CYE Strategy

What Should a Cyber Risk Quantification Strategy Entail?

With devastating cyberattacks on the rise, organizations are spending more than ever on cybersecurity budgets—and executive teams are demanding more accountability. Boards understandably want to be sure that cybersecurity costs are warranted and worthwhile, and this is where cyber risk quantification can help.  

Cyber risk quantification aims to put a dollar figure on cyber risk. It considers the potential financial and business ramification of possible cyberattack scenarios, thus allowing decision-makers to understand the impact of threats and prioritize remediation efforts. Yet not all cyber risk quantification strategies are the same. How do you know which is the best for your organization?  

Here are four considerations for an effective cyber risk quantification strategy. 

1. Does it consider risk context? 

Sometimes, malicious actors can plot attack routes to important business assets by exploiting just a few vulnerabilities. Likewise, a significant number of cyber gaps may seem highly problematic on the surface, but they may not present any serious threat to your most important business assets. This is the reason why an effective cyber risk quantification strategy must consider that context when determining which cyber gaps should be addressed. Otherwise, you may be spending time, effort, and money remediating vulnerabilities that do not pose significant threats.  

2. Does it consider financial context? 

In addition to understanding the risk to business-critical assets, organizations must take into account the dollar value of what a breach to each asset might be. This financial context helps security teams make better decisions about which cyber gaps must be addressed first. For example, a low threat to a $1 billion asset would probably take priority over a high threat to a $1 million asset. Without understanding this context, you may be focusing on closing the wrong gaps. 

3. Does it consider the entire organization? 

Often, businesses may be basing their cyber risk quantification strategy on what has been assessed, which may or may not include the entire organization. A thorough assessment would need to check cyber risk in multiple environments, including on-prem, cloud, perimeter, and OT. Without a comprehensive assessment, your cyber risk quantification strategy may be overlooking areas where threats may exist.  

4. Does it help security leaders communicate cyber risk in business terms?  

Ultimately, an effective cyber risk quantification strategy should help security leaders present a cybersecurity plan to their board members and justify its costs, allowing security leaders to communicate the value of their work to execs. To accomplish this, it’s necessary for security leaders to be aligned with business needs, thus helping security be perceived as a business enabler, rather than a blocker.  

The Ultimate Benefits of Cyber Risk Quantification 

With an effective risk quantification strategy, organizations can ensure having optimized cybersecurity investments that consider both the cost of a possible breach and the likelihood that it will happen. This ROI helps your business save time and money while reducing the chance of a cyber incident.  

For More Information  

Want to learn more about choosing a cyber risk quantification strategy and how CYE can help? Download our guide to learn more about: 

  • How cyber risk quantification helps CISOs communicate cyber risk 
  • Why not all cyber risk quantification solutions are the same 
  • Factors to consider when calculating an organization’s cyber risk 
  • How to determine which vulnerabilities truly post a threat to your organization  
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By CYE
July 28, 2022