Modern day companies face serious dangers from the cyber domain. The FBI recently reported that cybercrime increased 24% last year. The time has come for businesses to become proactive and conduct a cyber security risk assessment. It focuses on identifying the threats and vulnerabilities that confront an organization's information assets.
Threats are forces that can harm organizations and destroy mission critical data. Vulnerabilities are the pathways that threats can follow to damage, steal, destroy or deny the use of information assets. Risks are realized when threats converge with vulnerabilities. Devastating losses can occur in a variety of ways.
A cyber risk assessment produces an understanding of the consequences associated with unauthorized disclosure of an organization's confidential or mission critical information. A business owner or governing authority, with the results of a cyber risk assessment in hand, can decide to accept the risk, develop and use deploy countermeasures or transfer the risk.
The world is immersed in an enormous asymmetric threat environment that is enabled by an incalculable number of vulnerabilities. Cybercrime is growth industry has a low-risk with a high-pay off. The financial losses, due to data breaches, now exceed the dollar amount of the illegal global drug trade. Law enforcement, sadly, is unable to prevent cyber criminals from attacking your company. Organizations are largely on their own.
One of the few ways that a company can thwart cyber risks is to realistically assess its exposure and to implement controls that lower the chance of risks from being realized. Cyber security must be regarded as a business process that requires precise managerial controls similar to those found in accounting and finance.
How can an organization accomplish the cyber risk assessment?
Information assets must first be identified. Internal and external threats and vulnerabilities need to be realistically and objectively measured. The consequences of failing to offset risk needs to be understood. Existing policies, procedures and controls should be aligned with security
best practices. Risk mitigation strategies, based upon organizational priority, can be adopted.
Organizations would then be able to focus on increasing their information security efforts.
Failing to take extra information security steps can result in irreparable harm to the organization, violations of regulations, statutes, fines, lawsuits and damage to the value of the company and customer base.
The directors of publicly owned corporations and privately owned companies must comply with multiple laws, regulations and take all prudent steps to prevent information security breaches. Doing otherwise is irresponsible and stands as evidence of a lack of due diligence.
The findings of a cyber risk assessment can point the way for an organization to develop and follow through upon an information security plan that assures mission critical information.
Avoiding the steps to correct any weaknesses that are discovered very well be considered to be a lack of due diligence.