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How to Assess Your Cyber Risk

By November 1, 2021No Comments12 min read
cyber risk management

Cyber security is very important for modern business. Almost every business is connected to the internet. Thus, every business is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is not possible to do business without using the internet. Thus, organizations need to focus on minimizing the security risk.

Your board of directors should understand your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Every business needs to follow some regulations. These regulations will actually hold you responsible for governance and decision-making. Ransomware attacks also pose a financial risk to companies. You can lose thousands or even millions of dollars in a ransomware attack. Thus, it is important to ensure that you have a good cybersecurity policy. In this article, we are going to share a list of questions that you can ask from your IT security team for assessing your cyber risk.

  1. How do you assign responsibility for assessing and managing security risk?

Your business should work with responsible parties for managing your cybersecurity risk. If you have an IT security team, then everyone should have a clear role. You should ensure that you have someone responsible for setting practices and policies. Also, someone needs to continuously monitor your systems and network.

Access reviews should be done properly. Your network admins should be responsible for access request review and approval. Make sure that your employees only have access to the tools and files that they need for completing their work. If they need access to other tools, then they can ask the network admin.

You should have a dedicated team for incident response. Also, you must have an incident response plan. This will help you in minimizing the impact of a security attack. Your IT security team should focus on early cybersecurity detection. Also, they should create a good response plan.

  1. How are you measuring your detection capabilities?

You should have a baseline as it will help you in determining abnormal activity. Your IT security team needs to set a risk-based tolerance level. This will help you in finding activities that are exceeding the normal level. For example, if some system is running more than 150 processes then something is wrong with that system. Thus, your IT security team can look into it.

Your IT security team needs to be very careful when they are setting this abnormal rate. It will directly relate to how quickly your security team can respond and detect potential threats. Your Key performance indicators should depend on how quickly your security analysts can find and solve the issue.

Your team should focus on improving the meantime to detect (MTTI) and mean time to recover (MTTR). This will help you in reducing the damage caused by cyber-attacks. These times will automatically come down if your team is constantly improving your cyber risk posture.

  1. What process you are using for establishing behavior baselines?

Baseline is very important for threat detection. Threat detection simply means that you are looking for abnormal activities in your systems, devices, software, and network. However, you need to first define normal activity for detecting abnormal activity. If some system is doing an abnormal activity, then your IT security team will get an alert.

Make sure that you have a defined baseline for resource use and failed user logins. Also, you need to define a baseline for network and hardware availability. There should be a fixed number of expected processes. If some system is using more processes, then it will be flagged as abnormal activity.

All of these activities are associated with your cybersecurity risk. These baselines will help you in detecting abnormal activities in your network.

  1. How are we measuring cyber risk management?

Threat detection and response are probably the most important of cybersecurity risk mitigation. However, these are not the only ways to measure your cyber risk management. Risk management includes all the activities that will protect your network from threats. Your CISO or Chief Information security officer should ensure that they are providing these metrics to you:

  • Number of employees or users with access to your system
  • Unidentified devices in your network
  • Intrusion attempts
  1. How are you evaluating your security solutions?

You should ensure that your IT security team is choosing the best security solution. Thus, you should still understand the evaluation process. This will help you in evaluating the security solutions that your business is using. You should understand what the security tool does and why are you using it. This will help you in determining if you need to use this solution.

This question is very important. If you are using tools that have overlapping capabilities, then you will waste a lot of money. Thus, you should ensure that you are not using tools that have overlapping capabilities.

Attackers will generally target security solutions that you are using. Thus, you should ensure that you understand the security posture of your vendor. Security tools should help you in closing all the security gaps in your network. This will help you in mitigating the cybersecurity risk.

You don’t need to worry about knowing all the specifications. Make sure that you have a rough idea of the tool that you are using. Also, your CISO will help you in simplifying this process.

  1. How are we measuring the effectiveness?

You can’t solve the cybersecurity problem by throwing money. It is a complicated problem and you need access to good tools and a security team. Most companies would’ve never experienced a data breach if the key to protecting their network were the latest security tools.

If you are adding some new security tools to your stack, then you should ensure that you are getting a good ROI. Thus, you should evaluate the effectiveness of your security tools.

Make sure that the new tools are improving your cybersecurity KPIs. This will ensure that you are actually improving your security posture. Also, you should check if the new tool is actually helping you in reducing the alerts. The new tool should have very good reporting capabilities. This will ensure that your team can use it for reporting purposes.

