Hackernoon logoTaking a Risk-Based Approach to Cybersecurity by@Ayodele

Taking a Risk-Based Approach to Cybersecurity

Ayodele Johnson Hacker Noon profile picture

@AyodeleAyodele Johnson

Digital PR Expert, Tech Enthusiast and founder at activelinkpro.

Using a risk-based approach to cybersecurity means that ensuring your security team is essentially concerned about the reduction of your organisation vulnerability in case of any cyberattack.

Starting a risk-based approach, you have to understand your business critical data, who might be able to corrupt it and how is it possible to do that.

Having a genuine understanding of the meaning of risk-based is very important. What does it mean to be risk-based? It means considering risk above all other factors in your organisation.

It can also be defined as a systematic method that identifies, and prioritizes threats facing the organisation.

Organisations approach cybersecurity from many perspectives and, as a result, adopt different strategies for identifying and fulfilling security control objectives.

Organisations have different needs for cybersecurity and embrace different strategies for identifying security control objectives. I will suggest you take a fresh perspective on your company's cybersecurity complaince.

Most companies' approach to cybersecurity is to fill in gaps and meet short time needs but often forget to take a long-term strategic approach that leaves the company well secured to deal with future threats. 

Ways to take a risk-Based approach to cybersecurity

Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is really an essential part of risk-based cybersecurity because it relies on accurate risk knowledge. This means your idea of knowledge should be based on facts rather than trends and opinions. In this kind of world where IT security is fast-moving, data must be up-to-date. This is where continuous monitoring is introduced.

Don't forget that security ratings are one popular option for Continuous monitoring cybersecurity risk. Ratings that come from a service like BitSight provide insight into concession systems, user behavior, and other factors that increase a company's risk exposure. These perceptions are arranged into one representative number, updated daily, and also as grades in different risk sectors.

This also creates the opportunity where employees can raise issues, notify the organisation and access the damage to the exploitation and also create an escalation path for difficult stakeholders and ensure consistency in control adaptation.

Ensure you take a risk-based rather than compliance first approach to your cybersecurity program because it has a lot of benefits like prioritized gaps, a stronger cycle for addressing new risks and tailored controls.

Conduct a Business Impact Analysis 

Business impact analysis known as BIA helps in the identification and documentation of critical business processes and their underlying dependencies. It also helps in accessing and ranking them based on their criticality.

BIA  shows how keystone functions will affect business continuity if they are eliminated.

Before creating a business continuity and disaster recovery plans, conducting a business impact analysis is the first step you should take because it helps in understanding your environment and letting you know what is important before taking steps to protect it.


Many businesses' cybersecurity strategies are receptive instead of being preventive or proactive. An organisation shouldn’t wait until it suffers a cyberattack to find out where lack of perceptions and weaknesses are. Instead, organisations should invest in testing, and threat intelligence so that you can detect and stop a cyber-attack before it causes damage.

All businesses should ensure they think ahead, think about and plan for the future. These are all that is expected of a company if they don't want to come across cyberattacks.

Test, Validate & Report

Once your security has been installed, they need to be tested and validated to be sure of perfect use. There are different types of testing and that includes additional risk assessment, business continuity exercises, internal audit and penetration test.

Testing and validating will not only give you confidence that your controls are working and providing the needed security, but when periodically reassessed, it also provides opportunities to incorporate newly implemented security controls.

Don't forget your testing and validating should be documented and also be reported. It helps in demonstrating your progress to executive leadership, and also lays the foundation of creating gap escalation processes.

Saves you money

Risk-based approach can help an organisation access ROI cybersecurity projects and avoid spending on tools that are not valuable to the company or not returning value. Many organisations have spent millions on cybersecurity software, only to find out user error or an unprepared third party. This will save a company from going through all those scenarios and help in getting the exact one without a waste of time and money.

By using tools like BitSight to assist with their security performance management, a company can develop the skills to assess and prioritize their security program in-house, continuously. Most importantly, however, this approach may be better at reducing an organisation’s chances of experiencing a data breach.

In conclusion, a risk-based approach is the best way to protect you from a cyberattack, therefore saving you the related costs and the reputation damage.


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