Risk Management & Risk Assessment

Everything related to Cyber Security starts with Risk Assessment and Risk Management. You can’t implement Cyber Security strategies if you don’t know what to protect.

Cyber-attacks are typically not spontaneous events. With proper knowledge, signs of a planned attack against an organization can often be detected. Indicators of an imminent attack include references to the organization on the dark web, registration of similar domain names for phishing attacks, and confidential information, such as user account credentials, being offered for sale.

After conducting an initial Cyber Security Risk Assessment, many organizations fail to maintain an ongoing review process of their Cyber Security risk. This creates a false sense of security due to the initial assessment and any security measures taken. However, the threat landscape and attack surface are constantly evolving, necessitating continuous Cyber Security Risk Management to maintain protection.

In addition to changing threat landscapes, other factors also impact existing Cyber Security risk planning. Regulations are often modified or introduced, and the associated risks must be analyzed. Cyber Security policies and procedures must be updated to ensure compliance with new regulations.

Risk Management Services

We offer a comprehensive set of services around Risk Assessment, Risk Management, and Compliance including:

      • Risk Assessment, Risk Identification
      • Risk Management Strategy
      • Risk Management Process
      • Compliance Assessment & Advisory
      • Vendor / Third-Party Risk Management
      • Security Architecture Review
      • Security Program Review
      • M&A Security Services

In addition, we have special programs for important European compliance frameworks:

Risk Management Process

The risk management process involves several steps, including:

Risk Identification. To effectively manage and secure your assets, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of what you have and how it’s being used. Simply creating an inventory of your assets is not enough; you need to dig deeper. This involves understanding the business processes, data flow, system usage, and the importance of each asset to the organization. Categorizing assets based on criticality and other factors is also important. Without proper categorization, it’s difficult to prioritize and allocate resources effectively. For example, simply creating an inventory of assets without defining their function, purpose, and criticality is insufficient. Categorizing assets will help ensure that your limited resources, including time, people, and money, are focused on the highest priority assets.

Risk Assessment. Once you have categorized your assets, the next crucial step is to assess the risk associated with each asset. This includes identifying the potential vulnerabilities and threats to each asset. Afterward, you need to evaluate the likelihood of the identified threats exploiting these vulnerabilities.

This analysis will enable you to determine the areas with the highest likelihood and potential impact if a threat were to materialize. By focusing your resources and remediation efforts on the most critical areas, you can respond more effectively and mitigate the risks that pose the highest impact and criticality to your organization.

Risk Mitigation. Once risks are assessed, the next step is to respond to each risk and bring them down to an acceptable level. Organizations have four potential responses to a risk: accept, transfer, mitigate, or avoid. The response chosen will depend on the organization’s overall risk appetite. It is important to focus on the risks that pose the highest threat and allocate resources to implement controls that will reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

Acceptance means not fixing the risk. This is appropriate in cases where the risk is clearly low and the time and effort it takes to fix the risk costs more than the costs that would be incurred if the risk were to be realized. Transfer means transferring the risk to another entity so your organization can recover from incurred costs of the risk being realized. Mitigation means lessening the likelihood and/or impact of the risk, but not fixing it entirely and avoidance means removing all exposure to an identified risk.

Risk Monitoring. Risk management is an ongoing process, and risks should be regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure that the risk management plan remains effective. Risk monitoring involves several sub-tasks like risk tracking, risk measurement, risk reporting, and risk communication.

Vendor / Third Party Risk Management

Third-party risks are simply the risks that arise from doing business with a supplier. Some examples include additional risk related to exposure of your data if you have a supplier who is handling, processing, or storing your data. Another risk scenario could be an outage risk – if you are hosting your infrastructure at a third-party data center, you would certainly want to validate whether they have the appropriate physical and environmental security controls in place. This protects your infrastructure in the event of a disaster.

As part of your overall risk assessment policy and process, vendor risks should be noted within the overall risk register, which is a list of all your organization’s risks with outlined details on when and how they are being addressed. A vendor/third-party risk management process is one that would guide and allow an organization to conduct appropriate due diligence during the vendor selection process while also ensuring the selected and current vendors are then monitored on an ongoing basis.

Please note that compliance with certain standards and regulations – in particular regulations covering critical infrastructure – includes proper vendor / third party risk management.

Risk Management Best Practices

No matter what framework or methodology you choose to adopt for your company, there are some steps and considerations that are constant across all environments. In general, risk management starts with gathering and analyzing information about your business, your company, your assets, your IT environment, your users, etc. From there you can identify potential threats and establish appropriate responses.

Best practices include:

      • Integrate Risk Management into your Business Culture
      • Risk Assessment and Analysis
      • Security Policies and Procedures
      • Secure Configuration and Hardening
      • Access Management
      • Security Awareness and Training
      • Incident Response Planning
      • Data Backup and Recovery
      • Vendor and Third-Party Risk Management
      • Continuous Monitoring and Auditing
      • Regular Updates and Patch Management
      • Encryption and Data Protection