By Joseph Ikhalia, Riela Cyber Security Engineer & Threat Management Lead.
When looking to address the cyber security of your business, it can be tempting to set the expectation that you will gain maximum protection within a very short space of time. This approach often results in the unnecessary purchase of cyber security services that are costly and unspecific to your business’s needs.
An ‘off the shelf’ solution does not account for your specific way of operating or the people that work for your organisation.
A cyber risk assessment is a tool to ensure the cyber security solutions you purchase provide the best impact and value for money to your business. It can potentially save you money in the long-run by verifying the critical and high cyber risks that can be prioritised to mitigate. To deal with residual risks and to increase your knowledge of what’s truly going on amongst the digital devices that operate within your business, ongoing services such as network monitoring, advanced email filters or continual cyber security awareness training may be required. However, the findings of the cyber risk assessment is the best advisor when securing your business effectively.
If you’re still to be convinced of the power of a cyber risk assessment, here are 10 reasons why you need one:
A cyber risk assessment will evaluate the ins and outs of an organisation, allowing staff to see it from a whole different perspective. This is a great opportunity for staff to learn more about their organisation and how it functions in a way not usually seen. As a result, all people working within the organisation will gain improved insight into the cyber risks specific to them and the measures everybody can take as a team to reduce the overall threat.
All perspectives within an organisation (employee, manager, or board member) will benefit from knowing the cyber risks applicable to them. Being aware of your internal and external cyber threats will help to inform daily decision-making in a way that reduces the risk of an organisational vulnerability being exposed.
A cyber risk assessment has a huge impact beyond the implementation of anti-malware software. It allows organisations to gain a deeper insight into the vulnerabilities affecting the internal network infrastructure, specifically the endpoints. Through a cyber risk assessment, the vulnerability and threat management team can prioritise their processes in actively searching for areas within the network, which a potentially dangerous insider threat could expose.
Malicious hackers are constantly scanning for external vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited. This is as a result of system misconfigurations and poor patch management policies on the perimeter network infrastructure. A non-existent or poorly conducted cyber risk assessment can produce ineffective defences. Many organisations lack the required level of network monitoring to identify and mitigate cyber threats against their business by unauthorised external vulnerability scans. Research shows that, on average, it takes up to 280 days for a business to identify and contain a data breach. One key aspect of a cyber risk assessment is that it identifies the external factors at risk before they have a chance to be exploited.
It is not unusual for organisations to have insufficient resources to monitor security events associated with all their digital assets continuously, creating oversight on their location and risk of being exploited. You cannot protect what you cannot see, so a cyber risk assessment is critical in understanding the limitations of human resources and identifying the skill gaps, thereby promoting a better information security management culture within the organisation.
Once a cyber risk assessment has been conducted, your business will gain insight into the security ‘baseline’. In other words, the usual cyber security standard of the organisation will be identified, therefore enabling any deviations from this baseline to be immediately addressed as a cause for concern.
The outcome of a cyber risk assessment provides a clear snapshot into the organisation’s cyber security posture, enabling security engineers and risk management specialists to accurately estimate the actual state of their security levels (i.e., the current security controls and ability to manage new risks). This information is essential before enrolling in any cyber security services.
Once the organisation’s cyber security posture has been analysed, resources can be efficiently allocated to build a bespoke and tailored Security Operations Centre (SOC) plan, ensuring resources are placed in the areas they are needed most. This will ensure that security procedures align with the organisation’s needs and removing the need for unnecessary security expenses.
Using the cyber risk assessment to create a bespoke SOC plan will enable complete and ongoing visibility into all organisational cyber threats. A factor considered essential when determining a long-term information security management strategy. This will be reflected through the regular reporting of cyber risk reports and analysis.
Once resources have been appropriately allocated, an improvement in the organisation’s threat defence capabilities will be observed. A cyber risk assessment is the first step towards achieving a solid information security posture aligned to your business needs and applicable regulatory requirements.
If you want to understand your cyber security posture, get in touch with the team at Riela Cyber to arrange your free cyber risk assessment.
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