What Is Cybersecurity Risk Management?

Table of Contents

Cybersecurity risk management is identifying, assessing, and managing cybersecurity risks to an organization’s information assets. Organizations can protect their data and systems from cyberattacks by understanding and mitigating these risks.

Cybersecurity risk management is critical for any business or organization that relies on computer networks to store or transmit sensitive information. Strong risk management practices can help protect your organization from costly data breaches and cyber incidents.

The cybersecurity risk management process is defined.

The cyber risk management approach is a holistic process of identifying, analyzing, and evaluating your organization’s cybersecurity threats.

The job isn’t solely for security professionals; everyone in the company should play their role to help address risks consistently throughout all departments or business units within an enterprise. This includes employees who don’t specialize in protection at any point during day-to-day work, such as human resources specialists.

Risk management functions

The IT department has a lot of ideas, but they sometimes need to learn what’s best for security. The sales team is looking to keep customers happy by keeping their compliance requirements in check and not daring too far outside the law, even though some managers believe this may be necessary sometimes.

And then there are those from within who want change and see things differently than you do because we all have our perspective on life; it can’t hurt us anyways. We’ve got these different functions with agendas, which all need to be considered. So how do you bring them together and work in harmony?

Risk management action components

There are five critical risk management components that all organizations must keep in mind. The first is developing robust policies and tools to assess vendor risk. This can be an integral part of your organization’s security posture because it helps you identify emergent risks like new regulations with business impact before they harmfully affect the company more than anything else would do on its own accord.

Next up, we have identification to identity theft issues wherein individuals outside our scope may find access into one area (such weakness at entry points) where there should not necessarily reside any possible avenue for intrusion. This practice has been called “password mining” due to passwords being put out into the open more than they were once kept, and without respect even to their generation or how they are used.

Thirdly, we have the fundamental issue of IT asset management, which can be regarded as a sub-component of security itself, given that it dictates your capability to track and understand what is happening in your business infrastructure at any one time and what sort of threats may result from the use of unorthodox applications and operating systems to run your business.

In this context, cloud computing becomes an important topic when you think about how a misappropriated asset may be used by a third party to infiltrate sensitive parts of your network.

Fourth, we have compliance issues that deal with ensuring that your business structures have the right policies in place to ensure your business is not hit with potentially crippling fines.

Some of these exist globally (such as GDPR), while others are more enterprise-specific and conform to specific regulatory bodies: HIPPA, PCI DSS, and SOX.

Finally, cyber risks are continuously evolving as the threat landscape changes to reflect the rise of new modes and mechanisms of attack, along with more sophisticated forms of encryption and obfuscation that hackers use.

Cybersecurity risk management benefits

Implementing Cybersecurity Risk Management ensures that your organization is protected from hackers. A risk management strategy will ensure procedures and policies are followed at set intervals and security is updated on an ongoing basis to keep up with the latest threats.

The risk management process simplified

Risk is a part of doing business. Organizations must identify risks and assess their likelihood and potential impact on the organization before choosing from several mitigation strategies to respond with accordingly; sometimes, just monitoring will do.

The National Institute of Standards created a third-party risk management framework known as NIST Special Publication 800-30 to guide the federal information system’s risk assessments.

The new publication expands on the instruction of previous standards. It provides catalogs for security controls in private sector organizations, like your company here at Xero Corporation (for example), or government agencies dealing with sensitive data about Americans’ lives, such as Google; Facebook. They all used this same type of guidance from time immemorial, so it must be good.

Cybersecurity risk management plan

Identify cybersecurity risks

How to identify risk? It’s a challenging task. Risk can be defined as “the potential for something bad,” whether related directly to your IT systems or not. You must assess risks and protect yourself accordingly, so these outcomes don’t become a reality.

The first step in identifying this type of threat would involve understanding what kind(s)of vulnerabilities there may be on any given system which could lead to consequences if exploited by hackers and then weighing those possibilities against one another before taking action.

One of the most critical steps in identifying risk is assessing potential vulnerabilities and threats on your systems. This can include evaluating factors such as the strength and security of your network infrastructure, software configurations, employee access controls, and more.

It’s also important to weigh these risks against one another to determine which are most likely to lead to adverse outcomes and then take appropriate actions to protect yourself from them.

Cybersecurity risk assessment

Risk assessments provide the perfect opportunity to emphasize security’s importance across your organization. Assessing risk allows you and other staff members to practice communication to play a critical role when it comes time for future management decisions about threats or vulnerabilities within an environment, as well as other similar obligations.

Risk assessment is a crucial step in any security program because it allows you and your team to assess the current state of your organization’s security posture. It also allows you to highlight how vital security is across your entire organization.

This can help others understand the implications of particular threats or vulnerabilities. To do this, you must be effective when communicating about risk with members of your team or other stakeholders within your organization.

Mitigation measures

Identifying and assessing risk is just the beginning. There are many options for effectively managing residual risks for firewalls and encryption software. What will your organization do about all those risks you find?

The most successful teams have thought through their plan before taking any actions to ensure it’s thorough enough to meet needs as technology changes over time or if new threats arise out of nowhere.

Risk mitigation best practices

Cybersecurity training programs Updating software, including applications that provide privileged access management (PAM) solutions such as authentication and accounting services with multi-factor authentication.

