How to perform Cyber Security Risk Assessment?


These days businesses are spending a lot more money on cybersecurity. So, as a result, attackers introduce more sophisticated cyber-attacks which can barely be detected or are difficult to detect as a result organizations suffer.

So, Conducting a cyber security risk assessment helps an organization strengthen its overall security. The primary purpose of risk assessment is to identify critical resources and determine how much it would cost to mitigate those risks and protect them from attack if a threat exploited those resources.

Step 1: Create a Risk Management Team

A cross-functional team is essential to identifying cyber threats and mitigating risks to IT systems and data. Risk management teams can also communicate risks to employees and respond more effectively to incidents.

Your team must contain at least the following members. CSF, Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other security standards Someone on the marketing team to discuss collected and stored information. Someone on the product management team to ensure product security throughout the development lifecycle Visibility. One manager from each major business unit covers all data across the organization.

A risk-based approach begins with understanding and aligning business objectives with information security objectives. Therefore, cross-functional input is required.

Step 2: Catalog Information Assets

Your risk management team can now work together to catalog all of your organization’s information assets. This includes the IT infrastructure and various software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions used across the company.

Assets used by third parties should be listed. Third-party providers remain at a significant risk of a data breach.

To understand the types of data your organization collects, stores, and transmits and where it is associated, please ask the following questions;

What types of information does the department collect?

Where do they store this information?

Where is this information sent?

Where is it collected?

What vendors does each department use?

What access do these providers have?

What authentication methods?

Do you use multi-factor authentication for information access?

Where does your company physically store information?

What devices do your employees use?

Do remote workers access information?

Which network will send the information?

In which databases is the information stored?

Which servers collect, transmit and store the information?

Step 3: Assess the risk

Some information is more important than others. Not all providers are equally secure. Once you have identified your information assets, assess the risks to them and your organization.

What systems, networks, and software are critical to your business operations?

What sensitive information is required to maintain availability, confidentiality, and integrity?

Anonymous in the event of a cryptographic error What personal data do you store, transmit, or collect that must be encrypted?

What devices are at the greatest risk of data loss?

Which IT systems, networks, and software can cybercriminals attack for data breaches?

What reputational damage can security incidents cause?

Potential What are the financial risks of a data breach or data breach?

What risks does a cybersecurity incident pose to business operations?

Do you have a business continuity plan that allows you to quickly resume operations?

The risk assessment process considers the risks to the information assets in the catalog and the damage their compromise could cause to the organization. This includes damage to the company’s reputation, finances, continuity, and operations.

Step 4: Analyze Risks

Risk analysis prioritizes the listed risks.

Probability: Likelihood of cybercriminals gaining access to assets.

Impact: Multiply the potential for the financial, operational, and reputational impact that a security incident could have on your organization.

Also, for each risk, determine the response: accept, avoid, transfer, or mitigate.

For example, databases of public information such as NIST and NY DFS requirement definitions have few controls to protect them, which can increase the likelihood of violations. On the other hand, if an attacker only obtained this information or other public data, the impact would be small.

Therefore, in our risk analysis, we are happy to accept the information security risk of this particular database as it has a low impact score despite a high probability of compromise.

Conversely, when collecting financial information from customers, the likelihood of a breach may be low, but the consequences of a breach could include severe regulatory penalties and damage to the company’s reputation. So by purchasing cybersecurity insurance, you can mitigate this risk.

Step 5: Establish Security Controls

Next, you need to define and implement security controls. Security controls help manage potential risks in ways that either eliminate them entirely or greatly reduce their likelihood of occurrence.

Controls are critical to potential risks. They require an organization-wide effort to implement them and ensure that these controls are performed on an ongoing basis.

Control Examples:

Network Disconnection

Encryption at Rest and in Transit

Anti-Malware, Anti-Ransomware, and Anti-Phishing Software

Firewall Configuration

Password Logging

Multi-Factor Authentication

Employee Training

Vendors Risk Management Program

Step 6: Monitor and Verify Effectiveness

For many years, organizations have relied on penetration testing and regular audits to establish and ensure IT security.

However, as malicious actors continually change their methods to thwart security controls, organizations should adapt their security policies and have risk management programs that continuously monitor their IT environment for new threats. must be maintained.

Risk analysis must also be flexible. For example, as part of the risk mitigation process, response mechanisms should be considered so that a robust cybersecurity profile can be maintained.