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Digital Risk Management: What It Is and How to Protect Your Organization

Organizations worldwide look to embrace the latest digital technologies and become increasingly competitive in the global economy. In this process, they find themselves in a situation where digital risk becomes the most significant facet of overall business risk.

As more and more organizations become 100% digital, every aspect of business risk becomes tied to digital risk. Managing digital risk is about understanding the implications of introducing the latest technologies into the business and making sure these technologies are introduced safely and responsibly.

Whether you're trying to address cyber threats, mitigate the risk of third-party interference, or manage a mobile workforce, digital risk should be your utmost concern.

Below, you will learn how to pick the best cybersecurity company to help you manage digital risk and the critical aspects of a successful digital risk management framework. But first, let's briefly talk about the differences between digital risk and cyber risk.

Digital Risk Management vs. Cyber Risk Management

The term digital risk management refers to the process of utilizing digital technology to improve the evaluation and monitoring of risks, including operational risk, third-party breaches, cybersecurity risk, etc.

For example, mitigating cyber threats, managing your cyber security operation center, and preventing data breaches are all within the realm of cyber risk management. However, there are other aspects of digital risk management that go beyond cyber security.

Overall, we believe that new technologies will come in and will initially have to be managed under the umbrella of digital risk. Over time, many aspects of digital risk will transform into a creative confluence of how you deal with risk in general.

How to Outsource Digital Risk Management

The top cybersecurity companies offer impressive technology and service portfolios that can help organizations manage the risk of their digital transformation.

At a broad level, if you want to manage your digital risk, you must think about cyber risk quantification and what contributes to your overall risk posture. It is about predicting what could happen and preventing it.

If you want to measure risk and assess it, you need to continuously track the security state of your exposed assets. The simple truth is that you cannot measure or evaluate what you cannot see. This is where visibility comes into play.

Cybersecurity metrics are undoubtedly critical in that realm, but tracking these metrics is not sufficient. To make full use of them, you'll have to obtain meaningful insights.

This means applying analytics to your digital footprint and applying your specific business context to the metrics you've gathered so you can prioritize and focus on the most immediate threats.

Ultimately, visibility has to lead to action. How do you act based on the insights that you've obtained?

If you can identify the exposed assets and take the necessary actions, such as keeping your incident report plan updated and securing access to all exposed resources, you will be able to reduce your risk.

Professional cybersecurity companies offer service portfolios that address these elements in a more streamlined way. Working with these companies enables you to:

  • Manage fraud in financial institutions and eCommerce sites
  • Manage digital identities and address a growing, increasingly mobile workforce
  • Gain insight into your critical IT assets
  • Manage risk in general
  • Understand how to create a program that helps you address all facets of business risk

Another aspect of digital risk management is ensuring that the cybersecurity company you've chosen will remain a trusted partner throughout your digital transformation journey. You're looking for an organization that can provide consultative capabilities on top of the products/services it offers.

The reality, however, is that even if you outsource your digital security to the most qualified company, you're still vulnerable unless you take proactive steps to educate yourself and your team members on the critical elements of digital risk management. This is the only way to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly digital future.

Managing Digital Risk in 2022 and Beyond

Digital risk management is all about mitigating digital risks and allowing your digital transformation to proceed without harm. It involves anticipating and mitigating digital risks associated with new technologies before implementing them.

There is inefficiency in managing all categories of risk equally because not all risks affect business objectives in the same way. Focusing on the most critical risks affecting the digital health of your organization is a more efficient approach.

Top priority should be given to data leaks, cyberattacks, and third-party risks, because their exploitation results in devastating consequences and affects all other types of digital risk.

With a strong focus on these top digital risk priorities, the following digital risk management framework offers an efficient distribution of effort.

1. Recognize All Exposed Assets

Identifying all vulnerable assets is the first step to managing digital risks. One way to do this is to watch your digital footprint. You can think of your digital footprint as the map of your organization's externally visible digital assets. It represents how cybercriminals perceive your ecosystem and all the vulnerabilities they might exploit.

