The purpose of a cybersecurity risk assessment identifies, assesses and prioritises the risks to an information and information system. A cybersecurity risk assessment helps companies identify and protect vulnerable areas of their business in their cybersecurity program.
A cyber security risk assessment is the process of identifying, analysing, and evaluating risk. It helps to ensure that the cyber security measures you have in place are adequate to protect your company from threats.
Without a risk assessment to be informed of your cyber security choices, you could waste time, effort, and resources. There is little point in implementing measures to defend against events that are unlikely to occur or won’t impact your company.
You may also overlook risks that could cause significant damage. This is why so many best-practice frameworks, standards, and laws – including the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – require risk assessments to be conducted.
A standard risk assessment involves identifying the software and information that could be affected by a cyber-attack (such as hardware, systems, laptops, customer data, intellectual property, etc.)
Following a security risk assessment it is then advised to put in place procedures and controls to eliminate the risks found. It is important to continually monitor and review the risk environment to detect any changes in the context of the organisation, and to maintain an overview of the complete risk management process.
Step 1 – Determine the scope of the risk assessment
A risk assessment starts by deciding what is within the scope of the assessment. It could be all aspects of the business, but you should start by focusing on one area that is the weakest for Cyber Security.
Step 2 – Identify cybersecurity risks
When identifying assets, it is important to not only establish those which are considered the companies most crucial and critical to the business but also the main target for attackers.
Step 3: Analyse risks and determine the potential impact
Now to determine the likelihood of the risk scenarios documented in Step 2 taking place; and the impact on the business if it did happen. It is also key to note the impact it would have if a threat exploited a vulnerability.
Step 4: Determine and prioritise risks
Using a risk matrix: each risk scenario can be classified. If the risk of an attack were considered “Likely” or “Highly Likely” the example risk scenario would be classified as “Very High.”
Step 5: Document all risks
It is crucial to document all identified risk scenarios in a risk folder, which should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure appropriate action takes place if new risks occur.
The need to conduct a Cyber risk assessment is extremely important to help strengthen your Cyber Security and prevent attacks or data breaches. It also acts as an aspect of data protection to engage in today’s rapidly competitive industry market.
Date: May 8, 2023