What is Cyber Threat Management?

Cyber threat management is the process of identifying, analysing, evaluating and addressing an organisation’s cyber security requirements.

With more than a 1,000 publicly disclosed security incidents last year – and countless others that weren’t reported – cyber security is a growing priority.

It’s only by actively monitoring threats throughout their lifecycle that organisations can identify the risks that they face and the steps they should take to mitigate them.

Why is cyber threat management important?

Cyber threat management helps organisations prevent data breaches, but it also ensures that they’re equipped to deal with security risks when they do occur.

This keeps damages to a minimum and reduces the costs associated with a data breach. According to a Ponemon Institute report,  organisations that can contain a breach within 30 days save more than $1 million (about £720,000) compared to those who take longer.

To ensure that you can respond to a breach promptly, you must have an effective threat management system in place. The framework increases the collaboration between people, processes and technology, helping organisations detect and respond to incidents.

Common cyber threat management challenges

When creating a cyber threat management system, organisations must consider a variety of factors.

Lack of visibility

Organisations must ensure that there are no blind spots in their information security processes. This means ensuring that you have complete visibility of the threat landscape, including internal and external risks.

The lack of visibility often stems from siloed processes, the lack of integration between point solutions, and undefined or inconsistent procedures across the organisation.

Lack of insight and reporting

An effective cyber threat management system should have KPIs that help security teams track their ability to detect and respond to information security risks.

This should include the MTTD (mean time to detect a risk) and the MTTR (mean time to respond). You should also monitor your return on investment, which is calculated by multiplying the average cost of a security incident by the number of incidents you might expect to experience in a given timeframe.

Creating reports based on this data and analysing the results can be a challenge. One issue is that, for the information to be valuable, organisations need a large sample size.

Organisations that experience information security risks infrequently are therefore limited in how often they can analyse the data.

Additionally, because organisations evolve over time, and the threat landscape always changing, it can be difficult to gain actionable results from these reports.

Skill shortages

There is a perpetual cyber security skills shortage, with more than half of organisations saying that they lack qualified staff.

It is therefore challenging to find qualified talent, and equally hard to retain them. With such a high demand, cyber security experts can demand generous salaries and career growth opportunities.

Organisations that are unable to provide those will find themselves left behind.

Best practices for cyber threat management

Some experts believe that the key to effective cyber threat management is technology. Tools such as automation and AI and help organisations counter sophisticated cyber attacks and give security teams insights into the threat landscape.

However, technology is only one part of the equation. Organisations must look at the ways they can use people and processes to address the full threat lifecycle – from identifying threats to responding to breaches.

Insight

Organisations must have a complete understanding of their sensitive assets and resources. This is where a data flow map can help; it enables organisations to identify and visualise the ways that information moves through their systems.

The data flow map is often a valuable tool when conducting a risk assessment, as it provides further insight into the way an organisation could be compromised.

Detection

Threat detection ensures that the organisation is promptly alerted to suspicious activity.

There are a variety of threat detection tools that organisations can use. Additionally, security teams should log suspicious activity and investigate signs of a data breach.

Response

When a security incident occurs, organisations must act quickly. They can do this by implementing an incident response plan that includes a framework for threat analysis, mitigation and continual improvement.

Recovery

Finally, organisations must consider recovery activities that ensure the organisation can continue functioning during disruption. This includes cyber resilience and business continuity planning.

Simplify cyber threat management with IT Governance

For organisations looking to develop a cyber threat management system, IT Governance can help.

Our selection of cyber risk management services contain the support you need to understand the threat landscape, and detect, respond to and recover from cyber security incidents.

We provide guidance on developing suitable methods for managing risks in line with ISO 27005, the international standard for information security risk management.

Our experts can help you:

  • Establish internal and external risk context, scope and boundaries, identify and assessing risks
  • Create communication lines with stakeholders to inform them of the likelihood and consequences of identified risks and risk statuses;
  • Establish priorities for risk treatment and acceptance;
  • Establish priorities to reduce the chance of risks occurring;
  • Develop risk monitoring and risk review processes; and
  • Educate stakeholders and staff about the risks to the organisation and the actions being taken to mitigate those risks.

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