Finding and implementing a cybersecurity risk framework is a challenge every organization faces. Time has shown that this endeavor almost always calls for the heavy lifting to be carried by chief information security officers (CISOs) and their staff. As a result, the focus of cybersecurity risk frameworks typically centers on established technical defenses and desired technical solutions. While this approach certainly addresses some important and critical aspects of cyber risk within an organization, what it does not address is true cyber resiliency, which should never be overlooked.

Cyber risk isn’t just about the security gaps

Business continuity will always remain the number one goal for organizations, and from that, cyber risk evolves from a single, technology driven focus into a critical component of how companies attain business resiliency. Business leaders put their requirements at the forefront in order to design solutions and practices that best answer the challenges in front of them. Cybersecurity leaders do the same, so it should come as no surprise that a marriage of both sides is an ideal solution. 

Instead of focusing on being impermeable to cyber risks, technology leaders should first be concerned with how their defenses align with their organization’s ability to navigate a dynamic market confidently, addressing business and security concerns at the same time. Cyber risk frameworks do not have to be perfect, but they do have to get the job done, and this cannot happen without being designed around how the organization engages with the world around it.

Every organization is different and each leader has their own biases, therefore working together becomes more than just recognizing gaps in your security. Leadership teams should work together to focus on holistic outcomes for their organization in the hopes to achieve their goals within their respective markets. With this mentality, business and security leaders can more easily determine what their cyber risk appetite is, and then make critical technology investments that address where they stack up within their organization’s industry risk scale.

Heightened risk means your organization becomes more complicated, but not as much as you think

There is a lot of industry chatter about what cyber risk models work best, but the truth is that there is no model more correct than another. Every organization is unique in that it has its own mission, security posture, way of doing business, budgets, etc., and technology leaders have to work with the resources available to them.

The risk of cybercrime is never going away. The good news is that even though the strategies of cyber criminals is always changing, the end goal is always the same: find the weakest link in technology and exploit it to gain something of value. As our technology ecosystems evolve and diversify, it is imperative that we continue to identify the weakest links and create solutions so that they are not exploited.

This is why it is critical that organizations establish a cyber risk framework. If cybersecurity leadership in an organization is able to better understand where the business is heading, they can help business leaders achieve their goals in a safe and secure manner.

In that same vein, security leaders need to understand that the ultimate goal is for their organization to be profitable. Therefore, while cybersecurity solutions should remain a priority, they must also be flexible enough to allow business leaders to achieve their goals.

“This above all: to thine own self be true…” – Shakespeare

One of the most critical mistakes organizations makes is that they step outside of their core capabilities and try to be something they are not. The application of finding the right security measures is no different.

Understanding where your organization currently stands, where it is going and the risks along the way will determine how well your budget can deliver on the staff, tools and capabilities you need help your organization attain cyber resiliency.

The best course of action is to have a digestible plan and be a team player. Simply understanding your technology posture and the associated cyber risks isn’t enough. It is important to draw parallels to your organization’s business goals and paint an accurate picture of the challenges ahead. However, it’s that next step that so many security leaders miss: become a champion of your peers’ business goals and then help them better understand what you need to make their jobs successful.