Experts from Digital Silk will confirm you that any digital solutions your company incorporates are part of your digital footprint, and thus, potential gateways for cyber attackers. These include:

  • SaaS products
  • ERP applications
  • Databases
  • IT systems

In addition to employers, contractors, and customers, your stakeholders include all users of your IT infrastructure. Often, stakeholders are tricked into becoming gateways for threat injections through phishing emails. Cyber hygiene education can mitigate this risk.

Listed below are the other most common cyberattack methods. Read up on each of them and educate your team members and clients on how to avoid them:

Once all vulnerable assets have been identified, the details of their vulnerabilities can be investigated to predict potential exploitation attempts. Discover which vulnerabilities are likely to be exploited by consulting the existing threat methodologies. Examples include:

  • OCTAVE
  • VAST Modelling
  • Trike
  • Quantitative Threat Modelling
  • hTMM
  • Security Cards
  • Persona Non-Grata
  • Attack Trees
  • CVSS
  • LINDDUN
  • PASTA
  • STRIDE

Ask your cybersecurity company about their attack surface monitoring solution. It allows you to identify all asset vulnerabilities instantly, saving you time.

2. Prepare an Incident Response Plan

Instead of preventing cyber threats, effective digital risk management enables organizations to maintain control when confronted with them. A clear Incident Response Plan (IRP) can help you prepare for breaches.

Each cyber threat scenario should be described in your IRP, which is a handbook outlining specific responses. Creating an outline of your IRP will be easier if you use the list of potential cyberattacks presented in the previous step.

Get a foundational understanding of cyberattack stages using the MITRE ATT&CK framework if you are unfamiliar with cyberattack strategies. You can identify the right indicators for each attack stage by doing so.

3. Minimize your Attack Surface

Cybersecurity

As the name implies, the attack surface is the list of all attack vectors, or possible points, through which a cybercriminal can access and extract data from a system. The smaller the attack surface, the easier a system is to protect.

While the expansion of the attack surface is an inevitable consequence of digital transformation, the goal should be to keep this expansion to a minimum. If you want to reduce your attack surface, you need to identify all asset vulnerabilities in your ecosystem.

Analyze your internal infrastructure as well as your network of external vendors. Nearly 60% of all data breaches occur when third parties are compromised, so make sure to analyze the vendor attack surface with a fine-mesh filter.

A data breach is less likely to occur if an attacker has fewer options. You can also reduce your attack surface with the following methods:

  • Using multi-factor authentication
  • Implementing strict authentication policies
  • Disconnecting data backups from network access
  • Setting up multiple ,a href="/firewall">firewalls on your network
  • Monitor All Network Traffic

Ensure all network traffic is monitored and strict access controls are in place for sensitive assets.

Through the Principle of Least Privilege (PLOP), network access is restricted to those who need it. Secure Privileged Access Management (PAM) should be used to protect these policies.

Rather than just being reactive when cyber threats arise, digital risk management should be proactive in detecting exploitation attempts before they occur. You can be notified of any reconnaissance campaigns through honeytokens deployed on all access points.

You can use this intelligence to design bespoke defenses for each breach attempt.

4. Keep Monitoring Your Attack Surface

All exposed assets should be mapped out along with their specific vulnerabilities to implement a threat detection solution with particular attention paid to social media.

Social media attacks have become a common occurrence. This is because the adoption of social media is necessary for digital transformation, and threat actors know that legacy cyber defense frameworks cannot provide sufficient protection.

Most cybersecurity companies can provide real-time analysis of your entire security posture by monitoring your internal and vendor network. However, to manage the digital risk associated with data breaches, another threat detection methodology is required - data leak detection.

Any unintentional exposure of sensitive information can be classified as a data leak. A cybercriminal who discovers a data leak could use it to launch a devastating data breach. Some solutions can detect data leaks on the web to be fixed before the leaked data is used for a violation.

Since digital risks are new to the risk management landscape, it is difficult to predict their development. Parallel deployment of multiple threat detection systems maximizes the chances of effective digital risk management.

Deploying an attack surface monitoring solution in parallel with a data leak detection engine protects exposed assets through the most comprehensive threat monitoring.

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