Cybersecurity Risk Management: Protecting Your Business from Data Breaches and Financial Losses

Author: Erik Leong

With so much at stake for your business, it’s no secret that cybersecurity risk management is critical for organizations of all sizes.  

In 2022 alone, over 422 million people were affected by data compromises, including breaches, leakage, and exposure.  

Cybersecurity risk management protects sensitive information, helps ensure regulatory compliance, mitigates financial losses, protects your reputation and the trust of your customers, preserves business continuity, and so much more.  

By investing in cybersecurity risk management, your organization can mitigate the possible impacts of cyber-related incidents while enhancing its overall security position.  

We’re diving into that to help you better understand the benefits of cybersecurity risk management and know what questions to ask when implementing risk management strategies.

Risk Advisory: The Cost of Doing Business

Risk advisory is a must for those looking to appropriately identify, assess, and manage any potential vulnerabilities and risks related to data, networks, and information systems within their organization. 

Cybersecurity risk advisory is a specialized service offered by professionals, and it’s meant to help organizations understand the risks they face with their digital infrastructure and how to mitigate these factors so they can protect themselves from cyber threats.  

While you may think your organization understands that cybersecurity risk management needs to be part of its overall business strategies, there are countless reasons why this matters so much.  
 

Supply chain risk management needs to be robust.  

Many clients, partners, and suppliers request proof that your security program is strong enough for them to do business with you.  

A strategic supply chain management plan helps address the vulnerabilities that may be introduced via data integrity, interconnectivity, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and third-party risks. Implementing supply chain risk management practices can improve your organization’s overall cybersecurity position while ensuring your supply chain’s resilience and security.  
 

Compliance is critical to your organization’s success.  

Compliance is a critical part of effective cybersecurity risk management.

By implementing proper compliance practices, you’ll help mitigate your cybersecurity risks, as compliance practices provide a set of standards and guidelines that cover security controls, risk and vendor management, incident response, risk assessments, and more.  

Compliance-centric practices also help you meet regulatory requirements while establishing a solid cybersecurity foundation to mitigate risks. With the new compulsory FTC safeguard that came into place on June 9, 2023, coupled with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and voluntary client and partner compliance agreements, this area can’t be overlooked.  

 

Insurance is no longer enough.  

Typically, companies count on insurance if anything should go awry with their cybersecurity risk management. However, the reality is that insurers want to pay less per occurrence. They may have newly defined reasons not to pay even if you meet their criteria. For example, when a nation-state is an attack group, it’s considered an act of war, not cybercrime.  

Also, you must ensure your interpretations of insurance policies are correct, or you may not have the required coverage. You’ll pay your premiums all along the way, get breached, and then the insurance company will send their teams to discover the root cause. However, it’s common for them to uncover a reason not to pay.   

 

Skills gaps are becoming harder to fill.  

Just one look at the CyberSeek website, and it’s easy to see hiring right now is hard, and countless job openings are currently unfilled.  

Retaining them is even more challenging if you do happen to hire someone. Many professionals in the space are elevating their resumes and maximizing their earning potential, so finding cybersecurity experts to fill the roles you need continues to be challenging.  

Cybersecurity Risk Management Questions You Need to Ask 

If cybersecurity risk management is a priority for your organization, there are some key questions you’ll want to ask before you start making plans to mitigate your risk. This will help ensure you’re focusing on the right things and not missing any critical areas that could negatively impact your organization’s cybersecurity.  

Some questions to review include:

  • How does compliance factor into how you do business? 
  • Are you able to satisfy your customer’s request to attest? 
  • What Frameworks do you map to?
  • Do you have a Compliance and Governance team?  
  • What is the difference between security and compliance? 
  • Do you have the time and talent to dedicate to this area of importance? 
  • What are the soft costs of not understanding your organization’s risk exposure? 
  • When was the last time you did a Business Impact Analysis? 
  • Do you have a cadence of scanning your network for vulnerabilities, assessing it for gaps, and performing proactive breach attack simulations to the common attack vectors and groups that have you as a target? 

