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  • Writer's pictureM. Bohnel

Exploring the Relationship Between Cyber Risks, Threats and Controls

In this first of a series of blogs on Cyber Risk and Threats, we look at the challenges businesses are facing.

The risk of succumbing to a Cyberattack is probably greater now than it has ever been. With massively heightened geopolitical tensions, increased adoption of technology, changing regulatory landscape and complex global supply chains to grapple with, organisations have never had a more complex and changing set of risks to manage.

Cybercrime continues to grow, with the number and severity of Cyberattacks more than doubling since the pandemic. Furthermore, and probably more worrying the ramifications of being the victim of a Cyberattack are also growing with financial losses increasing and for some unfortunate businesses jeopardising their entire existence.

No business seems safe, with health providers and charities as likely to be attacked as financial organisations. It is not hyperbole that the Global Risks Report, 2023, rates Cyber warfare and Economic conflict as more serious threats to stability than the risks of Military confrontation.

So, what can be done? This question is vexing Board Rooms across the globe as they try and navigate their way through these incredibly stormy waters. While organisations have little influence over the information security risks they face in conducting their business activities and even less influence over Cybercrime they do have control over the processes and safeguards they employ to protect their information assets.

Cyber Risk Management is not a black art as it is generally portrayed within the media. Sure, there are complexities at the technology level and complexities related to scale but in essence the methodologies and approach to risk more broadly, used successfully across other business sectors (airline industry, facilities management, etc.), are also applicable to managing Cyber Risk.

We talk a lot about structure, order, and rigor at Caveris as our experiences of managing technology risks at large-scale have been predicated on these essential foundations. However, it should be noted - there have been many well-publicised examples of organisations who have experienced data breaches where the root cause was cited as “failure to take reasonable care in the steps required to secure their information assets”. The application of more rigorous and consistent processes and controls would have prevented a large percentage (prevented the majority) of these occurrences.

Even organisations with mature IT security departments fail to effectively manage their security risks well because the information provided to senior managers and the Board is not meaningful (typically too little or too much) and, more importantly, does not provide a clear basis for action and a mechanism for measuring progress against these critical actions. This can have major consequences for businesses because at the board level they do not understand clearly where they are exposed and what investments are required on an ongoing basis to protect the organisation.

Here at Caveris we see every day that even when investment is made into Cyber defences, without structure and order the enforcement of security can only ever be haphazard at best. Unfortunately, with the scale and complexity of today’s technology infrastructures the consistent application of Cyber Protection Measures is a major challenge for a lot of organisations with the inevitable outcome being they become another dry statistic.

In the following blogs, we shall show how we at Caveris are helping businesses a) achieve this consistency, b) gain visibility of their exposure to cyber threats and c) keep senior management continually informed into how effective Cyber Protection Measures are being enforced across their organisations so they can make informed risk decisions based upon incontestable evidence.

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