Understanding Cyber Security Risk Management: A Guide for Australian Businesses

Let’s face the truth: if you own a successful business, it’s likely you’re on the web. And so are zillions of hackers looking for a teeny tiny loophole that could cost you the earth. 

A whopping figure of 76,000 cybercrime reports made to the Australian Cybersecurity Centre in FY ’22 is a testimony to the fact. No wonder cybersecurity should be your top priority.

But where do you start? What measures does your business require to keep its data and operations safe from malicious attacks? What is Cybersecurity Risk Management?

If you’re an Australian business seeking answers to the above questions, look no further. The following blog provides a comprehensive guide on cybersecurity risk management to get you rolling.

Understanding Cybersecurity Risk Management

Cybersecurity Risk Management refers to the process of identifying, assessing, managing, and monitoring security risks to safeguard information systems. It’s a continuous and ever-evolving process that should adapt according to the growing demands of your business.

The need for such a strategy becomes inevitable in a country like Australia where the median wealth per adult was highest in the world in 2021. As a result, more and more Australian businesses are becoming targets of some of the biggest cyber frauds and data breaches today.

With an effective cybersecurity risk management program in place, businesses can stay alert, assess and eliminate risks at the earliest.

Cybersecurity Risk Management For Australian Businesses

Given below is an in-depth cybersecurity risk management process that should be followed by Australian businesses to stay resilient against cyber threats.

Risk Framing

Risk Framing, in simple words, means laying out a frame that consists of all the topics of concern regarding cybersecurity. This includes what business areas your risk management program must cover, which assets are most vulnerable, the types of threats that need immediate focus, resources assigned and compliance for risk management. Auditing data and intellectual property offers a proper understanding of your business information systems and in what ways they can be targeted.

Risk Assessment

Once you’ve laid down these general guidelines in detail, it’s time to start assessing potential threats that can knock down your services. Or the vulnerabilities in your system that can easily be taken advantage of. You must also consider the impact of such disruptions like long downtimes, lost revenue, etc. Conducting a risk analysis is crucial since it keeps you informed on the potential threats that can have a huge impact on your business as compared to those that are harmless. Moreover, you get an idea of your present cybersecurity landscape.

Planning Compliance Management

Next, establish a compliance framework that lists out all the guidelines and best standards applicable to your organization for treating and reducing risks. With this document in hand, you can carry out risk management effectively and legally. Thus, the policies and procedures you create (awareness training, employee responsibilities, etc.) will all comply with the acceptable rules of this framework.

Responding To Risks

With a compliance framework and a solid risk profile on your plate, you can now start implementing solutions for treating risks as per their potential impacts and priority levels. For example, some vulnerabilities might need stronger access control (risk mitigation), while others may require formal risk treatment plans.. You can also automate certain tasks to keep up with the crucial cybersecurity standards for your business. This includes timely data backups and software updates. Prevention is another way of responding to negative risks which is done by avoiding certain activities or conditions that could expose your system to potential risks.

Incident Response Plan

There can be bummers, no matter how careful you are. That’s why it’s crucial to always have an incident response plan ready — a set of instructions and measures to be taken when a particular cyberattack happens.

  • This includes:
    1. Identifying the source of the breach
    2. Isolating affected assets
    3. Removing infected files
    4. Conducting a data audit to gather intel on the scope of damage
    5. Creating a quick and effective communication strategy to inform the concerned people (police, legal team, insurer, etc.) in time
    6. Documenting all activities since the attack in detail for future reference
    7. Ideal response to the attack and business recovery strategy
    8. Regularly updating the incident response plan as required

Monitor Regularly

Lastly, it’s imperative to keep tabs on the procedures you implement to tackle risks. This helps in identifying the extent to which the solutions are helpful, new developments and reapproaches needed. It helps in assessing the effectiveness of your security controls.

Important Risk Management Tips To Keep In Mind

Here are a few significant measures that you must take to facilitate the risk management process:

Prioritize Cybersecurity Awareness & Training

Your employees can’t defend your business from malicious attacks unless they understand them. Hence, they must be aware of practices like safe browsing, email security, etc. With the right training, they can differentiate between authentic information and phishing scams, one of the most prevalent types of cyberattacks. Such programs can take the shape of workshops, real-life scenarios and simulations to increase employee engagement.

Backup Your Data

Data loss is a common and disastrous outcome of numerous cyberattacks like ransomware. Rather than falling into the trap of hackers, it’s best to store backups safely lest such an event arises.

Focus On The Password Strength and MFA

Poor password strength is one of the biggest loopholes that attracts hackers. Unsafe practices like password sharing between employees, reusing passwords, automatic logins, or storing passwords carelessly are gaps that you must fill. In addition, always store your credentials in an encrypted file and use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) so that your critical accounts are not just reliant on a password

Install A Killswitch

A “kill switch” is a button that acts like an emergency brake to all the operations on your system. When a cyberattack takes place, a kill switch can rapidly shut down your servers to prevent further data loss or damage.

Factor In Your Physical Attack Surface

Your physical attack surface is as important as the digital one. Biometrics play a key role in safeguarding sensitive intel from leaking. Installing surveillance cameras and sensors also goes a long way in defending your databases from hacks and breaches.

Bottom Line

Fortifying your business is not an option, but a necessity. While new technologies and trends encourage smooth operations, at the same time, you’re more prone to cyberattacks and malware. 

Cybersecurity Risk Management is a proactive method to respond against potential risks and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Right from framing risks to generating the desired action, it allows for the creation of a safe and secure cyberspace that does not compromise your business.

Securemation is a leading security advisor with certified experienced professionals in the field of cybersecurity. Be it vulnerability/risk/threat assessment, compliance audits, or security training, Securemation provides excellent and affordable cybersecurity solutions to keep your business online and on track for growth.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *