There is no one size fits all when it comes to cyber security – you cannot uncover your potential risks purely through comparison to another business. That’s where risk profiles come in.
A risk profile is the result of a comprehensive analysis of your business that will allow you to uncover what risks are most pertinent to you and prepare for them.
Your risk profile is just as unique as you are. Knowing what risks pertain to your business is paramount to keeping your operation running smoothly, staying compliant, and protecting your clients, your staff and yourself.
Not having full awareness over your risk profile means it’s likely you’re not providing the protection your business requires and are therefore left susceptible to the serious consequences of a security breach.
The (Unquantified) risk of the unknown
Many businesses have at least some awareness surrounding the risks they face and may think this limits their need to assess their current risk profile. However, a risk profile is not just something for businesses with limited risk awareness. In fact, risk profiles aren’t about the risks you’re aware of – they’re about the ones you don’t know exist.
To understand your risks completely, you need to assess all elements of your business:
- People – who is using your systems?
- Process - is how your systems used introducing or increasing risk?
- Technology – what systems do you have in place with specific risk opportunities?
- Web presence – are your systems based online?
- Remote access – do you have staff who access your system remotely?
- Subcontractors – do you have a lot of staff coming and going?
- Service providers – who has access to your systems?
And these are just some of the aspects of business that can affect your level of risk. Depending on your type of business, some of these won’t be applicable to you. However, they all need to be treated as potential risk factors and assessed accordingly.
If you haven’t assessed these elements, are you sure you’re still comfortable with your current risk profile? Ask yourself – am I seeing the complete picture?
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to cyber security - are you looking at all of them?
When 'Good enough' isn't good enough
Sure, it sounds helpful. But is a risk profile really necessary? The short answer is: YES.
Without a clear risk profile, you’re left with only two options to approach cyber security:
- ‘Cover all bases’
- This approach is used to cover all potential risks, without knowing what they are. This requires a large amount of time and money to implement processes that will protect from as many risks as possible – even the ones that aren’t pertinent to your business
- ‘She’ll be right’
- This approach is used by businesses who believe that they are immune to risk, or the risks aren’t real. This means businesses under-prepare or ignore the risks, leaving their systems vulnerable to being compromised.
Neither of these approaches can adequately protect your system from a security breach. A compromised system brings with it a multitude of bad-for-business consequences, including:
- Reputational damage
- Loss of sales and revenue
- System downtime
- Public breach reports
- Loss of customer confidence
A risk profile is necessary if you care about protecting your business from excessive costs and damage. Responding to a breach will cost you a lot more than preventing one.
Is your security approach big enough for the job?
Interrupt your risks, not your business
Assessing, understanding and staying on top of your risk profile is simpler than it may sound. In fact, creating your risk profile and using it to build a safer business takes just two steps:
- Understand what your risks are
Consider all the elements of your business, and what potential risks they pose to your cyber security
- Implement effective, low impact mitigation measures
Once your risks are clear, you can more effectively configure existing technology to mitigate them, rather than changing the way you go about day-to-day operations
These two simple steps can reduce your risks without impacting the way you do business and save you the cost of implementing processes that are unnecessary or wrongly focused.
Once you have an accurate risk profile, you’ll have visibility across your whole organisation, as well as peace of mind that you’re constantly aware and prepared.
Not sure where to start?
Security Centric are an Australian trusted provider of cyber security. Their complete risk assessment includes extensive risk profiling to ensure full transparency across the specific risks facing your business.
If you would like to talk to an expert about your cyber security needs, or to book a risk assessment, get in touch today.