5 Reasons Why Your Cybersecurity Approach Should Be Risk-Based

While cyber threats may not be in your control, your cybersecurity strategy is – and it should be risk-based.

A risk-based approach to cybersecurity means that your security team is primarily concerned with reducing your organization’s likelihood and vulnerability in case of a cyberattack. A risk-based approach begins with an understanding of your business’s critical data, who might want to corrupt it, and how they might be able to do that. Next, it requires subjective, and often difficult, decisions – but in the end a risk-based framework will prove to pay off. Here are 5 reasons why your cybersecurity approach should be risk-based: 

1. Compliance security standards are not enough

Many organizations make the mistake of simply adopting a compliance oriented cybersecurity regimen. While compliance strategies are essential, they are general industry guidelines rather than specific to the needs of your business. Compliance standards are useful for defining best cyber practices, but they don’t help you quantify and assess risk. Since every organization is different, it is up to you to know your vulnerabilities and decide what’s most important to safeguard. A risk-based approach won’t conflict with compliance regulations because it will only work to bolster your cybersecurity regimen.

2. Security Risks are at an all-time high

Cyber threats are ever-emerging and ever-changing – making it unreasonable to predict or prepare for them all. Furthermore, while new developing technology may be the reason your company has grown and expand at unprecedented rates, it may also be its downfall.

Almost every aspect of business is now digitized, meaning that the target for cybercriminals has never been larger. In other words, total security of your network and data is impossible. In turn, it is necessary to identify your organization’s highest cyber risks and prioritize reducing them. A risk-based approach to cybersecurity will also encourage a resilient cybersecurity culture in the workplace, which inherently reduce cyber threats and data breaches, that exists outside of obligatory legal frameworks.

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Risk based approach to cybersecurity

3. Forward-thinking

Too many businesses’ cybersecurity strategy is responsive or reactive rather than preemptive or proactive. An organization shouldn’t wait until it suffers a cyberattack to find out where it’s blind spots and weaknesses are. Instead, organizations should invest in testing, deterrence, and threat intelligence as well as incident response so that you can detect and stop a cyber-attack before it causes damage (so hopefully you won’t have to use the incident response plan at all).

4. It’s pragmatic

Risk in an organization is often conceptualized in the financial, operational, strategic realms, but a realistic and advanced evaluation will also include technical risk. Every company makes decisions allocating its time and resources based on risk-assessment – investing in cybersecurity can’t always be your first priority. A risk-based cybersecurity approach allows your organization to determine a realistic threat-threshold that accepts the fact absolute security is beyond most reasonable budgets. Moreover, risk-assessment will help you reveal not just the worst-case scenario, but rather the most likely scenario so that you can make meaningful and pragmatic businesses decisions accordingly.

5. Saves you money

Risk-based approaches will help you determine what cybersecurity investments are adding value to your organization’s security and which ones are simply costing you money. Risk-evaluations and frameworks often reveal that new and complex technologies will fail to protect your organization in the face of employee error or third-party unaccountability. What’s best? A risk-based approach is the best way to protect you from a cyberattack, therefore saving you the associated costs and the reputational damage.

Contact Cybint today to see how our risk-based training platform will bolster your holistic, risk-based cybersecurity strategy.

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Catherine Fredette

Catherine Fredette is a student at the University of St Andrews, where she has academic research experience investigating cybersecurity and International Law. Catherine is curious and excited to learn more about the cyber world.