The new tool should help you in eliminating the false positive. Thus, your security team should receive fewer false positives. This will ensure that you don’t need to worry about fake reports. Also, the cost per incident should come down. If some security tool is helping you in reducing your cost per incident, then you should use it.

  1. How are you preparing the incident response team?

Threat detection can help you in quickly detecting threats. However, you need a special team for dealing with these threats. Your incident response team is the most important part of your cybersecurity strategy. They are probably the backbone of your IT security. Thus, you should ensure that you have a good Incident response team.

Attackers are always looking for new vulnerabilities. It is very hard to keep up with the pace. Thus, you need to provide both support and training to your incident response team. This is the only way to ensure that you are keeping up with the attackers.

Make sure that you are regularly updating your incident response plan. Your plan should update according to new vulnerabilities. Also, your incident response team should run tabletop exercises. They should focus on fine-tuning your IT security tools. This will ensure that your cybersecurity strategy is optimized.

Your incident response team should have access to all the IT resources that they need. If your team needs training, then you should provide them with training. You should ensure that your Incident response team is always ready for threats.

  1. How do compliance, audit, and security communicate?

Every modern business needs collaboration. You must be using hundreds of tools for conducting your daily operations. Organizations are moving towards Software-as-a-service or SaaS applications. Thus, the IT stack of companies is growing with time. Due to this, it is becoming difficult to manage compliance, audit, and security. These three things are getting mixed up in the process. Your IT security is integral to audit and compliance issues.

Government organizations are adding new privacy laws. They are ensuring that their citizen’s data is safe. Legislative bodies are coming up with stricter privacy laws. Thus, you should ensure that your security, compliance, and audit team are communicating with each other.

Make sure that every team is maintaining proper documentation. This documentation can be shared with each other. You should also keep a log of all the audit findings. Also, you should track the time that you are spending in gathering this audit documentation.

  1. How are you choosing third-party vendors?

Attackers will generally target the supply chains first. They know that they can get access to more systems if they get access to vendors. Thus, they will get a high ROI.

If some attacker finds a vulnerability in one of your vendors, then they attack your data. You might have invested a lot of money into your cybersecurity but still, you will lose your data. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are dealing with third-party risk.

You can mitigate this risk by understanding the 3rd party risk management process. Start by checking if your 3rd party vendor is a publicly held company. If they are a publicly held company, then you should look for issues in their public documentation.

Your vendor should also provide you self-assessment. This will ensure that your vendor is protecting your data. They should also provide review independent 3rd-party documentation. Also, they should perform regular vulnerability and penetration tests. These tests result should be shared with you. This will help you in ensuring that you are working with a good vendor.

  1. How are you assessing employee cyber awareness?

You should ensure that you are conducting employee cyber awareness training every year. This will ensure that your employees are following the best cyber security practices. However, training is not enough. Your senior leadership and directors need to create a culture where security awareness is the main priority. Make sure that you are providing your training documentation to your auditors.

You should give online courses to your employees. This will ensure that your employees can learn whenever they are free. Make sure that you are taking a regular quiz for testing your employee’s knowledge. A phishing test is the best way to protect your organization. If your employees can differentiate between phishing and legit mail, then your organization is already very secure.

Make sure that your employees know about your security policies. Your security policies must be implemented properly. You should provide regular updates on security issues. Your employee’s device should be always updated. This will help you in ensuring that attackers can’t use known attacks.

  1. How does your cybersecurity strategy compare with companies in the industry?

Most companies will have an annual meeting where they will assess their competitors. This is the best time to check their security level. You can compare your security strategy with other peers in the same industry. This will also help you in finding new strategies for your business.

You can compare their cyber insurance market reports. This will help you in understanding if you need to upgrade your cyber insurance. You should also check if there are data breaches in your industry. If attackers are interested in your industry, then you should probably ramp up your security measures. You should also check the analyst reports. Make sure that you are keeping up with the industry standards.


These questions will help you in assessing your cyber risk. It is important to ensure that your business is protected from cyber attackers. Thus, you should always start by assessing your cyber risk. If you don’t have access to a good IT security team, then you should consider partnering up with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in protecting your business from attackers. They have access to the best IT security team in the world. Thus, you don’t need to worry about the security of your network. Bleuwire will help you in protecting your entire network. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.