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Cyber Risk Management

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so an adaptive response to cyber security is the most effective way to ensure your organisation is best protected from attack.

A risk-based approach means the cyber security measures you implement are based on the actual risks your organisation faces, so you will not waste time, effort or expense addressing threats that either are unlikely to occur or will have little material impact on your business.

This is why so many frameworks, standards and laws mandate regular risk assessments as part of their approach to cyber security.

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If you would like to know more about how cyber risk management will aid your compliance projects, contact our experts on 0333 800 7000 or request a call back using the form below. Our team is ready and waiting with practical advice.

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What is cyber risk management?

Cyber risk management is the process of identifying, analysing, evaluating and addressing the cyber risks facing your organisation.

The first part of any cyber risk management programme is a cyber risk assessment. This will give you a snapshot of the security threats that might compromise your organisation’s cyber security.

Your cyber risk management programme can then prioritise these risks by likelihood and impact, informing your selection and application of security controls based on your organisation’s risk appetite.

Learn more about cyber security risk assessments >>

Cyber risk management

The cyber risk management process

Although methodologies vary, a risk management programme will typically follow these steps:

  • First, identify the risks that might compromise your organisation's cyber security.
  • Next, analyse how each risk might occur. This usually involves identifying cyber security vulnerabilities in your system and the threats that might exploit them.
  • You should then evaluate the likely impact of each risk, and calculate where it sits on your risk scale and how it fits within your risk appetite – your predetermined level of acceptable risk. This will enable you to prioritise the order in which to address the risks.
  • Once you have done that, you should decide how to treat each risk. There are four options that you can apply:
    • Treat – modify the likelihood or impact of the risk, typically by implementing security controls.
    • Tolerate – retain the risk if it falls within the established risk acceptance criteria.
    • Terminate – avoid the risk entirely, by ending the activity or circumstance causing the risk.
    • Transfer – share the risk with other parties, usually by outsourcing or taking out insurance.
  • Cyber risk management is a continual process. It is important to track and monitor all risks over time, and update your risk treatment activities as required.

As you make changes to your systems or activities, your risks will change.

Likewise, cyber threats are constantly changing, so you need to be aware of new and evolving risks so you can address them appropriately.

The importance of risk management

Risk management is an essential requirement of many information security standards and frameworks, as well as laws such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and NIS Regulations (Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018).

Standards and frameworks that mandate a cyber risk management approach include:

  • ISO/IEC 27001:2013 – the international standard for information security management. Section 6.1.2 of ISO 27001 states that an information security risk assessment must:
    • Establish and maintain certain information security risk criteria;
    • Ensure that repeated risk assessments “produce consistent, valid and comparable results”;
    • “Identify risks associated with the loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability for information within the scope of the information security management system”;
    • Identify the owners of those risks; and
    • Analyse and evaluate information security risks according to certain criteria.

    Learn more about ISO 27001 risk assessments >>

  • The NCSC’s 10 steps to cyber security – a set of ten practical steps that organisations can take to improve the security of their networks and the information carried on them. Defining and communicating your board’s information risk management regime is central to your organisation’s overall cyber security strategy and is the first of the ten steps.
  • CIS Controls – the CIS (Center for Internet Security) Controls (formerly the 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defense) are a set of 20 actions, also known as CSC (critical security controls), for cyber defence, which provide specific and actionable ways to stop today’s most pervasive and dangerous attacks.
  • The PCI DSS – applies to companies of any size that accept credit card payments. Protecting digital cardholder data requires adherence to all the PCI DSS data security standards. There are 12 PCI DSS requirements, which apply to “all system components included in or connected to the cardholder data environment” – i.e. the “people, processes and technologies that store, process, or transmit cardholder data or sensitive authentication data”. Requirements 5 and 6 deal with implementing and maintaining a vulnerability management programme, an essential part of risk management.

IT Governance cyber risk management service

IT Governance will help you develop an information security risk management strategy, enabling you to take a systematic approach to risk management. This approach will reduce the associated risks to your information assets and protect your business from cyber threats.

Our risk assessment consultancy service includes guidance and advice on developing suitable methods for managing risks in line with the international information security risk management standard, ISO 27005.

This service typically includes the following:

  • Establishing internal and external risk context, scope and boundaries, as well as the choice of risk management framework.
  • Identifying and assessing risks in terms of their consequences to the business and the likelihood of their occurrence.
  • Establishing communication lines with stakeholders to inform them of the likelihood and consequences of identified risks and risk status.
  • Establishing priorities for risk treatment and acceptance.
  • Establishing priorities to reduce the chance of risks occurring.
  • Establishing risk monitoring and risk review processes.
  • Educating stakeholders and staff about the risks to the organisation and the actions being taken to mitigate them.

Who is the cyber risk management service designed for?

A risk management consultancy can be performed on organisations of any size – small, medium and large enterprises – and where IT infrastructure includes a combination of complex legacy systems and newer operating systems whose interoperability is not always seamless.

It is particularly useful to public-sector organisations such as those that engage with the NHS and HMRC, and to local councils and other government agencies that provide services across different channels to diverse groups of users – the interchange of personal data across different platforms requires greater vigilance and methods of protection.

Why choose IT Governance?

IT Governance specialises in providing best-practice action plans, consultancy services, risk assessment, risk management and compliance solutions with a special focus on cyber resilience, data protection, cyber security and business continuity.

In an increasingly punitive and privacy-focused business environment, we are committed to helping businesses protect themselves and their customers from the perpetually evolving range of cyber threats. Our deep industry expertise and pragmatic approach help our clients improve their defences and make key strategic decisions that benefit the entire business.

IT Governance is recognised under the following frameworks:

  • UK government CCS (Crown Commercial Service)-approved supplier of G-Cloud services.
  • CREST certified as ethical security testers.
  • Certified to:
    • Cyber Essentials Plus, the UK government-backed cyber security certification scheme.
    • ISO 27001, the world’s most recognised information security standard.
    • ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management.
    • BS 10012, the British standard for personal information management.

Learn more about our credentials >>

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