By Matthew Olney on December 06, 2022

Planning Your Risk Strategy for 2023: 4 Things to Consider

Cyber Risk and Assurance, Industry Trends & Insights, Compliance & Regulation

2022 has been a difficult year for cyber security, with many organisations struggling to get to grips with the security challenges of working safely in a decentralised workplace. As the Cyber Security Breaches Survey highlights, 39% of businesses report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.  


With 2023 fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about how to prepare for the year ahead and start building a strategy to mitigate the risks and protect your systems from emerging threats. 

By taking some simple steps, you can begin to incrementally improve your security posture and put yourself in the best position to keep up with the fast-moving security landscape. Below, we're going to look at four things you need to incorporate into your 2023 risk strategy to mitigate cyber risks more effectively.   

Optimise Your Incident Response Process 

Over the past couple of years, security incidents have become more difficult to prevent, to the point where organisations can’t rely on prevention alone to protect their systems. Instead, they need to have the ability to rapidly identify and contain cyber threats ASAP.  

Now, a well-tuned incident response process is vital for protecting your organisation against threat actors. That means combining proactive threat hunting and threat intelligence to identify threats and maintaining incident-specific incident response playbooks detailing how to respond to various attack scenarios.  

However, it's important to consider whether you have the resources to do this internally or whether you need the support of a third-party Managed Detection and Response (MDR) or incident response provider.  

Working with a third-party MSS provider is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure that you have an incident response process that's actively prepared to combat a live attack and ensure minimal operational disruption during breach events.  


Commit to Regular Vulnerability Assessments  

Many of the most "successful" cyber criminals look to unpatched vulnerabilities as an entry point to enterprise networks. Research indicates that 76% of applications have at least one vulnerability, with half of security findings remaining open six months after discovery.  

Identifying vulnerabilities in your IT systems and addressing or patching them is essential for making sure that cyber criminals don’t have a convenient entry point to your network. The easiest way to do this is by conducting regular vulnerability assessments.  

Completing regular vulnerability assessments will enable you to see what vulnerabilities are present throughout your network, view risk scores of each vulnerability, and develop a prioritised remediation plan to address the most significant security risks first.  

For the best results, it is recommended to work with a third-party vulnerability assessment or penetration testing provider, who can help you identify the most significant vulnerabilities, and provide guidance on how to address them, and make it harder for cyber criminals to access your protected data.  


Get to Grips with Phishing and Social Engineering  

One of the biggest threats to your organisation's security is cyber criminals tricking your employees into giving up information. In fact, 98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering. That means your employees need to be trained to spot social engineering and phishing attempts if you want to reduce the risk of a data breach.  

You can address social engineering threats by conducting regular social engineering assessments on physical, social engineering, and digital social engineering with a third-party provider. During the tests, the provider will mimic the tactics used by attackers to see how effective your employees are at detecting them.  

The former can help you test the physical security of your premises, and the latter will help you to prepare for digital social engineering attacks by raising employee awareness of the latest scams.  

CRA Journey BannerEvaluate How Successfully Your Current Risk Management Strategy Is (Identify Gaps and Align them to a Framework) 

As regulators develop more and more data privacy regulations, organisations need to ensure they have a complete understanding of their current level of compliance. In practice, that means identifying what current security controls you have in place, pinpointing gaps, and developing a strategy to address them.  

With so many data protection regulations in place, it is simplest to align your cyber risk strategy with a security framework or frameworks such as CIS, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27701, Cyber Essentials, SOC 2, GDPR, or NIST, so that you can follow the recommendations and comply with multiple regulations at once.  

Once again, you can evaluate your regulatory compliance internally or work with a third-party cyber risk and assurance team. Working with a third party is advisable for those scenarios where you want to ensure that you're compliant with all the necessary regulations in your industry.

ISO27000-EMAIL-1-HEADER - Aoife  Think Ahead to Mitigate Cyber Risk 

Being prepared to tackle the latest threats is key to building an effective cyber risk strategy for 2023. Building a security strategy that effectively addresses the main cyber risks your organisation faces, then you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to unwanted intrusions and compliance violations.  

Want to find out more about how our MDR and Cyber risk and assurance team can help you plan your risk strategy for 2023? Contact us today. 

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