Way to Proactively Address Your Cybersecurity Risk Management 

By effectively addressing cybersecurity management risks, you can fortify their defenses, mitigate potential threats, and safeguard your most valuable assets. 

Here are a few ways to proactively address your cybersecurity risk:  
 

vCISO 

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) is a service that provides organizations with access to an experienced cybersecurity professional who functions as a part-time or on-demand Chief Information Security Officer. The vCISO is typically an external consultant or a member of a cybersecurity firm, and they augment your organization’s cybersecurity capabilities, enhance risk management practices, and improve the overall cybersecurity posture. 

A vCISO helps organizations with cybersecurity risk management by providing strategic guidance, conducting risk assessments, developing cybersecurity programs, assisting with incident response planning, and managing vendor and third-party risks. Plus, they’ll ensure ongoing compliance while offering expertise and industry knowledge.  

 

Compliance as a Service (CaaS)  

Compliance as a Service (CaaS) refers to compliance-related tools, technologies, and consultancy services by third-party vendors or service providers. CaaS solutions typically encompass Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) tools and consultancy services that help organizations manage and meet regulatory and compliance obligations. 

CaaS offers GRC tools and consultancy services to facilitate regulatory compliance, risk management, policy and procedure management, compliance auditing and reporting, training, and awareness, incident response and direction, and continuous monitoring and compliance updates.  
 

Assessments, Scans, and Penetration Tests  

Assessments, scans, and penetration tests are different methods used to evaluate the security posture of your organization’s systems, networks, and applications.  

While they share the goal of identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses, they differ in scope, depth, and level of exploitation:

  • Assessments provide a comprehensive overview of security weaknesses and help prioritize improvements.  
  • Scans enable organizations to identify known vulnerabilities and misconfigurations proactively. 
  • Penetration tests simulate real-world attacks to uncover vulnerabilities and weaknesses that attackers could exploit.

Together, these methods contribute to improving the overall cybersecurity of your organization by identifying and addressing security risks and ensuring the effectiveness of security controls.  

Purple Team Exercises 

Purple Team Exercises are collaborative cybersecurity exercises involving cooperation and coordination between an organization’s Red and Blue teams. The purpose of these exercises is to simulate real-world attack scenarios and assess the effectiveness of an organization’s defensive capabilities. 

These exercises facilitate collaboration between the two teams to identify weaknesses in security defenses, transfer knowledge and skills, support continuous improvement, provide training opportunities, and enhance risk reduction and incident preparedness. Conducting these exercises contributes to a more robust cybersecurity posture and creates a better understanding of an organization’s ability to defend against and respond to cyber threats. 
 

Breach Attack Simulations 

Breach Attack Simulations (BAS) are cybersecurity exercises that simulate real-world cyber-attacks to assess an organization’s security posture and readiness. Unlike traditional penetration tests or vulnerability assessments, BAS focuses on emulating full-scale attack scenarios, including surveillance, exploitation, and post-exploitation activities. 

BAS exercises provide organizations with a proactive and comprehensive approach to enhancing their cybersecurity defenses and readiness, assessing their security posture, evaluating detection and response capabilities, identifying vulnerabilities, and prioritizing remediation efforts. BAS can be particularly effective in improving security awareness and driving home the need for training and continuous improvement.  

Manage Your Risk with Bridgepointe’s Security Experts

As cyber threats facing organizations evolve in frequency and complexity, companies face increasing challenges with protecting sensitive information and overall cybersecurity risk management.

With a proactive approach to cybersecurity risk management, you’ll be best positioned to handle whatever threats or attacks may threaten your organization.

Bridgepointe is here to help you find the best cybersecurity solutions to fit your business. Talk to an expert today to see how we can help with your proactive cybersecurity plan.

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