What Is a Cyber Risk Assessment?

In this era, wars are no longer fought on the battlefield. Information is one of the most valuable assets of an organisation, and any type of industry can be affected by a cyber attack. In this article, we will learn more about cyber attacks and what a company can do in terms of the risk management process to prevent them and defend their informational assets. 

First, let’s see what can be considered a cyber attack, and what parts of your company can be affected. 

What Is Cyber Risk?

Cyber risk is represented by financial losses or a damaged reputation brought to a company by a breached or poorly functioning cybersecurity system. The losses can be actual funds, data, information on your customers, partners, employees, and so on. 

These types of potential losses are expressed as a lower or higher risk, which is a combination of different factors: the size of the threat, how weak your safety network is, and how valuable your information system is. 

It’s clear that some industries, like the healthcare industry, have higher cyber risks: the information they have is very valuable, which makes the size of the threats bigger, and the attacks more frequent. This is also why companies in the health industry are also less vulnerable as they invest in their security posture much more than other industries. 

But cyber risk is not something you can completely avoid. One day, your company can be attacked by a threat that cannot be contained by your current information security management. This is why getting them up to date and checking them frequently is one of the crucial parts of their efficiency. 

What Is a Cyber Risk Assessment? | Best Practice

Learn More About ISO 27001

What Is a Cyber Risk Assessment?

A cyber security risk assessment process is a way of keeping your information assets secure by identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, It must be performed regularly by any company that has valuable data in its possession, and has to protect it. 

Here are some of the aspects that a cyber risk assessment is aimed to address:

  • The type of internal threats and weaknesses that a company should be aware of;
  • External, adversarial threats that might look for weaknesses in the system;
  • How valuable the data it collects is, and who would be interested in it?
  • What kind of cyber threats did the company deal with before, and how were they solved;
  • Vulnerability assessment: How can you identify vulnerabilities and hidden threats?
  • How well-maintained and modern the company’s security system is;
  • What kind of cyber threat would cause the business to stop functioning?
  • Is your business compliant with regulations imposed by HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc?

As you can see, performing a risk assessment means knowing what are the realistic chances of your company to be threatened, what kind of data you should protect, and where the weak points are. 

How to Perform a Cyber Risk Assessment?

It’s easy to understand why such an assessment needs to be performed, but how exactly should it be done? Once a company has a list of identified risks, it can also prepare a risk management strategy to match the kind of threats coming at it. 

One of the ways a company can protect its informational assets is to get an ISO 27001 certificate.

What Is ISO 27001 and How Can You Use It?

This ISO certification is a set of standard practices to be followed in order to maintain security controls over your company information and systems. Cyber resilience is risk based, which means you can’t achieve total, impenetrable protection from attacks and data breaches, but you can control the risks at a comfortable level and maintain your data protected. 

Before you can get an ISO 27100 certification, you must do an information security risk assessment and be audited by an external auditor. This will ensure that your company’s practices do follow international standards.

Before getting such a certification, you must consider having an in-house security department (IT will handle cyber security) or, if your company is too small to have a whole IT department for itself, you can outsource this task to a third-party company that specialises in cyber security. Make sure they are certified themselves.

There are many questions to be answered during a cyber risk assessment, but the main ones are:

  • What kind of data is your business collecting?
  • How do you store that kind of information?
  • What protection systems do you have in place and how well are they updated?
  • What should your assessment target and what method should you choose for it?

Risk assessments can be done using risk models, which explore the possible ways in which your company can be affected by threats, whether they are adversarial or just weaknesses in your system. 

Do You Need the Pros?

For a thorough and secure risk assessment that actually helps you improve your cyber security, we highly recommend using the services of a third party expert. If you need advice on what type of company to hire or how to assess your business needs, Best Practice Biz can be of help. 

Contact us now to learn more about our services. 

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