Establishing the business case for cyber risk management

cyber risk management

A business is never static; it is in constant evolution and growth. Similarities that it shares with the cyber landscape. 

By now, in a world that has become more accustomed to the rapid development of new technology and one that is more aware of the risks that plague the industry, cyber risk management has become a necessity. 

A necessity that has, by and large, been accepted by managers of a business and those higher up in the organisational hierarchy.

A cause for concern, however, is that businesses aren’t as swift to implement new risk management platforms and strategies as they are in embracing other innovations. This results in a lag between development and sustainable business frameworks. 

Today, businesses often fail to pay attention to their cybersecurity posture until after an attack has already taken place. By this point, as we all know, the damage is done.

To combat the risks associated with the lack of up-to-date and effective cyber risk management, there is a need to establish a business case for doing so. 

In this process, there are a few points to consider. 

1. Numbers matter—but not all of them

It’s important to not just present the facts and figures of what your cyber risk management process is capable of, but also put them in perspective for business decision-makers. 

While data on how many potential attacks have been avoided and how many vulnerabilities have been shored up is important, it is equally important to contextualise this information. 

For example, the number of phishing attacks that have been stopped in their tracks may not mean much by itself until you compare it to the numbers from previous years so that a pattern can emerge. 

This will display the value of cyber risk management and make a case for the continued development and greater investment into this process. 

Recognise the numbers that matter to your cyber functions and understand that not all of them will be as useful or as functional in your business case. 

2. Bring in the competitive advantage of security 

The market is always reaching new competitive heights. Consumers are spoilt for choice, so when it comes to gaining a competitive edge, even the smallest advantage over competitors is worth taking. 

One of the main, long-term costs and negative consequences of a cyberattack is that you often lose the confidence of your customer base. 

Even if customer data is remotely threatened, you may have put them at risk of an attack.

Making sure your security posture is in line with or, ideally, ahead of the systems your competitors have in place automatically gives you an edge over your competition. 

When establishing your business case, explore the steps taken by competitors and how your risk management system fares in comparison to the standards they set.

3. Internal process improvements 

Yet another way your cyber risk teams can assess their success is by measuring their internal growth. 

This is everything from how long it takes them to shore up a vulnerability, the methods they utilise to identify risks, the time it takes between identification and mitigation of a threat, and so on. 

Measuring the ways that your team has grown and improved is an easy way to measure the success of your risk management processes. If your team is more efficient, they are automatically more effective at protecting your organisation. Especially if the function is given the opportunity to develop further through greater investment.  

Robust cyber risk management means a more secure digital landscape and a business ecosystem 

Post-crisis, businesses have prioritised the development of a more resilient enterprise risk management plan. Key findings for the year 2021 show that 78% of responders believe their companies have increased investment in cybersecurity over the past year. 

82% of responders, however, also shared that this investment and the reconfiguration of company priorities was inspired by a data breach. 

Recognising vulnerabilities and threats before they affect your company, at the pace at which they occur, is only possible through a powerful risk management solution. 

The business case for greater investment and commitment to cybersecurity has never been stronger than it is today.

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