Managing cyber risk and improving cyber security should be a strategic concern at all levels of the organization and should influence all digital growth strategies. Cyber risk has very real business and business risk implications. A critical step in managing this risk is building an awareness of the different types of threats and how to prevent them.

What Is Cyber Risk?

Cyber risk is the potential exposure to harm through an enterprise’s online presence, which can be anything from a web service to communication tools to social media accounts. While cyber security includes the prevention of data breaches, it also protects the organization from monetary, intellectual, and reputational loss.

How Your Cyber Risk Increases

As your business grows, so does your external attack surface. This growth opens you up to cyber risk from different vectors. Through connections with software-as-a-service platforms, third-party vendors (who then outsource to fourth-party vendors), hiring contractors, cloud migration, remote access, and others, your company is exposed to more and more risk.


Third-Party Vendors (And Beyond)

Even something as small as code for an email list signup can become a vulnerability for your organization. The vendor you work with may be completely safe and reputable, but their connected infrastructure may be the problem or even a source beyond that.

Image source tags, abandoned URLs, and other by-products of rapid online growth increase your risk. Many enterprises don’t know where to start when searching for these problems.


Public Cloud

The rise in the use of public cloud infrastructures has greatly improved the agility of a company to launch new services or adapt to changing business environments. With your data residing on someone else’s server, you are placing a significant amount of trust into their precautions and procedures to protect your information. While the expertise of the cloud provider often means cloud servers are more secure than an in-house server, shared data environments do create potential abuses.

The most common risk with cloud tools comes from misconfigurations and poor cloud management, including weak authentication, unnecessary administrative privileges, and misuse of public share links.


Internal Cyber Risk

While you may never be able to prevent an attack from a malicious, disgruntled employee completely, organizations can prevent unintended oversights with automatic updates to devices. If your team relies on employees to update their own devices with security patches, those employees will push it off until their device stops working. By that time, a hacker may have exploited the vulnerability and accessed your network through their laptop.

Another internal cyber risk comes when employees download company data to their personal devices. This download could result in stolen intellectual property or violation of customer privacy.

This is a legitimate form of cyber risk that is mentioned in all competitor educational materials on the topic. Because this is education content/ SEO content, it should be included even if it’s not something Cyberpion addresses specifically.

Limiting Cyber Risk To Your Organization

Controlling cyber risk is a top priority, not only for security teams but for all sectors of the business. As employees work from home on personal laptops, they open your business up to risk. Every growth initiative within the enterprise (most likely) relies on growth within your online presence or assets. Therefore, every department should be aware of the risk they’re incurring by adding new products or platforms.

This information is never to scare you into not growing a business but to better prepare your company to reach its full potential.

Prioritize & Eliminate Vulnerabilities

With cyber risk hiding behind every corner, prioritizing vulnerabilities is critical to securing your external attack surface and minimizing this risk. Having visibility into your security vulnerabilities is the first step in keeping your team productive and protecting your data.

Cyberpion’s External Attack Surface Assessment gives you a prioritized list of vulnerabilities and the best practices to remediate them quickly.


Develop Your Policies

Developing policies may seem like the easiest step towards managing cyber risk, but it’s still one of the most important. The only way to avoid unintentional insider breaches is continual education and safeguards in place.

Emphasizing the importance of protecting company intellectual property, using only protected tools, and choosing corporate-owned devices over bring-your-own plans, will significantly reduce your unintentional cyber vulnerabilities.


Managing Insider Cyber Risk

Insider Cyber Risk can be difficult to control, and your IT team may need to provide productivity tools for teams proactively. Some teams may take it upon themselves to set everyone up in a project management software, then allow access to company folders and unintentionally open the company to risk.

Insider risk threatens your third-party tools, as well. Famously, an ex-employee at Amazon Web Services accessed Capital One’s cloud servers through a misconfigured firewall, resulting in an $80 million fine. Cyberpion’s platform also identifies many types misconfigurations that put your organization at risk, so your enterprise can avoid the same monetary and reputational loss.

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