Risk management is an important part of any firm, but when it comes to cyber risk management in particular, even more diligence is required. That’s because one weakness or breach can make your entire business vulnerable to attackers and scammers – something you likely can’t afford.

Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) especially face increasing cyber threats year after year, resulting in severe financial, reputational, and operational consequences. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the latest cyber security risks and statistics to ensure sensitive data is secured and that you don’t become the latest victim in a multi-trillion-dollar industry.

According to Small Business Trends, nearly 43 percent of cyberattacks are targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), yet only 14 percent of those are prepared to handle such attacks.

The cost of a cyberattack on businesses can be devastating, and many don’t rebound from it. Unfortunately, the prevalence of cyberattacks is only increasing, and is expected to rise by 15 percent by 2025, reaching a whopping 10.5 trillion. The United States in particular takes the brunt of cyberattacks. In fact, in 2020, cyberattacks against this country more than doubled in number, comprising 47 percent of all worldwide cyberattacks.

The development of robust cybersecurity strategies and implementation of effective security measures will help to mitigate the risks these businesses face.

Identifying the Risk

It all starts with understanding your company’s weak spots, and realizing the potential damage of those vulnerabilities. Once you know what you’re up against, you can create a plan of attack that is designed to protect your business in the event of a cyber breach.

First, let’s define what cyber risk management is, also known as cybersecurity risk management. This involves identifying risks to your enterprise, assessing those risks, and designing and implementing controls to reduce that risk. It’s important to note that it’s impossible to eliminate all risk, but it’s imperative that every business strive to get that risk as low as possible.

This will take an honest appraisal of your company’s risk level so that you are better positioned to protect yourself and your clients against cyber risk and other liabilities threatening your organization.

Cyber risks are everywhere – the potential is vast, the landscape is ever-evolving, and the cost of a breach can be devastating. Not all cyber threats are malicious in nature, though – sometimes they can arise from compliance requirements, natural disasters, supply chain issues, ransomware, and human error. In fact, human error is the top cause of cybersecurity breaches, accounting for about 95 percent of all incidents.

That said, malicious insider threats are the one that strike fear into the heart of every business owner due to the swift, blindsiding nature of these attacks that come with no warning. These types of attacks pose the most risk because of their intent to damage, along with legitimate access to your company’s data – not to mention their far-reaching knowledge of the cybersecurity infrastructure. From disgruntled employees and contractors to business associates and personnel, this one is scary because anyone with access to your company’s facility can inflict devastation no matter the motivation – all from the inside.

Why Your Company Needs Cyber Risk Management

Because by its very nature, cyber risk is not stagnant, it requires a savvy cyber risk management plan to keep up with that evolution. Cyber risk is not one-and-done. Attacks not only disrupt your entire operation, they open you up to significant revenue losses, reputational damage, proprietary data loss, and legal issues. It will cost you a lot less now to be proactive and implement a cyber risk management plan than it will after the fact.

Your cyber risk management plan should include all of the following controls:

  • Cybersecurity awareness: Everyone in your organization should be aware of how to practice safe, secure daily operations.
  • Social engineering training: This involves training your staff to not only recognize but to respond to cyber threats, despite efforts of malicious sources engaging in social engineering – a manipulation technique that gets people to give up personal or confidential information through phishing, baiting, or pretexting. Make sure your employees know about these tactics so they don’t fall for them. Your employees are your first line of defense.
  • Access control: This involves managing your access control and employing best practices like multi-factor authentication (MFA) to reduce the risk of data breaches and human error.
  • Patch management: This is when fixes are applied to software to ensure hackers don’t exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Hardware and software asset management: This will help you better manage vulnerabilities and recognize when a potential malicious asset is found on your network.

Request a Quote on Cyber Risk Management From Cardinal Technology Solutions

Here at Cardinal Technology Solutions, cyber risk management is just what we do. Let us identify your weaknesses and work to close those gaps to ensure you don’t become the latest cyberattack victim. Being proactive is key. Waiting till after an attack won’t help. Get your free quote from us today and learn how we can create a robust risk management plan to protect your business from the inside out.