Cyber Risk Assessment: Need of the Hour for Businesses

A growing number of businesses worldwide value personal information and are rapidly transforming into a digital form on open and globally interconnected technology platforms. Meanwhile, the risks from cyberattacks are also becoming increasingly daunting.

As seen in the past years, cybersecurity threats have been on the rise and affect every business sector across the board. To overcome this, robust cybersecurity systems are essential as they can help protect organisations against possible attacks on critical infrastructure, the software supply chain, governments, large enterprises, and small-to-medium businesses.

The need for cyber risk assessment

Cyber risk assessment can help your organisation by identifying, analysing, and mitigating any cyber risks that your business may be vulnerable to. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines risk assessment as “the process of identifying risks to agency operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), agency assets, or individuals by determining the probability of occurrence, the resulting impact, and additional security controls that would mitigate this impact.”

An on-going process

Cybersecurity risk assessment is an ongoing process, where your company identifies, protects, and fixes any potential risks or vulnerabilities. Cyber risk evaluation should be a central component of any company’s security plan. Before initiating a cybersecurity risk assessment at a company, one can be assured that it will identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, predict the impact of threats and provide threat recovery options.

The assessment will bring to light concerns such as:

. What data assets are most important to the organisation?
. What vulnerabilities are internal or external?
. What is the effect on the organisation if the data assets are exploited?
. What is the risk threshold level of the organisation?

Once you know the above, you can draft a plan of action to implement security controls and mitigation strategies, as well as prioritise identified threats.

Increased awareness

The assessment can help educate all the employees on what threats the business faces and how those threats can potentially impact their role. Implementing this type of assessment will not only teach them the importance of cybersecurity but will also encourage them to add cybersecurity efforts to their daily list of responsibilities. Being aware of potential threats is a significant first step towards defending your company.

Companies now have multi-disciplinary teams that can help execute compliance implementation projects and executive expertise to enable a process that can allow them to determine and report the intricacies of Cyber risks and incidents. A Cyber Risk assessment is not a one-time task, but a tool to be used again and again over time when regulatory change is introduced to the organisation. Risk reduction is a process requiring regular attention and changing continually.

AI: A double-edged sword

In the future, AI and ML technologies are expected to evolve at an even faster pace. While experts say that AI will help streamline everyday life, they’re also predicting that it will become a double-edged sword; pointing out that these advancements can also help cybercriminals come up with new ways to hack private networks, infrastructure-crippling software bugs, and much more. The more influence these technologies gain, the more we become vulnerable to misuse. This makes it essential to take some time out to create and deploy a cybersecurity risk assessment to educate the workforce and protect business assets.