This can be done through a central identity provider hub or distributed across various devices in an organization’s network environment. Privileged account management helps to reduce risk by ensuring that only trusted individuals have this kind of control over sensitive data within your organization’s networks.

They also provide employees understanding of how their actions affect the security posture overall, so you don’t find yourself downsizing staff members who were previously unaware of their cyber security risks.

If a breach should occur, ensure security is in place to mitigate the damage. This includes having an incident response plan and an incident response team to execute it.

Having detectives who are familiar with your networks and can respond quickly will be crucial if you’re ever faced with a possible breach. Remember to keep critical data on an isolated network so that when a network intrusion occurs, you can quickly and easily determine the extent of any damage.

Additional best practices include:

  • Using strong passwords.
  • Utilizing encryption software and other security features (e.g., two-factor authentication).
  • Regularly backing up your data and storing it in a safe, offline location.

Reducing cyber risks is integral to protecting your organization from potential breaches. You can follow several best practices to help minimize the risk and mitigate any damage that an attack or breach may cause.

Standards and frameworks involved in risk management

To manage cyber risk, you must understand the different standards and frameworks. In addition to NIST SP 800-53, several additional cybersecurity management compliance requirements can be found across various other documents, including ISO 27001/27002.

ISO/IEC 27001

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security management. Clause 6 points out that an assessment must:

  • Establish and maintain risk criteria;
  • Ensure consistent results from repeated assessments.
  • Identify risks associated with confidentiality integrity availability within the scope of ISMS;
  • analyze and evaluate according to established earlier results;
  • consider additional security measures when required.

To keep information safe, businesses must implement ISO 27001 in their companies according to the mentioned clause. Companies will need to establish and maintain risk assessment criteria to evaluate and analyze all risks related to confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information within their ISMS (Information Security Management System). They may have to take additional security measures to meet this requirement.

NIST Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is a set of 108 recommended security actions across five critical functions; identity, protection, etc. The document helps organizations manage and reduce cyber risk of all types, including malware attacks.

NIST recently released its Risk Management Framework, which provides a process to integrate security and privacy risks into the system development life cycle. This can be applied to new or legacy systems in any organization across all sectors, big companies included.

The steps outlined by this framework include identifying threats; implementing controls against those dangers while also considering how they might affect other areas (such as supply chain management); analyzing why something went wrong after installation so that future incidents do not happen again.


The Department of Defense (DoD) Risk Management Framework is a cybersecurity risk assessment guide developed to help determine how much money should be spent on protecting against threats and vulnerabilities. It has six key steps and categorizes and selects an appropriate application or system for protection from hackers.

It recommends implementing software tools such as firewalls where necessary across all network segments within your organization’s perimeter walls; Institute a standardized security process for those tools and devices that are already in place.

Use active scanning techniques to identify external vulnerabilities on your network’s perimeter; bolster the defensive capabilities of all systems, including legacy systems, by conducting vulnerability assessments before adding new software or hardware components to end-user computers.

Lastly, monitor your network and application infrastructure regularly to ensure that it is up-to-date, and protect your data with safeguards such as encryption when storing and transmitting it.

FAIR Framework

The Factor Analysis of Information Risk framework (FAIR) helps enterprises measure, analyze and understand information risks. The goal is to guide them through making well-informed decisions when creating cybersecurity best practices so they can be confident in their ability to protect themselves from cyber threats.

FAIR is based on the idea that information is a valuable business asset and must be protected accordingly. The framework evaluates four main risk dimensions: potential loss, detectability, potential impact, and the likelihood of occurring. Once these are assessed, companies can decide how to allocate resources to mitigate risks or prevent them from happening altogether.

Audit and internal compliance roles in risk management 

Risk management is a necessary process that needs constant scrutiny. It should include re-assessment, new testing, and mitigation strategies to keep your company safe from outside threats like data breaches or cyberattacks in general. Internal compliance teams can play a significant role here by helping you manage IT risks on this front moving forward. Nine ways they might do so are detailed below:

Critical capabilities

The current climate of economic uncertainty has made it more difficult than ever to conduct IT risk assessments. What capabilities will your team need for your organization to navigate this challenge?

Communication tools

With the growing number of people taking part in risk assessment and mitigation phases, communication tools must provide a clear record for all members involved. These should help teams work more effectively across different locations or time zones with countries worldwide.

The need is greater now than ever before because too few resources are available on-site- everyone must contribute what little knowledge they have about their field.


Third-party risk management frameworks can be a great way to help audit teams perform their gap analysis. These unique publications from NIST provide detailed information on how best practices should work so you can avoid surprises during the process.


The powerful analytics tool can be used for root cause analysis and emerging risk prediction.

Single data repository

Risk professionals can store their valuable and essential data in one safe place.

Issues management tools

This tool helps automate the process of completing tasks in a timely fashion. It also notifies senior executives if you need to meet your work on time or at all, which means they can get back to what matters: running their company.

Versatile reporting

To ensure that your reports are always in demand, we provide the flexibility to present them in any desired format.


Cyber security risk management assesses and mitigates cyber security risks to protect an organization’s information assets. Understanding cyber security risks and implementing preventative measures can help keep your data safe from cyberattacks.

If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with cybersecurity risk management, check out our website, where we have a wealth of resources to help you get started. Thanks for reading.

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