It is important to note that not all risks that are identified can be eliminated and/or avoided. However, early threat detection and risk projection does buy your organization time, which can reduce the potential impacts of an event. Below you will find 10 things to consider when developing your organization’s cybersecurity risk management plan:
While the word cybersecurity has become synonymous with the IT department, be assured that it stretches far beyond that. Cybersecurity is not strictly an IT problem and recent studies have proven it. Human error is responsible for almost 80% of the security incidents we see today, which is why distributing responsibility across departments plays such a critical role in maintaining a low risk environment. Working together to guard against human-related intrusions will help increase the organization’s overall security posture. The right tools and training can help employees distinguish between real and malicious emails as an example. Overall, initiating the process of building a culture of cybersecurity is key to distributing responsibility across the organization.
Company culture plays an integral role in developing a cybersecurity risk management plan. From the C-suite down to the part-time staff, a culture of cybersecurity must be embedded within each one of our employees. This requires executive team members to set good examples for others and practice what they preach. For instance, partake in cybersecurity training, practice good cyber hygiene, complete regularly scheduled cybersecurity education/testing, and more. There is no room for careless mistakes that can cost organizations millions of dollars, not to mention their reputations. Cybersecurity matters at every level, across every department.
Implementing a cybersecurity risk management plan requires fully training staff at all levels to identify risks and take appropriate actions as needed. Continuous employee training is needed not only to build security awareness, but to ensure that all staff members are familiar with security protocol and prepared to respond and mitigate potential risks.
There are no benefits to exclusively hoarding information in cybersecurity. Information and specific details on cybersecurity risks should be openly shared across every department, at all levels. Exchanging information with stakeholders, government, and vendors are not only preferred but needed to see the big picture for most cybersecurity-related issues today. Clearly communicating potential business impacts of relevant cyber risks should also be a priority. For those who are not familiar or choose to be ignorant of cybersecurity issues, provide them with the context they understand – i.e.: relate it back to money.
There are many cybersecurity frameworks that have been published by government agencies. However, it is important to note that these frameworks are mere guidelines and should be tailored to the needs of your individual organization. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but careful analysis of each framework should help you choose the one that fits best. Examples include ISO 27001, NIST, and CIS Critical Security Controls.
Risk assessment is critical to any cybersecurity risk management plan. The steps are as follow:
Lastly, create and implement an incident response plan that prioritizes the previously identified risks. In the event a security incident occurs, employees should know whose responsibility it is and how to take their part.