The threat of cyber security risks for businesses cannot be understated. Businesses cannot function without networks and servers and cyber attacks target networks and servers. The aim of these attackers is to cripple businesses by making business continuity impossible. These hackers often ask for a ransom before they give control of the system back to the business, otherwise they encrypt all data and it is impossible to break that encryption.
These ransomware attacks alone would be reason enough to start formulating a cyber security risk management strategy, but they are only one prominent threat among many. There are many more threats out there, a bit more banal and a bit less direct, but still dangerous. Businesses often struggle with viruses which are introduced into the network by users that click on links they shouldn’t and open emails they should not open. Employees connecting their phones to their work computers also results in viruses being introduced into the network of the business.
What is a Cyber Risk Management Strategy?
Simply installing a firewall and an antivirus software application on all work computers is not enough to protect your business from cyber threats – it is the bare minimum you can do. To truly protect your organization you need a cyber risk management framework. Anti-virus applications, firewall, and other technology based solutions are just one part of the framework.
The framework also includes policies and rules that protect your organization from external threats. Most financial and healthcare organizations do not allow employees to connect any of their devices to the work networks – this rule ensures that unsecured devices do not introduce viruses into the system. Another policy that works well is whitelisting – only allowing recognized and authorized devices to connect to the office network. While setting these policies up takes a lot of time and resources, the significant increase in security makes it worth implementing.
5 Steps of Creating a Cyber Security Management Plan:
If you are developing a cyber security strategy you need to follow these 5 steps:
1 – Assess all the Technologies being used Within your Organization
Before we can eliminate vulnerabilities, we need to get a scope of the technology implementation within the organization. The most important factor here isn’t counting the number of devices or software installations, but the different technologies and manufacturers present. Different software applications, operating systems, hardware and parts, networks, and infrastructures have different vulnerabilities, and all vulnerabilities need to be identified.
2 – Assess Vulnerabilities Introduced by Employees and Protocols
The most important part of a cyber risk management framework is to ensure that the protocols, processes, and work methodologies used by employees do not introduce vulnerabilities into the system. How technologically proficient are the employees? Do people bring their own devices and use them on the office network? Have employees been given cyber security trainings and reading materials? Employees do not introduce viruses to the system intentionally – they make mistakes or do not know that they are exposing their work network to viruses and cyber-attacks. Businesses need to assess the policies and procedures they implement as well – it is possible that some work methods or processes recommended in official documentation may not be secure.
3 – Do a Historical Analysis of Cyber-Attacks
The best way to find the most glaring vulnerabilities in your cyber risk management framework is to look at the previous cyber-attacks, viruses, and hacks that your business has withstood. Analyze all the information you have on these cyber-attacks to find the paths that are available for hackers to harm your business. Every cyber security failure your organization has went through will provide you immensely valuable information on vulnerabilities.
4 – Start Recurring Cyber Risk Management Activities
Maintaining the security of your organization’s network is an on-going activity. You need to plan recurring activities that enhance the cyber risk management framework of the organization. This includes installing all available software updates because these updates contain fixes for any new vulnerabilities that have been discovered.
5 – Focus on Training for Cyber Security
Each and every employee that has access to your network can introduce viruses and other nefarious applications to the network. For true cyber security risk management you need to make sure that every employee receives training on maintaining cyber-security. They need to be told the best practices and the most common mistakes people make that expose the organization to cyber threats.
If you want comprehensive cyber security management then the Predict360 Cyber Security solution is what you are looking for. Get in touch with our team for a demonstration of what the solution can do for your organization.
About the Company
360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.