In today’s highly tech-driven business landscape, understanding the full extent of cyberthreats an organisation is exposed to is essential. This guide outlines the best practices for performing a cyber risk assessment, which can help your business develop effective strategies and maintain a strong security posture.
In today’s interconnected world, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern for businesses of all sizes. As technology continues to advance, so do the tactics of cyber threats, making organizations vulnerable to potentially devastating attacks.
Understanding the complex and ever-changing cyber risk landscape is crucial for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining business continuity. That’s where the concept of Cyber Risk Assessments emerges as a fundamental practice.
We delved into the significance of cybersecurity for businesses, with the help of TechQuarters, a provider of IT support services in London. They offered an insightful overview of the cyber risk landscape, and the steps businesses can take to protect themselves.
What is a Cyber Risk Assessment?
Businesses nowadays must be very wary about cyber threats, as so much of what the average business does is linked to the internet, and therefore potentially exposed to any number of threats. A cyber risk assessment is a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of an organization’s digital environment to identify potential cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and associated risks. Businesses that want to develop a robust and effective cybersecurity strategy should perform a CRA, as it will help them know which areas they need to focus on.
The key benefit of performing a cyber risk assessment is that enables businesses to make informed decisions about their security posture.
The Steps of a Cyber Risk Assessment
Conducting a Cyber Risk Assessment is a fundamental step towards building a robust cybersecurity framework. By understanding potential threats and vulnerabilities, businesses can implement proactive measures, fortify their defences, and ensure a resilient stance against the ever-evolving cyber landscape. We asked TechQuarters about how to perform a cyber risk assessment. As an IT support company that has been supporting businesses for over a decade, they offered a single step-by-step approach to the assessment:
- Identify Your Assets – Your organisation has many assets – hardware, data, systems, identities, etc. Identifying your assets as a first step will establish the parameters of the assessment. You can then go on to prioritize assets based on value and importance.
- Identify Cyber Threats – Once your assets identified and prioritized, you should identify what kinds of threats are relevant to your organisation – which can include anything from human error or data loss, to natural disasters and adversarial threats (malicious actors, corporate espionage, etc.) Some cyber threats may not be relevant to your organisation, and can de-prioritized.
- Identify Your Vulnerabilities – Once you know what could happen, it is time to figure out what is likely to happen. A cyber threat an external factor that could undermine your organisation, whereas a vulnerabilities some kind of flaw in your organisation’s current security posture that could exploited by malicious actors, or broken down with enough pressure. TechQuarters confirmed that knowing your organisation’s vulnerabilities will help inform what strategies to implement, and what areas require work.
- Assess Current Controls – Following on from the previous point, your organisation should assess the current controls that are in place for protecting data and mitigating threats. The controls you are using might be insufficient, and would therefore count as a vulnerability. Controls include anything from the type of hardware an organisation uses, to policies such as multi-factor authentication, or practices like patch management.
Assess Impact & Likelihood of Risks – Once you have a clear idea on the landscape of risks and threats, as well as vulnerabilities in your organisation, you can begin assessing the likelihood of different types of threats hitting you, as well as the impact they would cause.