Steps to Risk-Based Cybersecurity

A risk-based cybersecurity strategy is proactive rather than reactive. It allows you to focus on the resources that most critical to your business—assets that if compromised, would have the biggest impact on your business. A risk-based strategy is dynamic and technology-agnostic, enabling you to adapt to changing threats and regulations.

As cybersecurity threats evolve, security practices change to adapt to the new landscape. The hard reality is no matter how consistently organizations update their security technology, their network and assets are never going to be a hundred percent secure—with new threats arising almost daily. This is leading to a shift in focus for cybersecurity practitioners: From protection to prevention and mitigation.

By acknowledging that you simply cannot stop every threat or cyberattack and protect all assets equally, you can focus on the steps that really matter: Detection, response and remediation. This requires a new approach, one that’s based on risk.

The Building Blocks of a Risk-Based Cybersecurity Strategy

To make your organization cyber resilient, you need to understand and prioritize the risks, then build your security processes around that.

  1. Know your crown jewels: Your assets, including data, don’t have equal value. You have to start by assessing what’s most valuable. What are all the critical systems and digital assets? This is what needs to be protected first and foremost.
  2. Put protections in place: Once you know what your critical assets are, you need to deploy the technology and processes to protect that critical layer. A comprehensive strategy includes not only cybersecurity technology such as firewalls and data analytics systems, but also processes and procedures for business and IT operations.
  3. Detect breaches: The mean time for detecting a breach in an organization is 191 days according to the 2017 IBM Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study. That’s a very long time for bad actors to inflict damage inside your network. Detection tools and technology are evolving to help organizations better identify anomalies and detect security events faster. You need to establish procedures for isolating the threats so you can limit their impact.
  4. Consider the human factor: We know that the human firewall is the weakest part in any organization’s cyber defense. Your detection strategy needs to account for this weak link since it’s the most likely point of failure. You need to use best practices for user identity management, password and access management, etc., as well as have a robust employee awareness and training program.
  5. Develop an incident-response plan: When an incident occurs, does your organization know how to respond and mitigate the risks? Prepare for a crisis so your teams don’t have to create their response procedures in the heat of the moment. Involve all internal stakeholders when developing your plan, not just IT. Your incident response team should also include your risk managers, legal, communications etc.

A cyber-threat assessment is good starting point in developing a risk-based cybersecurity strategy. The assessment can help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop a plan for mitigating the security gaps while protecting your most-important assets.

 neteffect technologies offers Free Network Audit

A Fortinet partner and a managed security services provider, neteffect technologies offers this assessment for free. Submit your information here for our team of experts that will help your organization create a risk-based plan that’s tailored to your unique needs.