How to Calculate Cyber Risk and Your Organization’s Financial Exposure

Financial Quantification of Cyber Risk

You've worked hard all year to prioritize your organization's resources to tackle the riskiest vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity program. But when you bring your progress to the board of directors, excited to demonstrate your success, your reports about patched network configurations, DNS configurations, botnet sinkholes, and more are met with blank stares.

Instead of using unfamiliar technical jargon, a better way to ask for support and funding is to quantify cyber risk in financial terms.

When you calculate cyber risk in terms of how it will impact the organization’s balance sheet, it becomes much easier for the board to understand risk, how it links to business outcomes, and where improvement is needed.

How do you calculate cyber risk?

The concept of financial quantification of cyber risk is not a new one, but traditional approaches are time-consuming and complex. Significant resources and expertise are needed to collect the necessary data and model various scenarios – such as the financial impact of a ransomware attack or data breach. It’s also a process that isn’t easily repeatable.

Let’s look at how you can quickly and easily assess your potential financial exposure — and provide cyber risk quantification insights in a language that makes sense to leadership.

1. Streamline the process of quantifying cyber risk

The first step is to automate the process. For instance, with Bitsight Financial Quantification you can simulate your organization’s exposure across multiple cyber events and impact scenarios and the potential financial losses associated with each – all with minimal user input.

The solution combines data about your digital infrastructure, your business, cyber insurance claims, and cyber scenario probability calculations – to deliver an analysis of probable maximum loss.  

You’ll get actionable metrics on the financial impact of denial-of-service (DDoS) incidents, ransomware and extortion attacks, data theft and privacy breaches, and even third-party service provider failures such as an outage, disruption, or a malicious attack that results in data loss. And, because third parties can hold your organization accountable for cyber-related damages or losses, these compensation claims are factored into calculations.

But cyberattacks aren’t the only risks that leave your business exposed. A failure to meet cybersecurity standards and regulations also has financial implications – Bitsight models these scenarios too.

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Request a free executive report, which includes your security rating, for your company to find the gaps in your security program and how you compare to others in your industry.

2. Make more informed business decisions

Bitsight Financial Quantification is a game changer because unlike traditional financial quantification tools, which only provide a high-level view of exposure, the solution models potential loss types independently. Available on-demand, Bitsight calculates cyber risk in an easily repeatable way and can be run without adding any additional headcount or engaging a consulting firm.

Insights are presented in an intuitive graphical interface that lets you drill down into cyber event examples – so you can diagnose the underlying causes that impact financial exposure in a faster, more streamlined way.

Armed with these real-time data insights, you can then choose which risks to accept, mitigate, or transfer – and where to focus your team’s limited time, resources, and budget.

3. Report effectively to the board

Finally, by transforming the technical side of cybersecurity into financial language, you can guide boardroom and C-suite discussions around cyber risk management, justify new technology investments, and measure the ROI of those investments in specific controls or programs. Bitsight Financial Quantification empowers you to speak the same language as the board and provide the necessary business context.

And, with the ability to calculate cyber risk over time, it’s easier than ever to demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of your efforts to your board. You can measure how your financial exposure changes as you invest in controls to improve your security posture, providing you with quantifiable metrics that justify your cybersecurity efforts.

Learn more

Interested in learning more about how the Bitsight Financial Quantification makes it easier than ever to facilitate a greater understanding of cyber risk across your organization? Read our eBook: Establishing a Universal Understanding of Cyber Risk with Financial Quantification.

evolution of the ciso whitepaper

In the midst of facilitating organization-wide digital transformation, the CISO also must undergo his or her own professional transformation to keep up with a world in serious need of cybersecurity leaders.