October 10, 2023 at 10:13AM – A Primer on Cyber Risk Acceptance and What it Means to Your Business

October 10, 2023 at 10:13AM

This article discusses the concept of risk acceptance in cybersecurity and provides guidelines for making informed decisions about accepting risks. It defines risk acceptance and outlines different levels of risk acceptance, such as accepting the risk forever, accepting temporarily, transferring the risk, and eliminating the risk. The article also emphasizes best practices for cyber risk acceptance, including proper assessment, involvement of stakeholders, keeping detailed records, implementing a standardized risk scoring system, scheduling periodic reviews, considering the broader context, and seeking external validations. It emphasizes the importance of revisiting risk acceptance decisions regularly and introduces the role of continuous monitoring, specifically through Outpost24’s Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS). The article concludes by stressing the importance of agility in cyber risk assessment.

The meeting notes discuss the concept of risk acceptance in the context of cybersecurity. Risk acceptance is a strategy where an organization decides which risks it can tolerate based on their potential impact. The notes outline different levels of risk acceptance:

1. Accept the risk forever: This level of acceptance acknowledges a known vulnerability or threat but does not remediate it. It is deemed tolerable within the current operational context, such as accepting a minor software vulnerability that affects a non-critical system.

2. Accept temporarily: This level involves accepting the risk for a set period while implementing controls, policies, or procedures to reduce its impact or likelihood. After the set time, mitigation measures are implemented.

3. Transfer the risk: Risk transfer involves shifting the responsibility and burden of a risk to a third party. This can be done through cyber insurance policies or outsourcing certain IT functions to third-party providers.

4. Eliminate now: This level applies when it is crucial to eliminate the risk immediately to preserve operational functionality or protect data and systems from imminent threats.

The best practices for cyber risk acceptance discussed in the notes include properly assessing risks, involving stakeholders from different departments, keeping a detailed log of accepted risks, implementing a standardized risk scoring system, scheduling periodic reviews, integrating risk acceptance practices with change management processes, considering regulatory requirements and industry standards, seeking external validations, and revisiting risk acceptance decisions in response to triggering events or on a regular basis.

The role of continuous monitoring, such as Outpost24’s Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS), is highlighted. Continuous monitoring provides real-time understanding of vulnerabilities and their potential consequences, allowing organizations to make informed decisions and prioritize remediation efforts. PTaaS combines manual penetration testing with vulnerability scanning and offers direct access to security experts for validation and remediation guidance.

Overall, the meeting notes provide valuable insights into risk acceptance in cybersecurity and advocate for proactive and flexible approaches to address potential threats.

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