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Risk should Define Cybersecurity Strategy: Theoretical vs. Probable Threats

To reduce cyber risk, businesses must first determine which threats are real and which are simply theoretical. Follow to know more!

You cannot win a war if you don’t know who you’re fighting. In cybersecurity, the critical first step is assessing, defining, and understanding the threats your organization faces. Here’s how to determine the difference between theoretical and probable threats.

There are many apparent threats to business and personal security. There are economic uncertainties and common safety concerns, of course, but for many companies, the biggest threat of all is not so obvious: cyber threat actors. 

People often forget their cybersecurity and financial security are inextricably linked. Cybersecurity is a critical business risk. According to Gartner, cyber vulnerabilities and ransomware attacks lead to incredible negative consequences for businesses, from financial to operational issues. 

To reduce cyber risk, businesses must first determine which threats are real and which are simply theoretical.

Return to the Foundations of Risk Documentation

You can’t win a war if you don’t know who you’re fighting. Likewise, articulating, managing, and mitigating potential risks requires knowledge and documentation of said risks. Companies must invest more in security than simply adhering to industry-wide compliance standards. Those are no longer sufficient. Each company must take an individualized approach to risk assessment and identify the true threats they face, not simply the threats that all companies everywhere face. Of course, there are some standard threats that require standard security practices, but organizations will be better served by a tailored, personalized approach to cybersecurity that is proportionate to the level and type of risk the company faces.

Risks must be properly documented to give organizations headway on their quantitative security measures. Effective cybersecurity documents every risk to justify business expenses and staff allocation. 

Evaluate Your IT Department

The first and most crucial step to evaluating your cybersecurity risk is correctly assessing your business landscape and the potential threats that come with it. After you have identified the biggest threats your company faces and the most valuable assets that your company needs to protect, look to your tech team.

Next, it is vital to evaluate the strength of your IT department. Conversations between IT leadership and other company leaders should include potential threats, weaknesses, and areas of improvement to protect against potential attacks. A lack of communication between IT and the rest of the business can lead to incorrect prioritization and subpar tech stacks, both of which increase vulnerability. Additionally, make sure to communicate from the bottom rungs of your company hierarchy to the C-suite to better understand the day-to-day issues that might leave you vulnerable to hackers. 

If your entire company is on the same page about the real dangers of cybersecurity threats, you’re already on the right track.

Redefine Your Network Security Investments and Adopt a Zero Trust Strategy

Until recently, network security teams were synonymous with firewall gatekeepers. The introduction of the cloud incentivized a shift since information became accessible from any computer connected to the internet. 

In this new age of digital innovation coupled with increased risk, every company should adopt a Zero Trust strategy in their security efforts. Zero Trust essentially means “never trust, always verify.” This is a perimeter-less security model, meaning devices are not trusted by default, even if they are connected to a permission-verified network and, in more extreme cases, even if they were previously verified. Zero Trust is useful for any company working off a network of interconnected zones, cloud services, and infrastructure. In our new remote and hybrid work environments, this is even more essential. 

Zero Trust requires user authentication for an additional level of security. While this might seem like a lot of steps, organizations neglecting to adopt Zero Trust strategies leave themselves vulnerable. Zero Trust is the architecture of the future. 

The future of business security is defined through risk articulation. Through interconnected leadership structures, including IT, better software and digital systems, and reporting and analysis of previous and potential threats, companies are well on their way to better protection against today’s cyber threats.

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