How to plan an advanced cyber risk analysis

Monthly Cybersecurity Newsletter

In the current business landscape, data means power. As more businesses turn to digital systems to store their data, data security measures grow insufficient. 

Protecting your data is a high priority for many, and there is no shortage of concerns. As digital systems become more integrated with our everyday lives and businesses, we’ve come to recognise that a multi-faceted approach is required to take on the obstacle course that is cybersecurity. 

A combination of software, physical systems, and even personnel may become a part of your integrated cybersecurity measures depending on the nature of the data you are protecting. 

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure shares that effective digital security is a little more complex than simple threat mitigation. It needs to involve the use of various measures to detect, deter, and delay any attack. 

There’s no way to deter or delay any attacks that may come your way without an updated understanding of the risks that may be lurking on the horizon.

This is where a cyber risk analysis comes in handy. Here’s a breakdown of how to plan a comprehensive risk analysis and protect your data.  

1. Identify what you are trying to protect

Based on your industry and unique position, the nature of the information you store will differ. 

Posing key questions — including why you store the information you store, what purpose it serves, who it serves, and the cost and impact of this data being compromised — will help you pinpoint the exact value of protecting this information. This can also be a guide as to how much you should invest in security measures to protect your data. 

During this step, you will also recognise what is at stake with your cybersecurity posture and what you can gain from cyber risk analysis. 

Any company has a lot to lose if its information is compromised, but these losses exist on a scale that will show you the value of the information you are trying to protect and the cost of breaches. 

Your business’ reliability and reputation, the trust and loyalty of your customers, the protection of your customers, legal repercussions, regulatory compliance, revenue and profits, the protection of your business, and competitive advantage are just a few factors that may be adversely impacted by insufficient data protection. 

Understanding which areas may be impacted will help you create a measured response to threats.

2. Identify threats and vulnerabilities 

After you’ve established the value of your assets and the key areas you need to protect, move on to identifying the threats and vulnerabilities that your cyber risk analysis will catch.

While a vulnerability refers to an area of your business that could be exploited easily by a cybercriminal, a threat refers to the likelihood of these vulnerabilities being exploited. 

Malware, hackers, scams, system failures, errors made by human teams, your external network of suppliers, data leaks — both digital and physical — can threaten your cybersecurity posture.

Monitoring your entire ecosystem continuously will help you recognise patterns and collect the data you need for an accurate assessment of your system’s security.

3. Act on the results of your cyber risk analysis

Put your knowledge to good use as you implement the necessary measures to tighten your vulnerabilities and ward off threats.

A mixture of measures may be required to ensure that you are both detecting threats and protecting your data from possible attacks, simultaneously. This includes antivirus software, keycard access, continuous monitoring of your systems, encryption, and other control measures.

Even if you conduct a comprehensive cyber risk analysis this year, the landscape is always evolving and with it comes evolved threats that even your updated security measures may not protect your data from. 

Changes in the global landscape can also lead to increased vulnerabilities, whether it’s the holiday season or a pandemic. Protecting your data is a full-time responsibility and regular risk analysis measures are a necessity.

Maintain powerful defences and implement proactive security measures to keep your data safe

Whether you’re wary of your third-party risk management during the holiday season or your risk compliance, ensuring that you have the right frameworks in place will help you take the pressure off information security. 

The right systems will help you mitigate threats and shore up vulnerabilities in the swiftest and most cost-effective way possible.