Risk-based approach to securing your data and systems

Taking a risk management approach to business allows you to make informed decisions, with the right balance of threats and opportunities being considered. When dealing with cyber security, risk management helps to ensure that the technology, systems, and data in your business is protected, with the right resources aimed at the right assets.

Cyber Security Risk Management

Benefits of risk management

Improves decision making based on real information

Helps delegate decision making to the right people and departments

Allows you to answer effectively to new threats and opportunities

Cyber security risk management

When deciding to take a risk management approach to your cyber security, think about what your business does, your priorities and objectives. This will set the scene for your cyber risk management. Thinking about the risks you would, or would not, be willing to take with your technology will help make decisions on the steps you need to manage cyber security risk.

You should ensure that your board collectively has a good understanding of cyber security and how it supports the overall business objectives. They should get the information they need, in a format that they understand, at the time they need it to enable decision-making.

Where you need to apply cyber risk management

It is important to think about the range of technology, systems, services, and information that your business uses and relies upon daily. Talking to those who use, manage, or are affected by the systems or services will give you useful insights into what you want to protect, and why.

Consider those elements outside of your direct control, such as your supply chain, use of third-party services and cloud services. Your management of the cyber security risks will need to include how your staff are supported to use all the different elements securely. Systems involve people, processes, and technology - your approach to cyber risk management should take account of these elements and how they interact with each other.

A cyber security risk management approach that is right for you

With a variety of tools, methods, frameworks, and standards to choose from, it is important that you establish an approach that is right for your business and one that will bring good risk information about your systems and services.

You could use a baseline such as Cyber Essentials to provide information on the basic controls needed to protect your organisation against most common cyber-attacks. However, in this instance, only the risks generally considered by the Cyber Essentials scheme will be covered. To manage all cyber security related risks that your organisation may face, it is important to gain a more tailored perspective, conducting risk analysis and assessment to address specific needs.

Your chosen approach should help you identify and prioritise risks, making decisions on how to manage them. Always ensure you are taking into consideration a wide variety in risk information and seek out information from experts or trusted sources.

Communicate effectively cyber risk management

Make sure that you communicate your risk management approach to staff and decision makers, so that they understand how cyber security risks should be managed and help them make the right decisions.

It is also important to understand what risks remain after you have applied the controls. Whether you are taking an approach bespoke to your business or a baseline such as Cyber Essentials, it is not possible to eliminate risk entirely. The remaining risk (known as residual risk) should be understood by those responsible and accountable for the risk within your business. Seek confidence that the package of mitigation measures you put in place have effectively managed the risk you identified and consider how you will maintain that confidence as your systems are used into the future.

Remember that technology is constantly changing, as does the business environment and their associated threats and opportunities. Regularly review your risks to ensure that the ways you have decided to manage them remain effective and appropriate. You will also need to review the methods, frameworks, and tools you use for risk management to ensure they continue to be effective in your business context and in the face of a continuously evolving cyber security and threat landscape.

This is a big job to perform and maintain in-house and we deal with many businesses on a daily basis who have opted for industry experts to manage their cyber security. If you would like more information on how we can help, simply contact us on 0161 763 4529 or via email at hello@codus.co.uk

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