4 Critical Success Factors for Effective Security Risk Management

With the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. reaching nearly $8.6 million, your organization can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity risk. Indeed, the need for security risk management is greater than ever. When cyber risk is managed more effectively, you can focus on innovation and driving business growth.

Let’s look at what security risk management is and measures your organization can take to ensure a successful cybersecurity strategy.

What is security risk management?

Security risk management is the task of identifying possible cybersecurity risks then deciding which security measures to implement based on the probability of an attack, your organization’s risk tolerance, and the potential damage from each attack scenario.

How can you reduce cybersecurity risk?

The right tools can make security risk management less complex and more successful. Here are four you should consider adding to your organization’s risk management toolkit.

1. Understand your attack surface

One solution that enables a more efficient security risk management program is BitSight for Security Performance Management. BitSight is the solution of choice for enterprises across the globe because it addresses the challenge that so many face – understanding where cyber risk is present across their extensive IT infrastructures – on-premises, in the cloud, and across geographies and remote locations.

With that insight, it becomes much easier to prioritize remediation efforts and allocate resources based on how important certain assets are and where risk is most concentrated. In fact, BitSight does this automatically. Dashboard views show your organization’s digital assets and the corresponding cyber risk associated with each – on a continuous basis. You can even discover hidden assets like shadow IT and SaaS subscriptions that security teams may not have visibility into.

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2. Continuously monitor for emerging risk

Because cyber risk is constantly evolving, BitSight also continuously monitors your ecosystem for emerging risk. You’ll be immediately alerted to vulnerabilities and potential anomalies on your networks, such as open ports, misconfigured software, unpatched systems, potentially exploited systems, and exposed credentials.

For instance, if a business unit in France powers up a new AWS cloud instance but fails to configure a web application correctly, you’ll have full visibility into the issue and can take quick steps to remediate it before a hacker spots the misconfiguration and gains unauthorized access.

3. Easily scale security risk management across your supply chain

The BitSight platform can also be used to improve security risk management across your supply chain.

With BitSight for Third-Party Management, you’ll get immediate insight into the security postures of your vendors, partners, and suppliers – prior to onboarding and for the life of the relationship. No more relying on lengthy or costly point-in-time security audits or assessments; BitSight automatically notifies you if a third- or fourth party’s security rating drops below a pre-agreed threshold. In the interest of transparency, this information can also be shared with your vendors so you can work together towards a speedy resolution.

4. Engage senior management – in their language

Involving senior management in conversations about cyber risk – and its business impacts – can ensure the entire organization buys into security efforts.

But traditionally, this hasn’t been easy. Your Security Operations Center (SOC) may not speak the same language as the C-Suite or board. That’s because security managers tend to focus on the technical aspects of managing cyber risk while executives and board members want to know the financial impact of a cyberattack.

That’s where BitSight for Financial Quantification comes in.

By quantifying cyber risk in financial terms, executives and board members can better understand what kind of monetary hit the company might take if it’s the victim of a ransomware attack or other threat.

Available as an add-on to BitSight for Security Performance Management, the module makes it easier for you and your SOC team to engage C-level executives and have honest conversations about cyber risk and its impact on their organization’s financial standing. With this understanding, you can better make the case for funding, resources, and security risk management processes.

Learn more about how cybersecurity risk management with BitSight allows you to continuously monitor your organization's cybersecurity performance and align security investments to tackle high priority threats that could adversely impact your business.