What Does Cyber Risk Quantification Mean?

In simple terms, every organization can measure how cyber risk specifically affects potential lost revenue, profit, reputation, and other measures of financial success. Cyber risk quantification means assigning a score, ranking, or even estimated dollar value on the potential losses associated with an organization’s exposure to cyber risk.

Unfortunately, organizations often lack clear-cut information regarding the cyber risks they face. In many cases, organizational leadership doesn’t have a clear understanding of the frequency and severity of the different types of cyber-attacks that exist. In addition, Cybersecurity and IT leaders often don’t have clear visibility into the specific vulnerabilities in their organization.  

Cyber risk quantification software prioritizes risks according to their potential for financial loss. This helps CISOs and C-level executives create budgets based on mitigation strategies that afford the best protection and return on investment.

Cyber attacks are a growing risk facing organizations and companies of any size and industry. These risks increase every year, especially with much of the workforce continuing to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of these escalating risks, Cybersecurity has become a critical boardroom issue. Technology leaders cannot stress enough to the C-suite the need for cyber risk quantification software to support more rigorous decision-making by quantifying the potential financial loss to the business based on risk scenarios. 

In short, cyber risk quantification makes cyber risk real to the C-Suite. In a perfect world, cyber risk quantification software makes that data clear, compelling, and actionable.

Why Should CISOs Perform Cyber Risk Quantification?

There are a number of reasons to conduct cyber risk quantification:

  • Reduce Long-Term Costs – Prevent or reduce security incidents that save the organization money and/or reputational damage in the long term. 
  • Provide a Template For Future Assessments – Cyber risk quantification isn’t a one-time process (they update constantly); completing an in-depth first assessment ensures repeatable processes even with staff turnover.
  • Provide Better Knowledge of Vulnerabilities – Understanding organizational vulnerabilities creates clarity for where the organization needs to improve.
  • Avoid Data Breaches – Data breaches can have an enormous financial and reputational impact on any organization. So it needs to be avoided before it actually happens.  
  • Avoid System/Network Downtime – Internal and/or customer-facing systems need to be accessible and functioning at any time for staff and customers to fulfill their responsibilities. 
  • Preventing Data Loss – Every trade secret, code, or other key information asset is subjected to the risk of loss. Unfortunately, you could lose business to competitors. Cyber risk quantification methods are integral to risk management that prevent data breaches. 

Need For Cyber Risk Quantification Software/Tools

Cyber Risk Quantification helps the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to cost-effectively achieve and maintain a defensible level of exposure to loss, particularly within a complex and dynamic landscape. Cyber Risk Quantification methods help Security leaders and Information Security teams reach a robust cybersecurity posture, while convincing management of the importance of cybersecurity in terms of fiscal business metrics. Cyber risk quantification software provides the data needed to execute those methods, and a mechanism to resolve issues and incidents, including the ability to:

  • Identify/define the possible loss event scenarios that your organization is exposed to 
  • Understand the elements (assets, threats, and controls) that influence the likelihood and impact of those loss event scenarios, and how those factors interact  
  • Continually monitor risk factor conditions
  • Given the present and projected risk element conditions, accurately estimate the likelihood of various loss event scenarios occurring, and their probable impact if they do occur  
  • Compare actual loss exposure levels against desired levels 
  • Address the opportunities to minimize risk when or where it exceeds the desired level; or suggest acceptable increases in risk when necessary for other organization imperatives  
  • Clearly communicate all of the above to stakeholders to make well-informed decisions
  • Reliably execute the risk management decisions made by executive stakeholders 

8 Benefits of Cyber Risk Quantification Software

Cyber Risk Quantification (CRQ) is more than a tool to gain visibility into the system; it is a strategy every CISO needs to bring security conversations to the boardroom. However, cyber risk quantification software can make an organization’s CRQ initiative faster, easier and more feasible to implement. Here’s how CRQ software benefits an entire organization:

  1. Identify risks and threats for your system/network, whether internal or external.
  2. Help understand the insufficiency and the drawbacks in existing security policies.
  3. Identify the list of the threats and risks so decision-makers gain visibility on how to improve and increase the risk assessment for security initiatives. 
  4. Bridge the strategy and execution gap to ensure that project delivery is tied to the business’s goals and vision. 
  5. Understand risks across the business and create opportunities for cost savings along with competitive advantages.
  6. Enable organizations to be proactive rather than reactive. 
  7. Minimize security threats and maximize opportunities, which boosts the chances of achieving strategic and operational objectives.
  8. Support companies in creating risk-aware cultures, so that employees realize that risk exists at all levels of the enterprise and they should do their part to manage it.

