No organization is immune to cyber risks. But do you know what differentiates secure businesses from the rest? It’s their extensive risk management plan. At an advanced level, cyber risk is evaluated by the formula: Cyber risk=Cyber risk*threat*vulnerability. However, to put it in simple words, cyber risk is defined as the degree of damage to your sensitive information, reputation and mission-critical assets by a vicious cyberattack. Not all cyber risks are equal. Some can have a greater and far worse impact on your organization than others. This is exactly why you need an effective cyber risk management framework that makes your enterprise resilient to all potential risks and applies damage control measures to mitigate their impact.
Outlining a List of Globally Recognized Cyber Risk Assessment Standards
Owing to the growing relevance of cybersecurity in the global economy, various standardized cyber risk assessment forms and cybersecurity governance have emerged. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISO 27001:2013 are the two most common among them. Both serve as the foundation for high-quality evaluation tasks.
NIST Framework for Cybersecurity
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is a government agency that provides high-level cybersecurity advice to both government organizations and private companies.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Cyber Risk Management Framework constitutes a set of guidelines for assessing cyber-risks. The NIST website has a database of certified security controls as well as a step-by-step technique for basic risk assessment. Threat detection, risk identification, preventive measures, threat response, and data recovery form the major components of this evaluation.
ISO 27001, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), contains the elements required to construct an efficient information security management system. It serves as a medium for auditing ISO 27000 compliance, which comprises ISO's list of best cyber risk mitigation measures.
ISO 27001 demands an assessment of hybrid cloud assets.
The process begins with developing a risk management roadmap that continues with risk identification and analysis, prioritization, risk mitigation, and reporting. This data is intended to include dynamic components of a larger information security management system. Reports are designed to be "living documents" that are constantly revised as and when new information becomes available.
Special Frameworks for Special Risks
Companies may want to enforce special cyber-resilience frameworks for relevant industries in addition to NIST and ISO standards. For instance, healthcare organizations may need to incorporate HIPAA compliance within their risk management plans, whilst credit card data providers may consider adopting preventive measures against PCI-DSS threats.
GDPR compliance mandates certain data protection procedures that affect businesses operating in the European Union. Companies handling student records must comply with FERPA, while organizations interacting with the Department of Defense must comply with CMMC.
Thwarting Cyber Risks from Within: 5 Steps Towards Implementing Cyber Risk Analysis
Against the backdrop of evolving cyber risks, here is the five-step approach that elaborates an informed understanding of cyber risk analysis
Step 1: Assessing and Potentially Mapping Risk Levels
The first step is to determine and recognize who or what might be injured. The five-step paradigm depicts that risks can occur at multiple levels. This includes risks at the individual, group, organizational, cultural, and societal levels. Initial cyber risk analysis even includes the identification of key actors or parties affected by cyber harm.
Step 2: Defining the Taxonomy of Cyber Risks
The second step involves identifying different categories of cyber risks and threats that could affect stakeholders at various levels as discussed above. One thing you should remember is that the risk model focuses more on mapping the origin and intention of threats, rather than just recording different types of cyber-attacks. This analysis also includes how each threat can affect a specific stakeholder (for instance, critical national infrastructure can be destroyed, put out of order, or made to leak sensitive information.)
Step 3: Identifying the Stakeholders
The third component is to recognize that different stakeholders are likely to have varying perceptions and sensitivity to cyber risks. For instance, at the national level, individuals would be concerned about working with critical infrastructures, corporate bodies and organizations in investing and managing critical infrastructures and governments in operating networks and assets. Each stakeholder will view the harm differently and, in turn, develop their own perceptions about the consequences of cyber harm. As a result, for each stakeholder, you must construct different evaluation criteria to help them assess the impact of cyber risk.
Take another instance. If a component of a network infrastructure fails, there may be at least three stakeholders affected by this mishap:
- The personnel responsible for monitoring the network
- The firm that operates the network
- The nation/government that relies on the network.
You would have to explore the various ideas of harm from the standpoint of each stakeholder. For employees, we could evaluate the financial effects of job loss on them. An organization can become vulnerable to reputational and cultural damage if its security posture is weak. There may be wide political and strategic implications for the government (damage to the nation's reputation, provocation from a rival country) as well as societal ramifications (loss of trust within society, civil disorder).
Step 4: Measuring harm posed by cyber risks
This includes determining quantitative and qualitative measurements for different categories of risks. You deploy metrics and methodologies for assessing the identified cyber risk associated with a particular stakeholder. On top of this, data gathering and analysis enables complete and anticipatory identification of the magnitude of various cyber risks.
Step 5: Mandating individuals/companies for threat response and remediation
The fifth step is to identify the individuals or managed cybersecurity service providers that can help you respond to cyberattacks at various levels. Preventive steps are implemented for mitigation and minimizing the harm caused by a potential cyberattack.
Adopt, Adapt and Implement the Best Cyber Risk Management Practices with Cloud4C
The best practice of cybersecurity management includes the adoption of information risk management processes. Cloud4C, one of the top managed security service providers, delivers cutting-edge cyber risk assessment frameworks to address your organization's security or cyber threats management lifecycle from start to finish. We offer consulting workshops, cloud risk monitoring, IT infrastructure health checks, public discovery scanning, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, compliance-as-a-service, and more. Our 2000+ certified cloud and cybersecurity specialists ensure continuous uptime and full-proof protection around the clock. Get in touch with us to strengthen your cybersecurity posture.