Risk Management In Network Security
Information technology (IT) risk management requires companies to plan how to monitor, track, and manage security risks. Every business and organization connected to the internet need to consider their exposure to cybercrime.
Cybercrime is rampant: hackers and cybercriminals cost businesses $445 billion a year. Vulnerabilities on the internet allow criminals to steal money or data. Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to get in. Primarily, they gain access through an employee, a weak link in a system, or through another organization or business, and then steal sensitive information.
Risks to Organizational Networks
Many top executives worry about the threat of hackers and cybercriminals but are unsure what to do. The costs are large, and the threats seem unmanageable because dangers come from multiple directions.
But seeing these threats as random attacks that can only be stopped after they occur is an expensive view to take. There are approximately 1.4 cyberattacks per week, per organization. Depending on the type of attack, it takes between 2.6 to 53 days to mitigate the damage. The level of effort and expense to resolve attacks can be massive.
However, most attacks are coordinated and somewhat predictable. Cybercriminals often use the same methods of entry and similar types of attacks to steal data or money. The most common methods of entry are through employees allowing access (15% of attacks), stolen devices (13%), and the systems of other organizations in the supply chain (14%).
More and more cybercrimes are committed by larger organizations that employ a tactic known as spear phishing. This is the act of gaining entry through an employee’s account, posing as the employee, then getting further into the company. A variation of this type of attack is to pose as a member of management or authority figure, then transfer funds or data to an outside account. A third type of attack is when hackers gain access and hold data or a website and demand funds in return. A denial of service (DOS) attack can shut down a website for hours or days.
All of these attacks can be tracked and spotted as they develop. Because it is possible to monitor cybercrime, we can adapt to meet the challenges.
How to Approach Risk Management
So many organizations look at stop gap measures to protect their assets. However, risk management should take a more in-depth approach. When there is a risk, your organization can choose to:
- Avoid the risk by eliminating the possibility of an attack
- Reduce exposure to potential attack
- Spread the risk between other departments and organizations
- Retain and manage the risk each time it presents itself
There are multiple risks when it comes to cybercrime. Risk management should start with looking at the broader picture, then work towards reducing that list to a reasonable amount of risk.
But, cybercrime has overtaken such a large portion of time and expense for so many organizations and government groups it seems overwhelming. Therefore, we must think of productive ways to identify, prioritize and mitigate risk.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (ISO) helps organizations in developing their own risk management standards. They suggest that every company consider management methods that:
- Integrate into the overall organization’s schema
- Are all-inclusive and transparent
- Factor risk into all major decision-making
- Are systematic and structured, although a human error can occur
- Monitor continuously
The key to success for most companies is to look at a broad range of risk factors then rank them according to those that pose the greatest risk and are worth the effort to contain. Risk factors range from hackers getting into the money transfer system to employees losing mobile devices.
The next step is to establish methods to handle the prioritized risks. Some methods require expertise and technical interventions while others can be handled through training. Employee training is a great way to secure points of entry (such as mobile devices and WiFi usage) as well as have more eyes looking out for attacks.
When companies consider how to best manage security threats and cybercrime, one option is to hire a risk management firm. Depending on the severity and costs of risk factors, a private firm can offer basic security up to comprehensive and long-range risk management.
Solutions for Risk Management
Cybercrime doesn’t have to be an unstoppable force. And putting risk management plans in place does not have to be like putting a small dam in front of a wall of water. Despite the costs, governments and larger organizations are making gains. Some of these gains include:
- Understanding how to successfully analyze and evaluate risk factors
- Learning how to avoid or reduce risks
- Problem-solving to prevent or resolve cybercrime
- Working with other organizations to identify, prioritize, and prevent threats
Experience with cybercrime shows several methods that really are effective. There are resources available to most organizations, such as the ISO guidelines, statistical information and risk management software. N-able™ develops risk management software that helps MSPs minimize cybercrime and develop proactive IT strategies.
Keys to Successful Risk Management
- Continuous internal checks: Cybercriminals can attack vulnerable spots any time, so continuous monitoring within an organization’s network reduces the chances that criminals will get very far into a system.
- Segmentation of networks from data and other business functions: Once cybercriminals get into a system, they will search for nodes of data or ways to move money out of a business into their hands. Separating systems makes it easier to spot criminals and contain them more quickly.
- Collaboration with other organizations: Cybercriminals target all types of businesses and organizations, so communicating with others helps to create a community that checks for intrusions, reports attacks, and locates the sources of those attacks.
The N-able Advantage
N-able provides all the tools needed to manage networks and reduce risk with improved security. N-able software allows you to have a layered security solution that keeps businesses safe.
Cybercrime has an unpredictable element. Criminals look for weaknesses and points of entry that are easier to access. Any network system, because it is open, can be compromised if there aren’t preventions in place such as firewalls and anti-malware. We provide multiple layers of security to help you rest easy.
With N-able RMM, you get all the security tools you need to manage your network security, and best of all, it’s all available from a single dashboard: