The CISO has the responsibility to manage cyber risk while optimizing business outcomes. Historically, security leaders have relied on qualitative means to overcome this challenge. Traditional methods of risk prioritization such as heat maps, vulnerability assessments, controls-focussed assessments, and even credit-like scoring are no longer sufficient to convey the urgency and importance of cybersecurity risk management to the Board and relevant stakeholders. The industry needs to shift from subjective to objective cyber risk management methods to translate cyber risk into business impact accurately. This shift in mindset will also prepare the CISOs to be influential business leaders.
Cyber Risk Quantification and Management (CRQM) solutions accurately represent cybersecurity risk posture as an objective and real-time ‘cost-to-business’ cyber trust score, enabling CISOs to answer the most challenging business questions from the CEO, the CFO, and the Board.
The toughest cybersecurity questions that require answers
As the CISO gets a seat on the Board, cybersecurity becomes integral to enterprise risk management. Therefore, it requires communication in a language that is simple, relatable, and contextual to the business. There are questions a Board will definitely ask - Gartner provides a detailed report. In brief, the top questions are:
- The incident question: How did this happen? I thought you had this under control? What went wrong?
- The trade-off question: Are we 100% secure? Are you sure?
- The landscape question: How bad is it out there? What about what happened at X company? How are we doing compared to others?
- The risk question: Do we know what our risks are? What keeps you up at night?
- The performance question: Are we appropriately allocating resources? Are we spending enough? Why are we spending so much?
Traditional cybersecurity methods provide answers that are influenced by incorrect cybersecurity risk assumptions. These are valid loss exposure concerns for security and risk management leaders. Digital-first, trust-based businesses require a cybersecurity solution that is objective, transparent, fosters accountability, and enables data-driven risk management.
Pivot from defense to offense with Cybersecurity Risk Quantification and Management
Cyber Risk Quantification and Management (CRQM) offers a solution that can be implemented and layered over your existing cybersecurity products. A comprehensive CRQM solution will give a CISO a quantified view of cyber health, financial exposure, and actions optimized to maximize business goals.
Let’s look at how CRQM enables CISOs to answer the questions mentioned above.
The incident question: How did this happen? I thought you had this under control? What went wrong?
Imagine not maintaining any health metrics for yourself and being caught off guard by an unfortunate incident. As a CISO, you would want to avoid surprises in cyber risk. Solution? Measure everything.
Often, a CISO is unclear while defining the current state of cybersecurity to the C-Suite and the Board. A CRQM tool helps measure (in the form of a risk score) the current cyber health of a company in context to the dynamically developing external threat environment and internal business requirements. You will always have a cyber health measure to communicate your business’s current state - avoiding untoward surprises.
The trade-off question: Are we 100% secure? Are you sure?
No business can be 100% secure 100% of the time. There is always a residual risk. How do you convey this message to the C-suite and the Board? First, define the end-state. Second, show where you are today. Third, demonstrate the gap and trade-offs. You can build this narrative only when you can describe these states quantitatively. That’s where a CRQM tool helps.
The landscape question: How bad is it out there? What about what happened at X company? How are we doing compared to others?
You can benchmark yourself with your peers when you quantify cyber risk using a standard metric and methodology using a CRQM tool. You can explain where you are versus the best-in-class; define your end state and the path to get there.
The risk question: Do we know what our risks are? What keeps you up at night?
A CRQM tool gives you an integrated view of your cyber risks based on the internal and external threat landscape and the potential financial impact. This helps you prioritize your action plan - which risks to mitigate first.
The performance question: Are we appropriately allocating resources? Are we spending enough? Why are we spending so much?
A CRQM tool translates your actions into a $ value business impact. You can visualize the direct impact on $ value at risk with every security investment to calculate the Return on Security Investments (ROSI). You can prioritize your security investments based on the ROSI calculations.
If you know your $ value at risk, you can also understand the cyber insurance coverage required to transfer your risk. Most companies end up over or under-purchasing insurance. The only way to understand the right coverage is to quantify cyber risk.
How can Safe Security’s CRQM platform help you?
Safe Security’s CRQM platform collects data from your internal cybersecurity environment - people, processes, technology, and third parties. These data feeds are aggregated and combined with external threat intelligence and global cybersecurity framework guidelines such as ATT&CK, NIST, and CMMC. The signals are parsed through data-science based algorithms to generate three outputs:
- A SAFE risk score representing your enterprise’s cybersecurity health - “How likely is your business to be breached in the next twelve months,” and industry benchmarks.
- Expected financial loss at the enterprise level and by attack types - which can be used to calculate Return on Security Investments (ROSI).
- A prioritized list of actions - at the enterprise level and an asset level.
These outputs, through quantification, help you precisely answer the 5 C-suite and Board questions.
At a time when uncertainty reduction in cybersecurity has tangible (read: financial) consequences for a business, you do not want to rely on a subjective method. Choose Cyber Risk Quantification and Management and learn the truth about your cybersecurity risk posture in real-time. The translation of cyber risk impact into financial terms enables security professionals to identify the most significant cyber risks based on the threats with the most consequential financial impact on the business. Since the CISO’s role is, at its core, to protect the business’s ability to generate revenue - CRQM is the key to making the shift from defense to offense. It can take you from just protecting data to the next step of protecting the business’s ability to continue generating revenue.