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Cyber Security Report

The Value of a Risk-Based Cyber Security Report

Defending against cyber threats requires a great deal of communication between different levels of an organization. From executives and the board to risk managers and security teams, everyone must be focused on the same priorities to ensure that security objectives, investments, resources, and policy are all aligned. That’s why reporting has become an essential security function.

Security reporting may at times seem like a formality, busywork, or a thorn in the side of overworked security teams. Yet when a cybersecurity report is developed with a risk-based approach, it can provide the data and context required to ensure that companies get the most from their cybersecurity efforts.

BitSight Security Ratings provide a simple yet powerful way to engage stakeholders with risk-based cyber security reports. Providing data-driven, dynamic measurements of an organization’s cybersecurity performance, BitSight Security Ratings continuously measure security performance of companies and the security posture of their third-party vendors.

What is a Risk-Based Cybersecurity Report?

When evaluating a cybersecurity report, several criteria can be used to evaluate its effectiveness. Helpful reports will convey actionable information in context and provide data in a concise way that doesn’t bury the most important findings. The language and reports must be clear enough for non-technical audiences to understand, and the report must relate findings back to their impact on cyber risk.

This last criteria – whether the report relates findings to cyber risk – is perhaps the most important and forms the basis of a risk-based approach to reporting.

A risk-based cyber security report has a different focus than a compliance-based or incident-based report. Risk-based reporting is intended to provide organizations with the insight and priorities to reduce their exposure to cyber threats. By following a risk-based approach to reporting, stakeholders throughout the organization can stay focused on the areas of risk that most need attention.

Best practices for risk-based cyber security reports include:

  • Assigning a score to key findings or recommendations, making it easier to interpret data and compare findings.
  • Covering the highest-risk items first and foremost in the report.
  • Providing context by comparing current metrics to past performance and the performance of peers and competitors.
  • Framing risk in business terms – including dollar amounts – to help executives and leaders understand the impact of findings.
  • Reporting on the most critical items frequently or maintaining continuous reporting dashboards that keep the areas of biggest risk in focus.

A Practical Guide To Risk Based Cybersecurity Reporting

Learn how to revolutionize the reporting process at every level of your organization.


Cyber Security Reporting with BitSight

BitSight transforms how companies manage security risk with objective, verifiable, and actionable security ratings. The BitSight Security Ratings Platform continually analyzes vast amounts of external data on security issues and provides a numerical rating that summarizes an organization’s security performance or a vendor’s security posture. Through continuous monitoring and assessment, BitSight helps organizations make faster, more strategic decisions about security and risk management.

Generated daily, BitSight Security Ratings range from 250 to 900 – the higher the rating, the more effective the company is at implementing effective security practices. BitSight Security Ratings are calculated with a proprietary algorithm that analyzes four categories of data: compromised systems, user behavior, security diligence, and publicly disclosed data breaches. Using more than 120 data sources, BitSight provides comprehensive insight into an organization’s security posture to rate performance and identify areas of risk.

BitSight’s security ratings have been independently proven to correlate to the likelihood of a data breach. Companies with a BitSight Security Rating of 500 or less are nearly 5 times more likely to experience a breach than those with a rating of 700 or higher.

Armed with daily BitSight Security Ratings, security leaders and risk managers can easily develop risk-based cyber security reports using BitSight’s intuitive reporting tools.

BitSight Reporting Tools

BitSight’s reporting capabilities allow cybersecurity teams to provide board members, executives, business partners, security leaders, and risk management teams with answer to their questions and with the context and information they need to successfully understand and interpret the data.

Based on BitSight Security Ratings, BitSight reports inherently use a risk-based approach and fall into three major categories:

  • Overview and executive reports. Designed for executives, boards of directors, and other company decision makers, these reports provide straightforward facts about how the investment and resources allocated to cybersecurity and risk management programs are having an impact. Vendor risk managers can summarize risk across their entire portfolio, providing critical information for data-driven conversations and decisions about risk.
  • Comparison reports. These reports enable risk managers and third-party security leaders to get a detailed look at how their programs stack up against industry leaders, competitors, business partners, and vendors. Comparison-specific reports can help organizations quantify the risk decisions they make to improve communication with decision-makers. Comparison reports can also help third-party risk managers decide between vendors during the onboarding process. Additionally, reports on security benchmarks help to spotlight vulnerabilities and measure security performance across departments and against outside organizations.
  • History and trend reports. Looking at how a program has performed historically can yield insight into how it will perform in the future. Historical reports can identify the type of threats that most impact the organization and which risk-based decisions performed best. Analyzing trends can alert security leaders to how much a vendor or industry has changed over time.

BitSight also provides detailed cyber risk reports on topics such as the behavior of threats in the system, domain and platform construction, third-party security incidents, and assessment questionnaires.

Why Choose BitSight?

As the world’s leading security ratings service, BitSight enables organizations to improve cybersecurity and risk management throughout their digital ecosystems. By enabling more complete security visibility and evaluating how well attack surfaces and third parties are protected against threats, BitSight helps to improve cybersecurity posture and manage risk more effectively.

BitSight’s leadership in the security ratings services market is defined by three pillars.

  • Visibility. BitSight offers extensive visibility into key areas of cyber risk with security ratings that are objective, verifiable, and actionable.
  • Engaged community. BitSight has the most robust community of cyber risk professionals interacting on its platform. Over 2,100 BitSight customers share security ratings with more than 170,000 third-party organizations, making BitSight the most widely used platform across all industries.
  • Prioritization and context. BitSight calculates importance in a more diversified way to ensure the most critical assets are prioritized higher.

FAQs: What is a Risk-Based Cyber Security Report?

Risk-based cyber security reports relate all findings back to risks for the organization. Risk-based reports assign risk scores to key findings and frame risk in terms of the impact on business. Risk-based reports typically placed the highest risk items front and center in reports, and provide context by comparing metrics to past performance, peers, and competitors.

Security ratings provides objective, quantitative measurements on a company’s security performance. Results are based on externally verifiable data. In contrast, SIEM monitoring provides a view of an organization’s security posture based on internal data. These two approaches to measuring security performance are complementary and can be used together to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the risk and threats in a digital ecosystem.

See Security Ratings in Action

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