture without a concrete measurement of cyber risk that fully considers internal and external factors. The concept of quantifying cyber risk in an organization is a relatively new practice, but enterprises increasingly recognize the necessity of having a cyber risk metric against which they can benchmark the impact of their cybersecurity initiatives. Furthermore, for the organization to prioritize cyber initiatives appropriately, their cyber risk metric must translate into dollar figures.

This quantification of cyber risk creates a common understanding for both technical and non-technical teams alike and enables everyone to approach cyber risk management using a common vernacular. Everyone in the company can easily understand financial loss potential and the importance of containing this metric.  This subsequently prompts a dialog about which options are available to manage risk, along with the associated demands of time, resources, and technologies of each initiative and its estimated benefit in dollars. This process demystifies cybersecurity budget allocations and clarifies the roles of the greater organization in ensuring the success of such programs in reducing cyber risk.

[See our blog post for information about the distinction between cybersecurity and cyber risk management.]

Cyber Risk Decision-Making

Once an organization has a system of ongoing cyber risk quantification in place, drill down analysis into this metric reveals the areas of vulnerability and their relative severities. These insights enable company leadership to evaluate the options available to address these risks and establish budget, prioritization, and timeline accordingly. 

Cyber risk decisions fall into the following categories:

  • Remediate
  • Transfer
  • Accept
  • Proactively Mitigate

For due diligence, no known cyber risk shall be left unmanaged. Lack of budget and resources may require decisions to adopt cyber insurance policies to transfer the risk, or else it may be appropriate to make the conscious decision to accept some risk. Documenting all these decisions – including the decision to accept a risk and its rationale – may help in proving due diligence if a cyber incident were to occur.

Overcoming Gridlock

While considering the costs of technology and staff to support efforts to reduce cyber risk, leadership may also balk at how these initiatives may introduce disruption to the operations of the business. Some of these disruptions may temporarily interfere with incurring revenue or may impact other operational KPIs to which other team leaders are held accountable.

The organization must hone this discipline in such a way that it can properly account for the both the hard expenses and opportunity costs of implementing cyber risk management measures.

Sustaining Cyber Risk Management

Once leadership determines which cyber risk management activities to prioritize, the relevant teams can coordinate implementation. The organization’s cyber risk quantification metric should be continually refreshed to ensure that the organization is progressing toward improved cyber risk posture while accounting for the dynamic nature of the cyber threat landscape.  Leadership should reevaluate its cyber risk posture at regular intervals, including consideration of whether or not it needs to reprioritize or introduce new initiatives to better address their situation as it evolves.

Without a doubt, quantifying and managing cyber risk in an organization can be a complex undertaking.  Fortunately, Maxxsure offers a solution that simplifies the process of measuring of cyber risk and helps organizations translate the analysis of this metric into concrete actions to reduce estimated loss from potential cyber incidents.

Ready to learn more about how to activate an impactful cyber risk management program in your organization? Start a conversation with us today.

You may also wish to check out our webinar that we have made available on-demand: Cyber Risk Management In Action.