Rapid technological advancement and rising worldwide connectivity is reshaping the way the world is functioning. From higher productivity to improved customer service, technology has played a critical role in the growth of businesses across the world! However, the equally bad news is that these advancements have also made organizations increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks, like hackers and viruses. However, this does not mean that businesses must compromise on their growth and advancement just for the sake of their security.
Digital risks are increasing in the business world due to the rapid adoption of new disruptive technologies. These risks are seen in many industries and are actually more harmful than cybersecurity risks. On a broader scale, digital risks can be classified into physical, technical and administrative risks.
The following risks are the most prevalent in today’s digital world and should be treated as top priorities to keep your business safe:
• Cybersecurity Risk: Cyberattacks continue to grow and evolve as businesses become more technology driven and reliant. Attacks like ransomware, DDoS, etc., can disrupt the normal activity of any business.
• Data privacy risk: As we move forward to a tech-based economy, data is becoming the most valuable commodity in the world. This has resulted in hackers targeting critical business data and stealing it for personal gain.
• Compliance risk: Businesses need to comply to various regulations regarding data privacy, cybersecurity, organizational standards of practice, etc. A violation can bring about heavy fines and penalties for the business involved.
• Third-party risk: When you outsource certain services to third parties, it can compromise the security of your overall IT infrastructure. For instance, a software tool you utilize with an external vendor may introduce some vulnerabilities and risks to your otherwise intact tech environment.
• Resiliency risk: The ability for a business to bounce back and continue operations after an unexpected disaster is what this is about.
• Risks due to human errors: In 2021, 85% of data breaches involved some sort of human involvement. Whether it’s falling for phishing scams, credential stuffing or misusing work devices, human errors can be quite costly for organizations if they go unchecked.
• Automation risks: While automation is reshaping the tech industry for the better in many ways, it could also give rise to a range of risks such as compatibility risks, governance risks and more.
• Cloud storage risks: The flexibility, ease of use and affordability offered by the cloud make it one of the most popular options for data backup and storage today. However, the cloud is also prone to various risks such as lack of control over your data, data leakage, data privacy, shared servers and more.
The best way to start managing your digital risks is by performing regular and comprehensive security risk assessments. After all, how would you know what your current risks or gaps are and where your biggest security challenges lie without an “under the hood” inspection?
With a risk assessment, you can measure your security stance against various internal and external threats and determine how equipped you are to deal with these different levels of risk.
When you perform a security risk assessment you can proactively:
• Identify major vulnerabilities: A risk assessment helps you identify which part of your digital environment is relatively weak against various security threats. You can identify which systems are likely to be targeted by attackers and integrate measures to strengthen these systems. Without the information presented by your risk assessment report, you don’t stand a shot of improving your digital security posture against these vulnerabilities.
• Review and ramp up security controls: In most cases, security incidents happen because of a lack of controls in the process. For instance, without proper cybersecurity awareness training and best practices training, employees are unlikely to follow security protocols on their own, which could result in losses due to human errors. Based on the risk assessment, you can upgrade your security measures and start incorporating preventive measures to train and coach your employees about these various risks.
• Track and quantify risks: To effectively manage risks, you need to know their effect on your business. With a risk assessment, you can quantify these risks by identifying the potential losses posed by these threats. This helps you incorporate necessary risk-mitigation strategies to prevent exposure.
IT and security budgets are often difficult to explain to management. Everyone understands the consequences of not investing in the correct security measures. Yet, it isn’t always easy or simple to put an exact ROI figure on security investments. The value of the risk assessment is based on how you choose to act with the information you get from your report.
In this scenario, the real question is – what is the cost of not making this investment? Let’s consider a major data breach for example. It is always about what you stand to lose in the aftermath of a breach. If your business is dealing with valuable customer data, a data breach can result in unrecoverable financial losses as well as massive reputational damage. Furthermore, this might also result in regulatory non-compliance and attract heavy penalties from various regulators. In such cases, reviving a business after a major disaster can be almost impossible. Which is why 90% of small to medium sized businesses who suffer from a data breach wind up closing entirely within just one year’s time.
Here, the cost of investment in security solutions and cyber insurance is negligible since it concerns the survival of your business. You may not be able to measure the exact ROI of the airbags in your car, but that doesn’t mean that your survival is not dependent on them. Similarly, the information and insights gained from routine risk analyses are critical to the operation, resilience, and long-term success of your business.
Monitoring and managing your digital security risks is an ongoing and continuous process that must be done regularly and should be a part of your ongoing operational strategy. You don’t just clean your house once and it stays good forever. You need to then maintain it. The same goes for cyber security and risk assessments. With hackers constantly adapting and changing their methods to keep up with security trends, we must do the same to keep the cyber criminals at bay and your business as secured as possible.
Contact us here at Tekie Geek today to perform a complete risk assessment of your tech environment to help you build a resilient security posture against the cyber threats that are likely already on their way to you!