Where to Start with a Cybersecurity Risk Management Plan (RMP)

4 min read
(March 2, 2023)

Companies that want to generate a cyber risk management plan should begin with a risk assessment to determine the most substantial risks to the organization. A risk assessment helps executives and directors make informed decisions about security by providing an analysis and summary of the following: Business priorities: Regulatory and business requirements that the IT and cyber security team supports. Architecture: The existing IT and security technology and architecture that  make up the organization's current IT environment. Controls: Existing security controls, policies, and processes.

Then, technical implementation controls are selected to address these risks based on the assessment results.  

That data collection should then be matched up to a cybersecurity risk framework to discover gaps between existing security controls and industry best practices scoring the risk level of those gaps based on enumerated business requirements.

This evaluation lays the groundwork for investing and handling digital risks regularly with the business. After implementing the controls, companies must continually monitor and assess the environment for organizational shifts and risk outlook to adjust the strategy as required.

Uncountable cyber risks, data infringements, attack pathways, and undisclosed susceptibilities arise yearly. For instance, in 2022, 71% of enterprises were struck by ransomware assaults, with more than 60% paying ransom to retrieve the ruined data. One unsettling reality emerges from the present cybersecurity risk management situation: regulating cyber risk throughout a business is more complex than ever. Nevertheless, the cyber threat reaction plan is still the same: a robust risk management system with a methodical risk assessment and response plan.

Cyber threat risk management expands on the idea of risk management in actuality. Ensure that cyber risk management is practical to the business by reducing the effects of any potential uncertainties cost-effectively and efficiently. Ideally, risk management helps recognize potential risks promptly and enforce appropriate countermeasures to prevent them from occurring or lessen their impact. 

Don't Rely on Chance

By 2025, the global damage caused by cybercrime will reach a staggering amount of USD 10.5 trillion. If it were measured as a country, it would be the third biggest economy after the United States and China! This cost includes destroyed information, stolen funds, decreased productivity, theft of intellectual material, individual and financial data, embezzlement, deception, business interruption due to attacks, forensic investigation, repair and elimination of hacked data and systems, and harm to reputation.

Furthermore, although technology gives companies more opportunities to strengthen their security measures, cybercriminals also use more advanced methods. Therefore, organizations must implement rigorous cybersecurity policies to protect their data and networks and take preventative measures to lessen potential cybersecurity threats. 

Companies should rely on something other than chance regarding data protection. The financial damage can be considerable, resulting in decreased income, operational disruption, and exposure to customer data. In addition to the fiscal hit, businesses may suffer severely regarding reputation following a breach - with public opinion primarily based on the facts. In 2022, over $422 million US citizens were subjected to 1,802 data breaches, representing a 33.15% jump from the previous year.  

Build a Risk Management Culture

Understanding the significance of cybersecurity is increasingly essential, and employees must be taught how to avoid cyberattacks. The World Economic Forum declares that human mistakes cause nearly all cybersecurity breaches. Therefore, businesses need to know what steps they can take to ensure their data is safe and secure in the physical world. Executives must implement a cyber security and risk management culture across their company. A governance structure should be implemented to ensure adequate personnel commitment, accountability, and instruction are provided, and the purpose and expectations must be communicated.

For any successful risk management system, it is essential to develop a culture that strongly emphasizes cybersecurity throughout the organization, from part-time workers to high-ranking executives. The Security Team can only take charge of  some of the accountability for cyber security and corporate risk management. Even if cyber security experts do their best to prepare for all potential dangers, risk plans can only be effectively implemented if everyone in the organization is involved. 

Manage Budget More Strategically

The quick advancement in the cyber threat field and limited resources have stressed the requirement to re-evaluate cyber security plans. Numerous research groups have predicted that the entire expenditure on cybersecurity will expand by more than 13% in 2021 and reach almost $224 billion by 2023. Although ransomware continues to be the most dangerous to businesses, the developing risk associated with the rise and misuse of generative AI models, for example, ChatGPT and other options, is taking the threat of attack to new heights, and the influence on cybersecurity predictions is still unclear. The point is that, despite the amplified security efforts, cyber-attacks continue.

Companies and their IT departments have mainly adopted a defensive approach against internet-based dangers in the past. As a result, companies still make policies to protect every part of their system, including data centers, assets, and networks. The number of methods to shield and the ever-changing cyber threats require a "more is better" mindset. Nevertheless, the original basis of the cyber security fight is no longer realistic. 

CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) have realized that their cybersecurity budget needs to be managed more strategically. They are now adopting a risk optimization strategy to spend their budget on business objectives. Risk optimization entails understanding potential threats, ambitions, and investments to create a cyber security plan comfortable with the corresponding risk level. In addition, connecting the dialogue about cyber threats to corporate goals helps to ensure a sensible cybersecurity expenditure. According to Gartner, the percentage of boards that view cybersecurity as a business risk has grown from 58% to 88% over the last five years. 

Embrace a Risk Management Model

In the current environment, controlling risk in a business has become more complex. Security systems alter frequently, and companies must handle a greater variety of third-party vendors, modern technology, and an ever-growing network of laws. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent high inflation and economic stagnation have pressured security and compliance teams to take on extra tasks with fewer resources. Therefore, any organization needs to embrace a risk management model.

Companies can no longer depend simply on conventional cyber defense strategies. There is a need for a fundamental alteration in their short and long-term attitude towards cyber security, from a passive, isolated, and lacking a mutual business context to a unified, anticipatory, and business-oriented approach.

The cost of setting up a reliable risk management system is measurable; however, the damage to a business's reputation can lead to huge losses or a significant decline in income. As highlighted in a news release from Business Wire, the 2019 PCI Pal survey found that 83% of US consumers "will abstain from doing business with the company for a few months [following] a security lapse." On the other hand, 21% of American customers state, "they will never go back to that business after a data breach."