By Shira Landau, Editor-in-Chief, CyberTalk.org
Globally, cyber threats are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2022, the number of phishing attacks jumped by 61%, ransomware attacks surged by 41%, and cloud-based cyber attacks spiked by nearly 50% year-over-year. In this dynamic and daunting environment, CISOs and cyber security professionals need to implement a robust risk management methodology.
With a robust risk management methodology, organizations can proactively identify emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and attack vectors. Cyber security professionals can then develop and deploy appropriate controls and safeguards to protect critical assets, data and systems. If you’re wondering about where to start, we’ve got you — In this article, explore 10 highly effective ways to improve your risk management methodology.
10 risk management methodology tips
1. Develop a comprehensive risk management framework. Create a formal risk management framework that includes all aspects of the organization’s operations. Risk management extends beyond technology, and involves accounting for the entire ecosystem, including people, processes, technologies and other elements.
2. Conduct regular risk assessments. In the cyber security sphere, perform regular risk assessments to identify potential threats, vulnerabilities and impact that they may have on the organization. This can assist with future risk prioritization, risk mitigation efforts and logical distribution of resources.
3. Encourage a risk-aware culture. Across your enterprise, promote a ‘risk-aware’ culture. Educate employees about the importance of risk management, their roles in risk mitigation and offer training around phishing threats and other common catastrophe culprits.
4. Leverage threat intelligence. Deploy threat intelligence sources that can help you remain informed about emerging tactics, techniques and procedures. Put intelligence information into action by proactively adapting security controls and fortifying defenses as needed.
5. Ensure real-time and reliable visibility. Continuous real-time visibility into the risk profile of your enterprise is critical. When security mitigations are based on real-time insights, risk mitigation is more effective than otherwise.
6. Bring cloud risks under control. Focus on the threats that matter across your clouds, workloads and code with tools like CloudGuard. Consider automating security across your cloud environment so that you can zero in on the 1% of risks that are most critical to your enterprise.
7. Enhance incident response plans. Establish clear communication channels (in case an incident occurs), conduct regular drills and regularly work through exercises. If your organization lacks the resources to keep a full incident response team on-hand 24/7, one alternative is to partner with organizations that provide specialized incident response services.
8. Collaborate with stakeholders. Bring key stakeholders on board. This includes executives, IT teams, legal, compliance and other relevant departments. In so doing, you’ll be able to ensure a holistic approach to risk management and ensure alignment with business objectives.
9. Monitor regulatory requirements. Stay updated when it comes to industry regulations and compliance requirements. Ensure that you and your teams have a clear understanding of how new and changing regulations will impact your risk management strategy. And it goes without saying, but always ensure compliance.
10. Continuously innovate. Allow for a culture of continuous innovation and improvement within your risk management world. Regularly examine the effectiveness of the strategies that you have in play and be sure to learn from past incidents, incorporating learnings into ongoing risk management practices.
Upgrading your risk management methodology can help you maintain a resilient and secure environment. Risk management is a continuous process, and requires a proactive, agile and adaptive approach. As your organization’s larger tech stack or business priorities change, your risk management methodology may need to shift as well.
Regularly review your risk management methodologies in order to close gaps and to ensure that you have the most effective security possible. For more ways to optimize your risk management methodology, check out A CISO’s Guide to Cyber Security in Action. Lastly, subscribe to the CyberTalk.org newsletter for executive-level interviews, analyses, reports and more each week. Subscribe here.