#CybersecurityFirst: How Integrated Risk Management can help you make cybersecurity a priority and become cyber resilient

With Cybersecurity Awareness Month coming to an end, and having explored a variety of topics such as how to prevent attacks such as ransomware, phishing and the benefits of a centralised approach to Enterprise Risk Management, we’re looking at this final week’s theme, Cybersecurity First, with an enriched perspective. The ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity threats and challenges has led us to this week’s topic – Integrated Risk Management (IRM).

There is no denying that cybersecurity challenges are growing in numbers and climbing on the list of urgency for businesses. With 2021’s number of reported data breaches already exceeding 2020’s by now, it’s no surprise that “cybersecurity was ranked as a top 10 risk by every surveyed sector and for all job roles, including chief financial officers, CEOs and chief people officers”, according to an Aon 2021 Global Risk Management Survey.

To make matters worse, new cybersecurity threats are emerging and existing ones are increasing in complexity, placing organizations of all types at continual risk. An article by a Cybersecurity Professor from the University of San Diego effectively summarized these keys challenges, pointing to emerging trends in 2020 that we can see backed-up now.

Key cybersecurity challenges – an ever-expanding list

The types of new and increasingly prominent trends that the University of San Diego article identified (as below) are indeed still as relevant if not more in 2021 and will most likely continue to be:

  • Phishing is getting more sophisticated and ransomware strategies are evolving (as we also highlighted in our recent blogs on phishing and ransomware)
  • Cryptojacking, cyber-physical attacks, state-sponsored attacks, despite being relatively new threats, are becoming worryingly prominent
  • The increased risk exposure from Third Parties (Vendors, Contractors, Partners) is thriving in a interconnected world with businesses depending more and more on each other
  • Internet of Things (IoT) attacks are becoming more prevalent as more types of devices are connected to the IoT, accumulating and potentially exposing a wider variety of data
  • Privacy and safety concerns around Smart Medical Devices and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) pose a novel challenge to an industry already under constant threat of deadly disruption, with connected cars and semi-autonomous vehicles in a similar situation
  • The severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals is persisting, increasing the likelihood of attacks occurring in the first place as well as of the inability for the organization to ‘bounce back’ from it – known as a lack of cyber resilience

It’s only logical, then, that an ever-expanding and increasingly complex list of threats to guard against requires an appropriate, or rather proportional, strategy to manage them effectively.

Why traditional GRC is falling short and how IRM can help

Up until quite recently, we’ve seen a certain way of managing cyber risk and information security, based on the traditional methodology of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) be lauded as the best and only way to take control of cybersecurity. And indeed, this approach has encouraged many positive, foundational steps toward managing cyber threats around the globe, and has laid a solid foundation for IRM to build on.

First and foremost, GRC methodologies have laid the groundwork for better awareness of the organization-wide consequences of bad cybersecurity, and provided a good starting point for internal systems and processes aiming to protect organizations against a variety of risks while complying with frameworks, standards and regulations. However, there are blank spots in our new digital world that only an IRM approach can adequately address.

As we’re witnessing the undeniable impact of ever-evolving cyber threats, it has become increasingly evident that traditional ways of managing cyber risk and information security compliance in the ‘Digital Era’ are not enough. Siloed and legacy governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions cannot meet the rigorous demands of today’s market and protect organizations against these.

Like we have pointed out in previous blogs this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, to improve resilience and achieve long term objectives, organizations require a holistic view of risk and compliance across all business units as well as the supply chain. Traditional GRC fails to offer this view, which is why many leading companies are turning to Integrated Risk Management (IRM).

Table image comparing the features of traditional GRC versus Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

Risk-based integrated cybersecurity is cybersecurity first

By adopting IRM, organizations can deliver efficient and actionable risk mitigation strategies that align with business objectives. More importantly, it puts focus on the unique set of risks faced by the organization – something that a compliance-based approach does not.

All of this supports effective prioritization of risks and can help justify cybersecurity budgets and resource spend, bringing cybersecurity to the forefront.

To help you better understand why you should consider an IRM solution, we have put together an infographic highlighting some key benefits.

And if you’d like more detail on how IRM could help your organization, speak to our experts or request a demo of our award-winning IRM platform.