Cyber risk is a constantly evolving and growing area that we must continuously address. As technology improves, more cyber risks to consider also pop up. We believe companies are flying blind on cybersecurity, and it leaves them struggling to prevent cyber-attacks. Many companies are making security decisions without having all the facts.
While companies cannot avoid all cyber risk – they should identify, mitigate, and reduce it to an acceptable level. Companies should assess their cybersecurity program in areas such as process, people, and technology. Once they have a good insight into the entire infrastructure’s security risks – they should develop a prioritized remediation based on asset criticality, threat context and vulnerability severity.
1. Evolution and Advancement
Security risks are constantly evolving. While we are also advancing our technology to combat these risks (and address other factors), security risks grow alongside the advancement of technology. This is why your cybersecurity plan must continuously grow and monitor your security network.
A security breach caused by the lack of updates in a security network happens often. Others might think, “I already have this system/software in place. I don’t need to update it.” This thought process is wrong because each update is made to combat the growth and evolution of a cyber risk. An outdated system will not be able to catch up or address a cyber risk, which will lead to damages to your organization.
Cyber risks are like the flu virus.
The virus (in other words, the threat) constantly evolves and “defeats” the vaccines we have previously made. As time passes, the strain of the virus continues to change. This is why vaccines are also updated to ensure your body can combat the flu’s symptoms.
This is similar with security. Even when we have addressed one risk, another one will appear (or the risk will evolve) to threaten your organization or device. Cybersecurity is not a one-time deal, where you look at your system once and decide it is good. Because of the changes in technology and thus cyber threats, you must continuously monitor and manage cyber risks to your network. Only then, will your company be prepared to combat and/or prevent cyber threats from damaging your organization’s systems.
2. Human Risk
Human risk is a factor that you cannot fully control. You have no way to control every single little action and processes of your employees. While we can educate people of the risks and advise to avoid the risks, negligence and carelessness is still a possibility that can threaten your entire organization. Additionally, you cannot predict the emotions of another person. As such, insider threats, negligence, malicious intent – all these characteristics that fall under the umbrella of human risk – will always exist regardless of what policies you implement.
As human risk is something that cannot be fully controlled, you must consider the various human threats to your organization. This includes employees, partners, and outsiders. Additionally, education regarding cybersecurity is a must throughout your company. This will be done over time because there are always new employees to teach. This will also serve as a refresher for older employees to prevent negligence.
3. Business Growth
As a business, you will need to consider various functions within your organization. All your focus cannot, and will not, be only on cybersecurity. While cybersecurity is something you want to prioritize to improve your security, you must choose which cyber risk is worth the time and effort to address.
If the cyber risk is unavoidable, then you must work on other risks so that your overall cyber risk is at an acceptable level to control. And if the risk is too small or unlikely to occur, then use the time that could be invested into this risk and improve something else in your organization.
Addressing all cyber risks is not efficient.
To put this into numbers, consider a risk that only has a 0.001% chance of occurring. This risk will only cause a 0.1% damage to your organization – both financially and materially. Lastly, to address this risk, you need to use 10% of your budget.
When you consider these factors, it’s simply not efficient to address this 0.001% cyber risk. It’s not worth the time or money that is needed to fix this risk. So, to maximize the growth of your business, you must ignore this risk and move the budget to another place that should be prioritized.
Prioritizing and focusing on specific risks that are manageable is far more beneficial to your organization than addressing every single little risk possible. As a result, you cannot focus on eliminating all cyber risks. This is because you must think about growing your business and not just fixing your cybersecurity.
While cybersecurity is an important part of your organization that must be addressed, not all cyber risks can be eliminated. Therefore, take care of your cybersecurity system and ensure your organization’s cyber risks are at an acceptable level.
Based on the factors above – evolution, human risk, and business growth – no one can fully eliminate cyber risk from your business. Do what you can to monitor and manage your cyber risk, so that it remains at an acceptable level. Assess your security continuously and update your systems. Educate everyone within your organization. And lastly, measure for manageable risks to address to optimize your organization’s security.
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