In the modern business world, effective cybersecurity is a crucial priority for management. Cyberattacks can take your information, gain access to your operating system, and demolish your entire network in more extreme cases. Every digital device should encompass some sort of cybersecurity for your protection from theft and viruses.
Risk management is required for larger operations such as businesses that store a wealth of information on their digital devices or databases. Risk management identifies and responds to risks posed on those devices and manages them accordingly. Risk management implements strategies to reduce the risk while sticking to the budget provided and determining the threat level.
The idea is to catch risks early enough to avoid them altogether or at least lessen their impact on businesses.
Remote work has become much more common in recent years. Companies have struggled to have proper cybersecurity to protect their employees from incidents.
There was a 50% increase in cyberattacks every week on corporate networks between 2020 and 2021. Businesses’ and organizations' lack of heightened security left them vulnerable to hackers. Some 66% of businesses have experienced some sort of cyberattack in the past year.
Cyber hazards can make enterprises susceptible to an entire takedown. Cybersecurity must be prioritized and improved to manage the potential risks they are bound to face. Risk management coupled with cybersecurity takes all of the risk types and effectively deals with them so companies can continue to function regularly.
Standards of Risk Management
Digital solutions and systems are far more secure than Excel spreadsheets regarding risk management. There are numerous software solution frameworks available for risk managers to apply.
Risk management software implements practices with a singular goal: to optimize overall business performance by using clear strategies and ultimately improving the bottom line.
The GAO (Government Accountability Office) identified six essential elements to implement in risk management programs. Taken together, the elements of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) are:
- Align ERM process to objectives and goals
- Identify risks
- Assess risks
- Select risk response
- Monitor risks
- Communicate and report on risks
These elements lay a foundation for the software by recognizing the three pillars of a cybersecurity risk management program.
The Three Pillars
The three pillars of enterprise risk management are governance, risk appetite, and policies and procedures. These pillars are used to build a risk management program within an enterprise.
First, build a governance structure by forming a committee specifically to assess and make cybersecurity decisions.
Next, identify and employ an appetite for risks. This means you can create a statement about how much risk you can tolerate as a business and make sure staff is kept in the loop. This also lets staff know when to come forward with risks that tie into the business's strategy.
Policies and procedures are put in place to educate and empower staff to speak up and handle disruptions as they arise.
Considerations for Cyber Risk Management
The cybersecurity field is exponentially growing. There are important things risk managers should take into account for cyberattacks and how to manage them.
The most important thing you should do when starting your risk management strategy is to establish a culture. The cost of a cyberattack exceeds $1.1 million on average. Without spreading awareness of the potential threats and issues your company will face, your employees will not know how to respond. Building a culture is essential in your risk management plan.
Ensuring that your employees practice good cyber health and hygiene is another excellent starting point for cyber risk management.
Good behaviours, easy daily routines, and some checkups for online health are good cyber hygiene strategies. This increases your security online and enables better prevention practices against numerous types of attacks. The stronger the security you have in place, the better equipped you are to deal with attacks.
Risks and Responsibilities
Prioritizing risks and sharing responsibility for them is also vital in risk management. Hackers commonly rely on human error rather than software failure to breach your data. Make sure your entire team is on the same page and that the responsibility doesn’t fall on the security team alone.
Prioritize and determine which threats pose the most significant impact on your business and prepare for those. It is nearly impossible to prepare for every threat, but you can take the proper steps for those you are most susceptible.
If your company has remote workers, supply them with information about what to look out for while working from home. Many remote employees may be unaware of the potential threats unsecured networks could represent for their employers.
Connecting to Wi-Fi and working from their local Starbucks could welcome cyberattacks. Ensure your employees know that working from a safe and secured connection with strong passwords is essential.
Come up with a response plan to carry out when risks present themselves. Be sure to give guidelines and frameworks for limiting the duration and reducing the effect of cyberattacks within your organization.
Even seemingly insignificant threats can have a major impact when they are left unattended. Having proper guidelines in place to deal with threats accordingly can come in handy for those instances. Good plan execution is also necessary, so make sure you gather the right team.
Programs like anti-phishing training might be an excellent way to familiarize employees with the common security threats they will encounter online. While it is not going to prepare them for all hazards, it will provide a basis for what to be suspicious about.
Numerous layers of security are needed to prevent and protect your information online. As previously mentioned, human error is what hackers are counting on for access to your digital property. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how we respond and are equipped to deal with these situations that matter the most.
Every digital device should be equipped with antivirus software. Even if you aren’t a remote worker, you should have some sort of protection on your computer and your phone. Update your devices regularly so you are less vulnerable to attacks. Back up all of your information on a cloud service or an external hard drive so your information stays safe and secure.
Knowing what you’re up against is crucial for your risk management plan. Identifying and reducing threats like hackers infiltrating corporate systems could save your business. Risk management is most effective when a plan is firmly in place and carried out as a team rather than as an individual effort. As they say, it takes a village.