While the acceleration of digital transformation has produced many benefits for businesses today, it has also led to an increase in cyber risk, making this a top priority for organizations in all industries. Companies need to take a strategic approach to cybersecurity to protect their valuable data and, in some cases, abide by compliance laws.
One of the most effective ways to guard against a security breach is to create a detailed cyber risk management plan, which should be integrated into a holistic plan that accounts for all business risks. The purpose of a cyber risk management plan is to strengthen the organization’s cybersecurity posture in order to prevent data from being stolen, lost or used against the company in any way.
Creating A Cyber Risk Management Plan In 8 Steps
Follow these eight steps to create a cyber risk management plan to help protect your business.
1. Identify The Most Valuable Digital Assets
The first step in creating a cyber risk management plan involves identifying the organization’s most valuable digital assets. Common examples include computers, networks, company systems, data and other digital assets that could become targets for cybercriminals.
Determine which assets are most likely to be targeted by hackers and which are lacking in terms of security. Create a list of these assets with the most vulnerable at the top and prioritize the most critical list items within the plan.
2. Audit Your Organization’s Data And Intellectual Property
It can be challenging to create a thorough cyber risk management plan without first performing a data audit. Businesses should know exactly what types of data they collect, where this data is stored (e.g., in the cloud or on-premises), and who has access to this data.
When performing an audit, identify digital assets like software, applications and intellectual property. Businesses should also identify stored data, including both employee and customer records. A data audit should also include an estimated cost for recovery in the event that any sensitive data is stolen or compromised.
3. Perform A Cyber Risk Assessment
The next step in the process involves performing a cyber risk assessment. This type of assessment is designed to help identify various types of information assets that could be potentially affected by a cyber-attack, such as systems, hardware, customer data and laptops.
Today, cyber risks are more common than ever with a recent uptick in data leaks, ransomware, malware, phishing and insider threats. The primary goal of a cyber risk assessment is to understand where vulnerabilities exist and minimize gaps in security. Cyber threat sophistication requires executive teams and boards to be more educated in cyber risk than ever before. .
4. Analyze Your Security And Threat Levels
It is critical for businesses to know where they stand in terms of cybersecurity and possible threats. Performing both a security assessment and threat assessment can help uncover this information and help organizations better determine their cybersecurity posture.
Security assessments include analyzing hardware, network and storage infrastructures, while threat assessments focus on who might want to attack a business and how these attackers might try to breach the system.
5. Establish A Cyber Risk Management Committee
When creating a cyber risk management plan, take time to establish a cyber risk management committee. The leader of the committee is generally the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who is responsible for managing the overall cyber risk plan.
The CISO may assist in appointing different teams and individual job functions for managing and monitoring cyber risks. A cyber risk management committee should monitor active risks and continually evaluate the unique cybersecurity needs of the business as it grows.
6. Automate Risk Mitigation & Prevention Tasks
Nearly every business can benefit from automating certain risk mitigation tasks. This not only saves time and money but also creates more efficiency in the workplace and minimizes the risk of human error. Many modern businesses rely on automation and data analytics tools for these processes, but not all software is made equal. Choose a solution that is easy to learn and uses real-time data to analyze new and existing risks.
7. Create An Incident Response Plan
An incident response plan is a set of instructions designed to address various cybersecurity threats, such as data loss, service outages, cyber crimes and other events that could negatively impact normal business operations. The plan can help staff more effectively detect, respond to and recover from cybersecurity incidents.
It focuses on looking ahead and having a concrete strategy and game plan in place that key staff can use in the event of a security breach. Having a comprehensive incident response plan, as well as a practiced incident response team, is one of the best ways to secure your network.
8. Educate Your Employees On Cybersecurity Policies
Cyber risk management is not something that can rest entirely on the IT department. Employee awareness and training on cyber threats is the strongest line of defense in preventing a breach. A cyber risk management plan will ultimately fail if employees are not well educated on cybersecurity policies and best practices.
It is essential for companies to prioritize cybersecurity awareness and invest in employee education regarding these topics. Training programs should focus on addressing relevant threats that are faced by the business, such as malware, phishing and risky employee habits.
Speak With The Cybersecurity Consultants At Hartman
Many businesses rely on IT leaders to mitigate cyber risks and to keep their employee and customer data secure. A cyber risk management plan can help businesses effectively protect their systems and data. For more information about creating a cyber risk management plan, contact the experts at Hartman Executive Advisors today.