The more digital our world gets, the more threatened data privacy is, and the more complicated cyber risk management becomes. Add a pinch of work flexibility to the picture, and implementing risk mitigation strategies is now one of your top priorities. Reducing external and internal cyber risks is mandatory for all organizations. Cybersecurity regulations ensure the correct use and protection of data. Yet, because technology keeps evolving rapidly, so do the risks and the law. Therefore, cyber risk assessment is an ongoing process. IT teams must tackle it in partnership with all staff members in the company.
Why is cybersecurity risk management a crucial matter for all businesses worldwide? How do tech and flexible work make it even more complex? Which practices, tools, and methods can help you secure your architectures and structures in an ever-changing work environment? This article aims to answer these questions clearly and support you in creating a safe and secure workspace.
What is cyber risk management?
Definition of cyber risk management
Cyber risk management is a constant process all businesses need to tackle in order to:
1. Protect and secure their data.
2. Comply with the provisions of the data protection laws.
To succeed in this process, various aspects have to be considered, such as your threats, vulnerabilities, and assets. Moreover, businesses must adhere to cybersecurity standards and data protection regulations. For example, in Europe and in the U.S., organizations are submitted to:
the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
the European Cybersecurity Act;
the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA);
the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA);
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST);
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA);
The four steps of cyber risk management
Technology constantly improves. While it leads to the developing of more powerful data security and protection systems, it also offers new possibilities for hackers. This is why companies always need to reexamine the risks. Cyber risk assessment includes four major steps: identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and addressing.
November 2022 was strongly marked by the sharp turn Artificial Intelligence took. As the use of AI in the workplace increases, changes how we work, and give us new opportunities, it also represents a new risk. Therefore, businesses with AI tools must identify, analyze, evaluate, and address the risks related to this new tech.
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Why is cybersecurity risk an ever-growing priority for all organizations?
Constant growth in data leaks and misusage
As our world becomes increasingly digital, data leaks and misusage risks automatically grow. According to the 2022 Annual Hacker-Powered Security Report, ethical hackers discovered 65,000 vulnerabilities in 2022. This is a 21% increase compared to 2021. In terms of consequence, Cybersecurity Ventures’ 2022 Official Cybercrime Report predicts that cybercrime will cost $8 trillion in 2023 and $10.5 trillion in 2025. Cyber risk management is now a top business priority as the risks multiply daily.
Effective cybersecurity system contributes to client trust
How many times have you heard about a new company that has been hacked and lost its data and the data of its customers? The risk of being cyberattacked is like having a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. Organizations are aware of it, and consumers are too. Therefore, implementing strong risk mitigation strategies is crucial to building client trust.
Data regulations are regularly updated and become stricter
Data privacy regulations apply to all companies and enable them to show their capability to protect their partners and clients’ data. As technology takes an ever-growing part in our lives, governments constantly adjust the laws toward data protection and security. Businesses that answer to the latest rules have less chance of facing data breaches, are more trustworthy, and get more competitive.
Why does protecting data become more complex with the rise of technology and remote work?
The other side of the coin of the fast development of technology
Technology development is great, but it also unlocks more possibilities for data leaks. For example, cloud services are a core online resource for most companies. However, it puts confidential and sensitive data more at risk. The rapid evolution of technology also requires investing in stronger and more complex cybersecurity systems to protect your data from cyberattacks. On the one hand, your digital workplace is more secure thanks to more powerful technology. But on the other hand, it is more at risk because of the same technological progress.
💡 Good to know: not only are businesses responsible for protecting their data, but they are also accountable for managing third-party vendors’ risks.
The impact of our new ways of working
Over the last couple of years, many employees have embraced flexible working schedules, like remote work opportunities. While the hybrid work model offers plenty of benefits for organizations and workers, it also impacts cyber risk management. For instance, working from home or a third workplace suggests that team members use personal or public WIFI. The risks for cyberattacks are significant if they don’t have a properly encrypted VPN (Virtual Private Network). Remote work also weakens security protocols and sometimes implies that employees use their devices (if you establish a BYOD policy).
All these examples are part of our new ways of working, and while it presents so many advantages, it also puts your data more at threat.
