Failure to manage such risks gives cybercriminals the opportunity to carry out attacks. However, a cybersecurity risk assessment enables a business to detect threats. A proper cybersecurity risk assessment has the following importance:

  • Reduced long-term costs: Cybersecurity risk assessments enable an organization to detect and analyze existing risks and mitigate them.
  • Improved self-awareness: Risk assessments enable a business to plan for areas requiring additional investments and create stronger cybersecurity programs.
  • Better visibility and communication: A cybersecurity risk assessment requires the input of all departments. Therefore it promotes communication between all departments.
  • Prevents cybersecurity incidence: This risk identification will pave the way for the implementation of adequate security controls.
  • Legal requirements: Many regulations and international standards require businesses to carry out frequent risk assessments. Risk assessments make sure that they observe effective risk management programs to safeguard customer and employee data. Cybersecurity risk assessments allow organizations to meet their regulatory obligations.

Since a cybersecurity risk assessment identifies existing risks, how should an organization manage them, in order to make sure it is protected? This happens via a risk management framework.

A risk management framework provides the necessary steps for managing risks to organizational IT systems. Such a framework should have six steps.

1. Categorize the information systems

An organization should assign new IT systems with security roles according to the business objectives and mission.

2. Identify security controls

A business must identify and select suitable security controls to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

3. Implementing the security controls

Once a business completes step 2, it should show that it has applied the minimum requirements for tackling the identified risks.

4. Assess the controls

An unbiased assessor must assess the controls to determine their effectiveness in addressing risks.

5. Authorize

The authorization package should contain risk assessment results and the use of the implemented controls to mitigate them.

6. Monitoring

A business should keep its security controls up to date.