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Cyber Security Threat, Risk and Control Assessment

A threat and risk assessment aids cybersecurity planning and can uplift your cyber security resilience, read why it should be the starting point for your IT strategy.

Effective cyber strategies are crucial for the protection of any organisation’s sensitive data and intellectual property. Yet, when it comes to building and delivering a cyber program on-time and on-budget, organisations are challenged by varying approaches to identifying and prioritising risks and difficulties in aligning cross-disciplinary teams.

Senior leaders are frustrated with incomplete information and lack of progress, and therefore, doubt the accuracy of their cyber position.

This is where undertaking a cyber security threat and risk assessment can help.

The typical approaches to cyber programs

Cybersecurity managers typically approach cyber security planning in two ways: through professional judgement or by simply following a vendor driven roadmap. However, a threat and risk assessment, is a more robust way to uplift security posture.

Let’s explore each of these approaches in more detail:

  1. Subjective approach

The subjective approach to cybersecurity planning involves the cybersecurity managers solely relying on their knowledge and experience to develop a cybersecurity strategy. This approach relies on the manager’s (often) subjective, professional judgment and varying decision-making skills to prioritise risk mitigation.

Usually this is done to save time, or it could also be due to the lack of resources.  The resulting cybersecurity strategy may not be comprehensive or deliver the optimal ROI, and it may be difficult to get buy-in from business and IT stakeholders.

When talking to senior leaders they will often need to use scare tactics, or maturity benchmarks to justify the spend.

  1. Vendor roadmap approach

The vendor roadmap approach to cybersecurity planning involves following a pre-designed cybersecurity strategy or plan provided by a technology vendor, or continuing to buy the latest products that a vendor has released.

Similarly, this is done to save time, or to reduce complexity of cybersecurity tooling. Again, the resulting cyber security strategy may not consider the unique needs and challenges of the organisation. It also means focusing on large implementation projects rather than a series of smaller tactical changes that may optimise return on investment.

The conversation with senior leaders will often be quite technical and without a demonstrated risk or business justification.

Business leaders are becoming more tech and cyber-savvy, and may also be challenging the strategy based on what they are seeing in their other Board roles or industry relationships.

At Avocado, we take away these challenges by helping quantify risks in business terms, helping produce a remediation portfolio return-on-investment, and helping deliver cyber security projects with certainty.

  1. The threat and risk assessment– a better way to uplifting security resilience.

A Cyber Security threat and risk assessment (TRA) undertaken by Avocado can give organisations a more objective and risk driven approach to cybersecurity planning that aligns with their unique business and technology risk, control environment, and risk-appetite.

A threat and risk assessment is a process used to identify, assess, and prioritise potential threats and vulnerabilities to an organisation’s information assets, and to develop financially justified strategies to mitigate those risks.

The threat and risk assessment process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Identify assets: Identify the information assets within an organisation, including data, hardware, software, and systems, including ‘crown jewels’.
  2. Identify threats: Identify the potential threats that may affect the organisation’s information assets, including external, internal and supply chain threats.
  3. Assess risks: Evaluate the likelihood and impact of each identified threat on the organisation’s information assets in financial terms. This involves determining the potential consequences of each threat, including financial, operational, and reputational impacts.
  4. Prioritise controls: Prioritise remediation actions based on the contribution of controls changes or baskets of control changes to the quantified risk (a dollar-value risk return on investment). This allows the organisation to focus on the most impactful remediation activities and allocate resources accordingly.
  5. Develop cyber roadmaps: Develop an annual cyber security investment roadmap that incorporates priority remediation, planned technology uplifts, and compliance or certification objectives.

Our threat, risk and control assessments provide a more robust cybersecurity strategy, by:

  • Building a comprehensive understanding of your threat and control landscape.
  • Quantifying your risks in dollar value terms.
  • Determining your optimal remediation activities, bringing together your IT and cyber roadmaps.
  • Helping build business cases for the necessary investments.

We start by analysing your current controls and determining the dollar value risk of their impact on the business. We then prioritise your cybersecurity initiatives alongside IT priorities and bring the entire IT roadmap for the year together. This roadmap provides a clear picture of what you need to do, rather than what you think you need to do. Business leaders can filter risk scenarios to those worth considering in detail and prioritise risks with confidence.

If your board has a high-level understanding of their gaps and roadmap, we can work with you to articulate a detailed roadmap that is financially justifiable. Our approach allows organisations to align their cybersecurity and IT strategies with their overall business objectives and implement cost-effective solutions that are tailored to their specific needs.

Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the overall business strategy is crucial for any organisation. Undertaking a TRA can help identify specific cybersecurity gaps and prioritise initiatives that are financially justifiable and aligns with business and IT objectives. By working with Avocado, you can have a clear roadmap that helps you focus on what you want and need to do, with a clear roadmap to get you there.

Find out more

To learn more about how our services and solutions can help you, take a look around the website, email or call your local Avocado office Sydney (02) 8905 0198 | Melbourne (03) 8640 9021

Read our related resources to learn more about Threat and Risk Assessments

Threat and Risk Assessment – A better way to uplifting security resilience

Remediating security and privacy risks in a complex environment

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