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Which risk mitigation strategies should businesses implement to secure their digital infrastructures?
Make cyber risk management part of everybody’s responsibilities
Too often considered an IT matter, reducing cybersecurity risks is a collective responsibility. IT teams do manage the technical aspect. But all employees, in every department and job level, must minimize cyber risks by following appropriate policies and practices.
Identify your assets, threats, and vulnerabilities
IT teams play a major role in mitigating cybersecurity risks. To identify potential risks, conducting a detailed analysis of all hardware, software, security procedures, integration systems, third-party vendors, and possible human error is crucial. This is the first step in the cyber risk assessment process.
Stay updated at all times
Companies and IT departments must also stay updated with the latest data regulations. Moreover, they have to identify new risks coming their way constantly. We mentioned the rise of AI tools at the beginning of this article. This is undoubtedly a unique opportunity for hackers.
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Establish effective policies to minimize vendors’ risks
As cybersecurity risk management becomes more complex, organizations must set up effective policies to mitigate vendors’ risks. One solution is to implement a zero-trust strategy, for example.
Monitor software and license usage
When updating software, checking that everything still matches data standards and regulations is a must. The same goes the other way around. As a new data protection law comes out, verifying that all your software and digital resources still comply is fundamental.
Manage configuration and integration
As the amount of technology around us increases, the connections and data sharing between all those digital tools do too. For example, you start embracing the perks of the deskbird desk booking software, so you integrate it into Slack and MS Teams. This helps you gain efficiency and improve collaboration. Yet, it also multiplies the risks of data breaches. Managing how all these online resources are configured and integrated is a top priority.
Every action you put in place as part of your cyber risk management strategy can become obsolete as fast as the digital world grows. Constantly testing your security systems is crucial to spot any vulnerabilities or threats that might come in your direction. You can use automation technology to optimize this procedure.
Invest in the right technology
Investing in the right technology to protect your company from cyberattacks and other threats is a must. Of course, this means the most powerful cybersecurity solutions. Yet, it also implies checking that all digital resources comply with data regulations and don’t jeopardize your risk mitigation strategy.
What tools and methods contribute to managing cyber risk in the workplace?
Communication and collaboration platforms
More than ever, communication is crucial to securing and protecting your digital work environment and data. Provide your whole workforce with appropriate and efficient communication and collaboration resources so they can share best practices, procedures, and any critical information that could help mitigate cyber risks.
Risk management frameworks and standards
Tools like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and CIS Controls provide frameworks and guidelines for assessing and improving cybersecurity posture. They help you identify and prioritize security controls based on industry best practices.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Systems
SIEM tools collect and examine security event logs from various sources, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and servers. They provide real-time threat detection, incident response capabilities, and centralized log management.
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Issues management tools
This type of tool works like project management software but for cybersecurity management. It usually includes:
prioritization and escalation;
collaboration and communication;
root cause analysis;
reporting and metrics.
Security Awareness Training Platforms
Security Awareness Training platforms provide training and simulation modules to share cybersecurity’s best practices with employees. Knowing how to apprehend cybersecurity better is fundamental for all workforces, especially for hybrid and remote teams. These resources help minimize the human factor in cyber risks by promoting security awareness and behavior.
Bow tie analysis
The bow tie analysis is a method used in high cyber risk scenarios. It enables you to visualize the potential threats and vulnerabilities according to a specific situation. This technique also helps businesses define what must be done to mitigate risks. All reliable cybersecurity risk assessment tools include the bow tie analysis in their system.
We hope this article helps you understand better how important risk mitigation strategies are and what the best practices are. As a third-party vendor, deskbird software built a strong security system around data. We host and process our data in Europe, and our desk booking app complies with the European data privacy regulation (GDPR). All data is hosted on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) based on the most modern data security standards. Additionally, we have implemented our own technical and organizational measures (Technische und Organisatorische Massnahmen (TOM)) to ensure data security.
Do you have any questions about how deskbird handles cyber risk management? Have you embraced the perks of flexible work and are looking for a solution to run your hybrid workspace smoothly?
Request a free demo of the deskbird app and discover how to optimize your office space, manage a hybrid workplace efficiently, and cut off costs!