The widespread adoption of digital technology is at an all-time high, whether in growth markets, developing markets, or mature markets, and it continues to evolve. Digital transformation investments are extensive at all levels, particularly in response to the changing global landscape and associated challenges. As digital technology continues to advance, the conversation around cybersecurity becomes increasingly important, with threat actors finding it to be an enticing target. The range of vulnerabilities continues to diversify, and threat capabilities and attack methods only become more sophisticated over time.
While cyber risk management was once viewed as an offshoot of information security, it can no longer be treated as such. The increasing diversification between IT and digital in development and support ecosystems within organizations demands a specific focus on cyber risk management. Cyber actors are different from traditional threat actors, and their methods are more devastating, making it essential for businesses to understand their exposure in their current state while protecting themselves as they continue to evolve in response to changing customer and employee behavior. As per an article from McKinsey, the most sophisticated institutions are moving from a “maturity based” to a “risk based” approach for managing cyberrisk.
Tailoring cyber risk management to Industry-specific threats and priorities
Each industry operates differently and has unique processes, technologies, and support systems that are not generic across industry groups. Threat actors have also evolved their techniques and attack capabilities, which can vary depending on the industry. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach to cyber risk management is insufficient.
To effectively manage cyber risks, it is essential to prioritize and understand the relevant threats specific to an industry and region. Every industry has different keystones and prime jewels that are critical to its growth and success. As a result, it is crucial to consider cyber risks and cyber risk management specific to what is critical to an industry and tailored to each industry's differentiation. By doing so, businesses can better protect their most valuable assets, mitigate industry-specific risks, and avoid costly data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Cyber risks in Retail and Financial services industries context
In the retail industry, customers are the lifeblood of the business, and acquiring and retaining them is crucial for increasing revenue. One significant factor in achieving this is protecting customer data, as it can be the deciding factor in a consumer's decision to make a purchase and continue a long-term relationship with a retailer. Therefore, safeguarding PII data, particularly for loyalty customers, is a top priority for all levels within an organization. This is especially crucial as governmental bodies and regulations mandate how customer information is collected, transmitted, and stored. Protecting the privacy and identity of customers has become a significant focus, as it is the most targeted area within the retail landscape and threat actors are enticed by the potential payoff.
Similarly, supply chain, warehouse management, and manufacturing operations also face significant cyber risks that can have severe consequences for the retail industry. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, with multiple vendors and partners involved, and each new connection can be a potential entry point for cybercriminals. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), warehouses and manufacturing plants are now more connected than ever before, making them more susceptible to cyber-attacks that can cause disruptions in the supply chain and even bring operations to a halt. These risks can result in significant financial losses, damage to brand reputation, and even legal consequences, making it crucial for retailers to incorporate cyber risk management into every aspect of their operations. Download our whitepaper for the retail, consumer goods and hospitality industry.
In the banking and financial services industry, the safety and security of customers' money is of paramount importance. While Data Breaches are a significant risk for all businesses, a ransomware attack on a bank can have catastrophic implications. It strikes at the heart of the banking core engine, disrupting specific pillars that are critical to the smooth functioning of the industry. The inability of customers to track their money, a bank's inability to trade on behalf of their customers, and the inability to invest, all have a direct impact on revenue and can lead to long-term downstream effects, including the liquidation of leading banking institutions.
Transparency and staying ahead of the curve are fundamental to the banking industry, which makes it an enticing target for sophisticated cybercriminals. This trend has led to newer security and financial regulations focused on how banking and financial institutions must continue to do more to safeguard themselves against cyber threats. Customers' trust and confidence in the safety of their money is a vital factor in the success of any bank or financial institution, and therefore, it is crucial to prioritize industry-specific cyber risk management in the financial services industry. Download our whitepaper for the banking and financial services industry.
An effective industry-specific cyber risk management strategy
To develop a robust cyber risk management strategy, it is essential to recognize and embrace your unique business characteristics and determine your most vulnerable business areas. It is equally important to assess the likelihood of an event in those areas. One effective approach to this is to quantify your risk exposure in terms of revenue, cost, and efficiency.
Quantifying your risk exposure provides a clear understanding of your most vulnerable areas and enables effective communication with business stakeholders in a language that they understand. This understanding is a critical stepping stone in building out your cyber risk management strategy. With quantified results, you can build plans that have measurable outcomes, spend resources more efficiently, and provide a foundation for ongoing assessments, reviews, and reporting. Please read our blog – Quantifying Cyber Risk in a Business Context for more details.
By leveraging a quantified approach to cyber risk management, you can secure buy-in from leadership and better engage stakeholders while staying ahead of the changing cyber landscape. Ultimately, it enables your organization to proactively protect against cyber threats and build a culture of security that is both proactive and resilient.
Alfahive’s RiskNestTM platform helps businesses automate and manage cyber risks with an industry-specific approach
At Alfahive, we firmly believe that effective cybersecurity requires a solid foundation of deep industry and business expertise. We work closely with our clients to align their cyber risk management strategies with their unique business operations, enabling them to make informed decisions that promote business resilience. Our platform leverages industry-specific, data-driven models and cutting-edge machine learning technology to proactively identify cyber risks and quantify them in two key outputs: financial exposure in dollars and the probability of impact. This approach offers two key benefits: Firstly, the model is pre-trained with industry-specific information, allowing for an accelerated time-to-value by over 10 times. Secondly, it enables all stakeholders to communicate in the same business language, specifically, the financial impact of the cyber risks.
Furthermore, our platform helps organizations contextualize cyber risks within M&A transactions and prioritize security control improvements in a shared language that allows business and technology leaders to make informed daily risk decisions. This approach bridges the gap between risk management and security by providing a clear understanding of the specific risks that companies face and identifying the necessary security controls to mitigate them.