Wednesday 4th May 2022

BLOG: Understanding Cyber Risk

Cyber risk is the probability of exposure or loss resulting from a cyber-attack or data breach on your organization. Organizations are becoming more vulnerable to cyber threats, unsurprisingly given the growing threat landscape. Risk is a potential occurrence, whether organizations are expecting it or not.

Cyber risk can adversely affect an organization’s reputation and overall existence. Risk Management is the process of identifying risk, assessing risk, and considering the necessary measures to decrease and lessen the risk to an ‘adequate’ level.

Understanding an organization’s cyber risk is not an easy process, the focus is on identifying what data and information would be valuable to cybercriminals and threat actors. Identifying this data then allows organizations to understand what information may cause financial or reputational damage to your organization if acquired or publicized by nefarious characters.

Potential threats do not just come from downloading an unsafe file or having an easily guessed password, almost every internal and external correspondence can be looked at as a threat, such as:

  • Customer data
  • Employee data
  • Intellectual property
  • Third and fourth-party vendors
  • Product quality and safety
  • Contract terms and pricing
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial data

Risk assessment is the first phase of the risk management method. This allows organizations to establish the extent of the potential threats, vulnerabilities, and the risk against them. With the frequency of cybercrime growing and expected to keep growing, alongside global connectivity with increasing use of defended by poor cybersecurity measures, the risk of cyber incidents is increasing. This means there is a substantial need for improved cybersecurity risk management as part of every organization. Data breaches are widespread cyber-attack and have massive negative business impacts, these breaches often arise from insufficiently protected data.

General cybersecurity mechanisms are somewhat effective, they are insufficient for providing intense and intricate protection from sophisticated threat actors. There is a need for threat intelligence tools and security programs to reduce cyber risk and highlight potential attack surfaces. Whether organizations feel they have a high cyber risk or low cyber risk, cybersecurity procedures should always be implemented in all aspects of the company. It’s one of the top risks to any business.

As organizations globalize, store larger volumes of data and the number of employees grows, customers, and work with third, fourth, and even fifth parties, so do the expectations of instant access to information. The abundance of the technology enables more unauthorized access to your organization’s information than ever before.

Unanticipated cyber threats can come from hostile foreign powers, competitors, organized hackers, insiders, poor configuration, and third-party vendors. Cyber security policies are growing more complex as mandates and regulatory standards around disclosure of cybersecurity incidents and data breaches continue to grow (such as the latest PRA regulations that we discussed in our latest whitepaper), causing organizations to adopt software to help manage their third-party vendors and continuously monitor for data breaches.

Data breaches tend to have a substantial damaging impact on organizations and tend to occur from data that has been insufficiently protected. Organizations should create, construct, and implement business cybersecurity controls. Cyberattacks are committed for a variety of reasons including financial fraud, information theft, activist causes, denying services, disrupt critical infrastructure and vital services of government or an organization.

Common types of cyber risks: 

  • Nation-states
  • Cybercriminals
  • Hacktivists
  • Insiders and service providers
  • Developers of substandard products and services
  • Poor configuration of cloud services 

Organizations need to understand their role in managing cyber risk. Vulnerabilities can come from any employee and it’s fundamental to your organization’s IT security to continually educate employees on how to avoid common security pitfalls that can lead to data breaches or other cyber incidents.

Cybersecurity risk management is an ongoing process. Organizations can never be too secure. Cyber attacks can come from stem from any level of your organization. Orpheus Cyber can help with tackling any issues with cyber risk, for more information click here.

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