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Risk management plan – What it is for?

While data protection is a priority for every organization, its complexities and dynamism pose a significant implementation challenge. Malicious criminals always devise new tactics to compromise your data which can lead to data breach within your IT supply chain.

Definition of Risk Management Process

Risk management is a process that involves risk identification, analysis, and mitigation. You’ll be required to make a list of these risks to enable you to have a holistic view of the entire process.

The process begins with assessing your storage, transmission, and sharing of information. You should critically evaluate the potential risks that you’re likely to encounter with the current data handling processes. Ensure that you make a comprehensive list of how these practices can affect the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of your data.

Once you have the list of potential avenues for data breaches, you should document the probability of such risks occurring. This will help you to rank them based on the urgency thus ensuring top prioritization in mitigation procedures.

Finally, it’s crucial that you use these lists to create a document that will highlight your decision on whether to accept, reject, transfer, or mitigate these risks. Ensure that you provide proper reasoning to support your conclusion.

Analyzing the Potential Effects of a Risk Event

When examining the impacts of risk within the context of security, you should classify the risks into several categories. You should use statistics and estimated impacts when categorizing these risks. The following groups exist:

Vendor Data Breach. These are risks that are introduced to your organization by a vendor. Data from the Ponemon Institute shows that approximately 56% of all the data breaches in 2017 arose from third-party vendors. Annually, organizations pay an estimated $7,350,000 as fines and remediation.

Malicious Attacks. A report by Verizon Data Breach Insights showed that approximately 73% of cyber-attacks in 2018 arose from criminal groups who are highly organized and sophisticated. In some instances, the report showed that there exist nation-state affiliated actors who can either lead to a denial of service or data breaches.

Insider Issues. Risks associated with individuals with precise knowledge of an organization’s operating systems. The report by Verizon showed that end-users and system administrators accounted for a significantly high number of data breach cases. From the 277 insider problems, the two groups accounted for 134 cases. Also, social engineering accounted for huge 1,450 incidents!

What is the Importance of Risk Assessment Matrix?

Risk assessment gives you an opportunity to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative aspects of risk analysis which combines guesstimate and probability of risks occurrence. While an event may be unlikely to occur, you should note that its presence may have a significantly large impact on the operations of the company. Determining how to prioritize in such cases can be complex making it necessary to have a risk assessment matrix.

With the matrix, you’ll perform a risk analysis across a full spectrum which gives you an opportunity to focus on the most severe risks first while addressing the other risks later.

The Process of Applying a Project Management Approach to a Cybersecurity Risk Management Plan

There are several similarities between a security-first approach and project management. First, you should detail all the risks by testing the operations of your data protection mechanisms. You will achieve this by using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

A project should integrate both internal and external stakeholders to help them understand the goals and timelines of the project. Similarly, the chief information officer should involve the c-suite and departmental managers in monitoring vendor management and cybersecurity activities.

The WBS will organize the responsibilities of internal stakeholders through assigning of tasks and subtasks. Within the security systems, you should regularly review the standards and regulations to ensure compliance.

How to Use Project Management to Create Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation Strategies

You can imagine the efficiency that will come along having your CISO as the leader of IT team members in security management. You can use project management practices to develop effective security strategies.

In project management, you’re required to name a project. Similarly, cyber security requires that you determine all the standards and regulations that will align your controls. You should review the risks, establish mitigation controls, monitor the threats and offer a remedy to security events.

Just like in project management, you should prepare all the documents for planning and continuity reasons. Also, you should develop the necessary software and hardware to monitor your security situation continually.

Use of Technology to Integrate Project Management Approach to Cybersecurity Risk Management

Risk management can be overwhelming and time-consuming. It requires that you prepare documents during the analysis and evaluation of various threats.

The use of technology and modern software automation can significantly simplify the entire process by streamlining the workflow. It coordinates communication among all the stakeholders and helps in real-time monitoring of risks as well as the delivery of real-time reports. It also simplifies the audit system!

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Editor’s Note: Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at


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