Life is characterized by uncertainties and the data protection world is not different! There are numerous unforeseeable eventualities that can compromise your security controls within an incredibly short time. While the malicious actors are devising new techniques each day, it’s crucial that you develop a sustainable and efficient risk management plan for your organization.

Risk Management Plan

Definition of Risk Management Process

Risk management is a crucial activity that involves three main steps; risk identification, risk analysis, and risk mitigation. You’re required to identify all the potential risks that may compromise your storage, transmission, and sharing of information. The assessment should include a holistic view of how such risks will affect the integrity, confidentiality, and the accessibility of your data.

Once you have a list of all the loopholes that can potentially interfere with your data, you should rank them in order of importance. Let the top priority risks rank first (these are risks that are likely to occur and can affect crucial information of the firm).

Once you’ve ranked them, you should develop a list that will indicate whether you intend to accept, mitigate, transfer, or refuse the risk. You should make a document with viable reasons to support your decision on the matter. Always make sure that your organization can handle the consequences of the decision that you’ve taken.

Analysis of Potential Effect of a Risk Event

There are several classes of risks (explained below) that you need to consider. When analyzing, you should utilize events and statistics of data breach costs to estimate the effects of the risk. The classes include:

Vendor Data Breach

According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, approximately 56% of data breaches reported in 2017 were from third-party vendors. The breach cost an average $7,350,000 in fines and customer-related losses.

Malicious Attacks

A report by the Verizon Data Breach Insights showed that approximately 73% of all cyber-attacks originated from highly organized groups. Around 2000 of the 53000 security cases involved data breaches with approximately 21,000 of the incidents involving denial to access data.

Insider Issues

The Verizon report (above) provided data on the effects on internally-instigated risks. The end-users and system administrators accounted for a significantly high number of breaches. Out of the total 277 internal issues, the two groups accounted for approximately 134 security breaches with the social engineering accounting for 381 data disclosures.

The Importance of Risk Assessment Matrix

When you rely on qualitative reviews, you’ll get a guesstimate. On the other hand, a quantitative risk review offers responses that will guide you on the likelihood of risk occurrence as well as the impact that it will have on your organization. When you combine the two, you will get a risk assessment matrix that’s reliable and likely to give accurate information.

A risk assessment matrix reviews all the risks across a wide spectrum which allows you to have a highly comprehensive report on the risks, impacts, and mitigation measures.

Applying a Project Management Approach to a Cybersecurity Risk Management Plan

You should ensure that you detail all the risks and develop tasks necessary to test the efficacy of your data protection mechanisms.

When you use a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), you’ll get excellent tips to develop a reliable cybersecurity risk management plan by utilizing a project management strategy. You need to involve both the internal and external stakeholders to ensure that they understand the importance of the exercise.

Also, the chief information officer (CISO), should unite the c-suite and the department managers to ensure that they pool their time and resources towards developing a cybersecurity risk management plan for the organization. To guarantee information security compliance, you should review the regulations and standards of every stage in the entire process.

How to Utilize Project Management in the Creation of Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation Strategies

When CISO and IT members team to bring a software-as-a-Service vendor or any other standard, you can be sure that the synergy will yield excellent risk mitigation strategies. The team will decide on the regulations and standards to be included in your security controls thus monitoring your systems regularly and remediating the security threats.

The project manager will deal with the installation of hardware and software necessary to implement the cybersecurity mitigation strategies. This may include documentation and development of restrictions.

How to Use Automated Software to Enable a Project Management Approach to Cybersecurity Risk Management

Communication is crucial in ensuring that all the stakeholders are involved in the cybersecurity risk management strategies. The traditional tools of communication take immense time which slows down the identification and implementation of the project. If you’re still stuck to that, then you need to start using automated solutions to resolve the communication challenge.

This software maintains a database that makes it easy to prepare a report for presentation to stakeholders. This eases the process and saves your time. The tools ensure that audit processes are swift and continuous that guaranteeing security and compliance all the times.

Author Bio

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.  Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.