Cybersecurity risks are now ranked as one of the biggest threats to a business. Cyberattacks are rapidly evolving, and we are now seeing the emergence of new threats like Ransomware threats that cost businesses $4.44 million on average in 2020.
In addition, there has been a shift to remote work, which means an increased focus on cloud services, according to an IBM report. It was found that misconfigurations in cloud and migration were the leading cause of breaches at the pandemic’s peak.
This is why you ought to keep evolving to curb cyber security threats as a business. One of the crucial aspects of defense is undertaking a Cyber Risk Analysis. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to perform a Cyber Risk Analysis in 2022.
What is Cyber Risk Analysis?
For starters, a Cyber risk analysis is a process of determining the extent of damage a cyber-attack would cause in an organization. This process identifies the most vulnerable assets, the likelihood of such attacks, and the respective impacts. This way, relevant stakeholders can implement suitable security measures to curb the threats.
How to Perform a Cyber Risk Analysis
Outline the Scope of Risk Assessment
The scope of a risk assessment should be the first step in a successful cyber risk analysis. Before digging into the core of risk analysis, it is crucial to identify the scope of risk assessment. Often, you would target the entire organization because the IT infrastructure could be interconnected. However, this is not always the case.
You could only be interested in a certain unit, department, or location, such as a web application, payment, or registration.
Here, it would be best to have support from stakeholders of respective units because they understand their assets and processes. You can easily pinpoint the critical components, potential risks, the magnitude of damage, and the risk tolerance level.
It is good to know some of the risk assessment terminologies as this will simplify the process. One of the best practices adopted by several organizations in the review of risk assessment standards. Such standards offer proven and systematic ways to assess cyber security risks for effective curbing.
Identify Cyber Security Risks and Potential Impacts
The next key step in cyber risk analysis is to identify cyber security risks. This is a broad topic because you need to identify the assets, threats, and impacts. The first hurdle in this phase is to identify assets that you want to protect.
Cyber threats don’t target every asset. Some assets are more valuable to attackers because of their nature or importance. Therefore, you need to start with those critical assets in your organization because they are the obvious targets for attackers.
You can create a network architecture of these critical components for easy visualization of the interconnection.
After making an inventory of the target assets, proceed to identify the threats. Threat identification involves finding the possible tactics, techniques, and methods attackers can use to breach your security fences. You should identify the consequences of cyberattacks on the assets and the organization. Present the information in a friendly language so that stakeholders don’t have a rough time understanding them.
Tip: Most attacks tend to have motives. Research has shown that most attackers are looking for monetary returns, particularly in the financial sector, energy and manufacturing sectors.
Identify Tools to Improve Security
It is also essential to map out the tools that will come in handy in protecting your business IT infrastructure and data. For example, your organization likely leverages e-platforms to handle sensitive transactions. That said, attackers can easily intercept data as they move from the web browser to the server through techniques like Man in the Middle Attack (MITM).
In this case, you should invest in tools to secure transactions. You can use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates to encrypt data in transit. SSL uses ciphering algorithms to encrypt the data making it hard to decipher without the corresponding deciphering keys.
There are many SSL certificate providers and solutions in the market, depending on the features you are looking for. There are many SSL certificate providers and solutions in the market, depending on the features you are looking for.
If you are looking for a wildcard SSL cert for your online store, we suggest going for the Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard to secure your main domain and multiple subdomains.
Determine Risk Priority Scale
After finding out the potential cyber risks in your organization, the next big thing is to put them on a priority scale. Here, you classify the risks based on the likelihood of happening as likely, highly likely, and very high. You can set a threshold tolerance level so that any scenario above it should get a higher treatment priority.
According to your priority scale, you can decide on the right course of action. Usually, there are three actions that you can take depending on the size of the risk. If the risk outweighs the benefits, then the best thing is to avoid it. Another option is to transfer the risk or outsource to third parties. The other option is to mitigate the risk by deploying relevant security controls and measures.
Document the Risks
Remember, Cyber risk analysis is a continuous process. It never stops at the first round since threats and systems keep changing. For effective management, all identified risks should be documented. Remember, you will need a regular review of the risks to rate your achievements and make up-to-date measures in the future.
Some of the contents that should be captured in a cyber risk analysis document include risk scenario, current risk level, identification date, progress status, residual risks, existing security controls, and risk owner. Because risk management is not a one-shot stop process, you should commit resources to help reinforce future security.
It is now easy to see why cyber risk analysis is something you can’t afford to ignore in your business. It is the genesis of everything good in averting cyber security threats. Remember, there is no one-fix-for-all. Plan better and use a blend of cybersecurity defense approaches to protect your business. It would help if you also kept tabs on the cybersecurity world to evolve your strategies.