By: Sean McDermott
Cybersecurity risk management is on the C-suite agenda, especially with rising breaches and soaring 2 trillion dollars spent on payouts and cybersecurity initiatives in 2020, according to estimates from McAfee.
Business leaders want to know what they are up against and how much it will cost if a breach does occur – this helps with budgeting, planning, and strategizing. Cybersecurity is no longer a “nice thing to have,” but an investment. To integrate it correctly, it is imperative to quantify the financial impact of cybersecurity spend in relation to all business operations. However, CIOs and CISOs need effective tools to prove the value of cybersecurity programs and how they translate to risk.
Use the right tools to bridge the gap between business and security
Security initiatives are associated more with business initiatives. For this reason, cybersecurity leaders must come prepared to the board room table with quantifiable data on their security risk. This begins with a comprehensive audit of the security stack.
It is easier said than done for a CIO or CISO to assess cybersecurity risks and pinpoint areas that need to be addressed. A single-point inspection begins with comparing the security stack to cybersecurity standards (NIST, ISO, COBIT). You have to know what is in your stack and how each tool or program is deployed, including any updates, features, or functionalities. This task becomes time-consuming and tedious if done manually. A CIO or CISO must have the right cyber risk quantification (CRQ) tools to first find cybersecurity blind spots. Blind spots are a gap in the stack’s ability to cover a priority control.
Tools should do the following:
- Compare Stack features against Standards (NIST SP 800-53, ISO 27002, COBIT)
- Identify gaps in coverage and overlaps that can be eliminated to reduce costs
- Identify which tools should be used to fix cybersecurity risks and the impact on cost and coverage
CRQ begins with integrated tools that immediately identify gaps and quantify the risks associated with them. This not only presents agile, up-to-date data, but it can also mitigate a breach and aid in decisions around stack optimization and lowering costs.
Report on cyber liability with financial context
Numbers talk, especially in front of the executive board in charge of finance and budget. Business leaders don’t focus on access controls or security frameworks. They care about the customer experience and how it affects profitability. They care about their brand and reputation, factors that impact growth. To fund cybersecurity initiatives, managing cybersecurity executives must convince them that a proposed investment in cybersecurity moves those needles – or protects them from taking a hit.
With the green light to fund cybersecurity risk management initiatives, it is possible to fix cybersecurity risks with continuous monitoring to review, track, and prioritize items for risk mitigation. CIOs and CISOs unite teams under one umbrella with a 360-degree view of cybersecurity initiatives. With continuous monitoring, they come to board meetings with the right information to back up plans and clearly quantify their cybersecurity risk in terms everyone on the Board can understand.
Speak the language of the board
Security leaders need to transform the technical language of cybersecurity into financial language. Instead equate cyber risk to its impact on core business metrics, including digital transformation, corporate social responsibility, and a C-suite-friendly road map. By leveraging this framework to speak the same language as the board and provide the necessary business context, CIOs and CISOs can guide strategic conversations around managing cyber risk, prioritizing new technology investments, and measuring the ROI of those investments and their impact on specific controls or programs.
Get ahead of the next cybersecurity breach
The key to getting ahead of the next big breach is to Find, Fund, and Fix your Cybersecurity Risk Blind Spots.
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