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    A Guide to Cyber Risk Management

    While many businesses have leveraged technology for the common good, cybercriminals see this dependence on devices as a lucrative money-making opportunity. Cybersecurity risk management is the key to mitigating criminal activity. Leading cybersecurity company PurpleSec has reported that due to the pandemic, cybercrime has skyrocketed to 600%.

    Today's business leaders need to put cyber risk management at the forefront of their organization and their business objectives. Conducting a risk assessment process regularly can mean saving your business' sensitive data, assets, reputation, and overall existence. Taking security liabilities seriously means knowing that vulnerabilities are always possible.

    Although it is frightening knowing that anyone can be a target, we have outlined a guide to conducting a cybersecurity risk management strategy that all companies can incorporate into their business process.

    Why Is Cyber Risk Management Important?

    Cybersecurity risk management helps your organization make sure that they are always one step ahead. Through a cybersecurity risk assessment, you will get a good idea of your business's current state. This evaluation of your information systems, amount of sensitive data, and current IT security controls will help you identify blind spots.

    Conducting risk assessments is actually mandated by governing bodies. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has actually created a policy framework for how US businesses and private sector organizations can do better in their responses to cybercrimes.

    The NIST's cybersecurity risk management framework includes methods for identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery in the event of a threat.

    They encourage operating on industry standards as these can help all members of an organization understand how to take part in conducting risk assessments. Enterprises of all sizes can benefit from this proactive methodology, and learn the value of preventing any cybersecurity risk altogether.

    What Counts As a Cyber Risk?

    A cyber risk covers any possible loss or damage to information systems/IT systems in organizations. Cyber risks can be premeditated through malicious actions carried out by hackers, with the intent of stealing sensitive information. In many cases, this is done with the purpose of cyber extortion or ransom.

    It can happen internally, meaning employees may orchestrate the attack. However, it can also be conducted by actual cybercriminals as well. These risks often interfere with your business operations and the function of all connected gadgets in the organization.

    What Happens During a Cyber Attack?

    Knowledge of some of the most common methods used by cybercriminals can help you spot possible vulnerabilities beforehand, while also identifying an attack as it is happening. Here's what happens during an attack:

    • Phishing usually comes in the form of innocent emails or documents to trick individuals into downloading malware. In the process, targets may end up disclosing sensitive information.
    • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack on entire systems or IoT devices, hindering their usual traffic and possibly making systems inaccessible.
    • Malware pertains to software that has been created with the purpose of damaging a device, network, or server. These include viruses that can spread throughout the system, giving the hacker access to security controls and sensitive data.
    • Ransomware is known to be a kind of malware that encrypts files. This strategy is typically used to demand a ransom in exchange for the stolen data which can be accessed again through a decryption key.
    • SQL Injections contain malicious codes that are loaded into a server using domain-specific language, otherwise known as SQL. The attack will be successful when the system already has a vulnerability.
    • Man In The Middle is an attack where the hacker is able to disguise themselves in the network an individual is attempting to access.

    How Do You Mitigate Cyber Attacks?

    Weak links in a system or network can be due to both human and technical errors. The former is actually more common, meaning cybersecurity awareness training and the creation of a risk management strategy a non-negotiable in any business. In fact, IBM's Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report details how a whopping 95% of data breaches are due to human error.

    What Is a Cybersecurity Risk Management Plan?

    A cybersecurity risk management plan is an ongoing process of determining any possible risk or vulnerability, conducting a risk analysis of their impact, and creating cybersecurity frameworks with responses to any type of threat.

    Here are some best practices to incorporate into your organization's cyber risk management framework:

    • Conduct security training for all employees regularly
    • Update your software regularly with the latest security patches
    • Back up all your data
    • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
    • Install anti-virus software
    • Consider outsourcing an IT team to secure your technical infrastructure

    What Are Common IT Risks?

    While we have mentioned that risks or weak spots could be due to humans or technical causes, here are more specific descriptions for you to take note of within your organization.

    • Human error could involve an employee unknowingly clicking on malicious links, deleting data, or not knowing what to do in the event of these things occurring.
    • Physical threats could mean giving outsiders access to your IT servers or resources.
    • Electronic threats could mean having your system's digital assets compromised due to viruses or hackers.
    • Technical threats could be in the form of failed computer functions or bugs that prohibit you from backing up your assets and data.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is not covered by cyber insurance?

    Cyber insurance policies do not typically cover the following costs associated with a cyber event: potential profits lost to intellectual property theft, potential loss of value, and betterment (an upgrade in an internal technology system after a cyber event that incurs a cost).

    What is an example of an internal threat?

    Ransomware, phishing attacks, and hacking are all common methods of attack. Internal threats can originate within the organization itself; these come from current or former employees that have malicious intentions. They also may be inadvertent due to a lack of training about cybersecurity risks in an organizational setting.

    How long does it take to recover from ransomware?

    One to two weeks is a common time frame for ransomware recovery executed by an experienced team. This timeframe is typically required in order to successfully execute data restoration and keep up with the demands of recovering from cyberattacks like malware or ransomware.

    How do you conduct a cyber risk assessment?

    Cybersecurity is paramount to any organization and must be taken seriously. The first step in this process is assessing the risks associated with cyber threats, which can put your mission-critical assets at risk of exploitation.

    After determining your asset's values and identifying any possible cybersecurity threats, the next step in risk management is to assess your current security against identified vulnerabilities.

    What is the most successful cyber attack method?

    Cybersecurity is becoming a bigger and more prevalent issue as cyberattacks are on the rise. In particular, phishing remains the leading cause of cyberattacks worldwide.

    You can never be too prepared when it comes to managing cyber risk. Deploying regular risk assessments and making an effort to improve cybersecurity controls could make all the difference. At the end of the day, ensuring comprehensive risk management is one of the best strategies today's organizations can do to keep their operations in check at all times.

    Need more tips on cybersecurity and business insurance? Contact Assured Standard today!

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