To actively address the growing number of threats, organizations must work to create an effective risk remediation strategy across their entire network ecosystem. In this article, we’ll explain what cyber remediation risk management is and some of the challenges it faces right now.
What Is Remediation Risk Management (RRM)
Remediation risk management is a process that ensures the risks associated with remediation are minimized. This process includes identification of all the risks, prioritization of these risks, and implementation of controls to address these risks.
The remediation risk management process can be broken down into two phases:
- Identification and prioritization of high-risk issues
- Implementation of controls to address high-risk issues
Cyber risk remediation identifies, assesses, and mitigates cyber threats that could potentially harm an organization. The process of cyber risk remediation is a continuous one, which means that it will never be completed.
The goal of cyber risk remediation, at its core, is to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems and networks. This process can take many forms depending on the type of organization involved as well as the type and severity of the vulnerabilities.
Nevertheless, at its root, all risk remediations can be broken down into two primary types—preventive and reactive.
Preventive measures, as the name implies, are aimed at preventing the cyber attack from happening, while reactive measures are focused on the aftermath of an attack. The former is focused on fortifying and shoring up your defenses, identifying and prioritizing weaknesses, such as access points, and making sure it’s harder for an attacker to storm your systems.
This in turn makes your network less attractive to them. Reactive measures, meanwhile, take into account that you will – given today’s statistics in which most companies are hit by a cyber-attack at least once a year – will have a breach. This is inevitable. Why?
Simply because currently, we live in a shark-infested digital maelstrom — attackers due to their tech have become apex predators, the water is full of chum since, and companies, given today’s pressure to have cold-based services and have continuous access to the net, have no other choice but to go swimming in this pool.
There’s a huge likelihood that you will get bitten. Reactive remediation makes understanding this and implements a triage protocol. That way, when it does occur you can continue operating, have no serious downtime issues, and can deal with the consequences without having to shut down your business and sacrifice profits.
What Does the Remediation Risk Management Include?
The remediation risk management process is designed to help organizations identify, assess, and manage the risks that could affect their objectives. The process includes identifying the potential risks, assessing them for severity and probability of occurrence, developing a plan for managing them, and implementing that plan.
For it to be effective, it must have a systematic and structured approach — one that reaches across the aisles, links up different departments, and demands that they work together. RRM is collaborative and all components of an organization must relate to and help each other out.
There are multiple ways a risk management process can be instituted, each consulting firm takes into account different components, but at the very least they should incorporate the following.
Process of documenting and prioritizing potential risks your company might be exposed to. During this process, it’s critical to not only ID current risks but to make a forward-thinking prognosis that takes into account further risks that might emerge given today’s trends.
Once you’ve ID all those risks, it’s important to make a clear assessment of the likelihood of them occurring and their potential impact. Divide these risks by their priority — either from serious to minor or high to low, depending on their disruptive ability. For example, a risk might have a serious impact on your business, but for different reasons, there is a low likelihood of it taking place.
During this stage, your company has to begin to implement action plans on how to solve or mitigate these weaknesses. How to bulk up your defenses. What tools to employ? What type of training your employee might need? What protocols to implement.
What if you’re hit? Some plans simply fail on first contact with the enemy. How can you reduce your exposure? Create a redundancy plan in case you are breached.
This is a never-ending battle. Risks change over time Hackers evolve. New tech comes out. What was once considered a minor risk can grow into a monster. It’s important to always be on your toes, and implement continuous vigilance practices.
The Challenges of Today’s Risk-Based Remediation
The world is changing and so are the risks. RRM is at a crossroads, right now, because the old model was not working. Cyber consulting companies are updating the protocols.
The challenges of today’s risk-based remediation are:
- It did not take into account emerging threats that have surfaced in the last decade such as terrorism, cyberattacks, and natural disasters.
- The risk assessments were outdated and did not include any of these emerging threats.
- It did not take into account all possible consequences of a disaster or attack, which can lead to more damage than necessary if it was handled differently.
- There was no standard protocol for how to handle a disaster or attack which can lead to chaos during a crisis situation.
The Benefits of Implementing the Remediation Risk Management Strategy
There are many benefits to an RRM strategy amongst them, aside from creating better, more secure products and having a more fortified business, you also reduce the risk of being exposed to a lawsuit by implementing a set of policies and procedures that are designed to prevent the company from making any mistakes.
RRM saves you money, by safeguarding your profits, and minimizing your liabilities.
How to Prepare to Implement the Remediation Risk Management Strategy?
A key aspect of this strategy is changing the mindset of your employees. It’s all about collaboration and sometimes, across so many departments, this effort gets diluted. Some of the ways an organization can do this are by implementing a risk management strategy, using risk assessment tools to identify risks, creating training seminars, and using a risk management plan to mitigate the identified risks.
It’s important to automate as much. Once these steps have been taken, an organization should review its remediation plan on a regular basis. This will allow them to make any necessary changes or adjustments as needed.