How To Stay Ahead With Cyber Risk Technology

  • Know your vulnerabilities – Cyber risk quantification methods help security leaders identify the organization’s vulnerabilities and what technologies are best suited to protect the business. Getting advice from security researchers or experts is a simple way to understand if you need to update your cybersecurity technology and prevent your organization from being exploited. 

When it comes to securing your infrastructure, data, and assets, the unknown is always the largest threat. Gaining full visibility into your gaps and blindspots is a daunting task when done manually or with traditional audit systems. But with RedMonocle’s intuitive platform, you can map and monitor your entire security stack against your security framework. Most importantly, it provides instant reports and insight into what security tools to use as well as cost and coverage.

What’s hiding in your stack? 

  • Observe industry trends through reliable news sources – Cyber tech trends and threats are receiving a lot of coverage right now. It can be difficult to choose which news outlets and sources to follow. However, allocating time a few days a week to catch up will keep you informed of cyber tech trends as they arise.

Don’t stay in the dark on cybersecurity trends and news! 

→ Check out the weekly broadcast Cybersecurity After Dark.

  • Embrace social media to connect with professionals – Social media allows every business leader a window into other experts’ insights. This can provide a unique point of view on fresh strategies to make keeping your organization secure easier and to stay ahead of hackers and threats. Invest the time to interact with them and gain a hands-on understanding of emerging cyber risk quantification tools

Create meaningful cybersecurity conversations with executives. 

→ [LEARN MORE] Be the Exception

  • Take advantage of industry reports and predictions – This can help you determine what upcoming technologies may revolutionize the industry and what technologies every expert is discussing or researching. More importantly, it can help you understand what technologies fit your company’s vision to streamline operations and eliminate technological clutter that could provide a needless security risk.

Fear of the unknown keeps security leaders up at night. Gain visibility into the industry’s trends, challenges and opportunities. 

→ [DOWNLOAD] 2021 State of Cybersecurity Benchmark Report 

BONUS: 4 Tips For Successful Cyber Risk Program

Keep this checklist handy as you plan or update your Cyber Risk Quantification program. Uncertain about how to begin conversations about CRQ or how to implement it in your organization? Not sure your current plan hits the mark? Below are 4 tips for successful cyber risk program implementation and management: 

  1. Understand how cyber risk impacts your organization’s bottom line
  2. Standardize boardroom conversations around cyber risk
  3. Visualize, benchmark & report on your financial exposure to cyber risk
  4. Make more informed risk-based decisions

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Step 1 of your cyber risk program starts by knowing your unknowns.

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Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Vice President of Growth

Nichole Kelly brings over two decades of experience in growing organizations top line and bottom line revenue. As one of the leading marketing influencers she is the author of "How to Measure Social Media" and has traveled the world teaching marketers how to build and execute ROI-driven marketing strategies at every major marketing conference. Also an entrepreneur, Kelly was also the founder of SME Digital, a digital marketing agency that was sold to Renegade Marketing.

Kelly leads an active life of service and is the founder of The Bipolar Executive blog and podcast. This project is  designed to help shift the conversation around mental illness to one of mental wellness in Corporate America. 

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Saint Leo University.

Connect on my blog The Bipolar Executive

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Chris Schroeder

Vice President of Engineering, Co-Founder

Chris Schroeder has over 25 years of experience in large complex IT environments from the Fortune 500 to the federal government. Chris has an extensive technology background in mobility, infrastructure operations, and data analytics. Schroeder is a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of App47 and the Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of RealOps (sold to BMC).

Chris is an active volunteer in his community coaching boys and girls lacrosse, supporting high school STEM programs, and serving on the Pastoral Council. 

Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Radford University and a Masters Degree in Technology Engineering from George Washington University.

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Sean McDermott

President & CEO, Founder

Sean McDermott’s curiosity for advancing technology began at his first job as a network engineer/architect installing and managing the first private internet for the U.S. Department of Justice. At a time when the internet was just taking off, McDermott was at the forefront and has continued to be on the cutting edge of technology leading Fortune 500 companies through the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the 2008 recession. Sean has over three decades of experience working with CIOs in the Fortune 500 to trail blaze innovation and protect the IT infrastructure of the largest commercial and federal organizations in the world. 

McDermott is a mission-driven, serial entrepreneur who founded Windward Consulting Group, RealOps, Inc. (sold to BMC), App47 and RedMonocle. He is also the founder of the Windward Foundation and Alzheimer’s Caregiver Alliance, an organization dedicated to easing the burden of caregiving for individuals and families touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

McDermott is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and has been featured in Security Boulevard, TechRepublic, IT Visionaries, APM Digest, Inside BigData, DevPro Journal, IT Toolbox and more. He  holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a Masters in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America. 

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