A Complete Security Risk Assessment Checklist

Written by Kapil Khadgi

Practice Head ServiceNow at Royal Cyber

Security risk assessment provides a list of threats that will affect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of an organization’s assets.
Cyberattacks in the insurance industry are escalating. Insurers see a nearly 20% rise in the number of attacks and claims arising out of them. Hackers are using sophisticated and AI-enabled tactics to access insurance companies’ core and backup systems. They are extrapolating data and threatening to release it as part of extortion. All in all, the stakes are high. According to the ‘The 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report,’ average total cost of a data breach is USD 3.86 million. The 5G network's rollout will further open new entry points for attackers and put valuable data and confidential information at risk. The recovery process from these cyber-attacks will be complicated and the damage to the business will be incalculable.

To resolve the issues, the insurance company needs to understand why it takes them long to identify a threat and act on them. The answer to this is the disconnect between security and IT tools. Several other factors that cause incident occurrence and hamper remediation process are:
  • Disjointed tools generating unprioritized alerts
  • Manual processes and lack of automation
  • Difficulty in tracking down the contacts and systems causing threats
  • Unsecured data
To respond to the security threats and vulnerabilities, the insurance organization must use a checklist to identify the right solution that will support the entire enterprise. Before we jump onto the checklist, let us first understand in detail what security risk assessment is.

What is Security Risk Assessment?

Security risk assessment is performed to allow organizations identify and assess security posture. The assessment's primary purpose is to inform decision-makers about the security risks that might surface in the organization and ease risk handling.

While assessing security risks, the insurance organizations must answer the following questions.

  • Which are the most critical assets of the organization?
  • What type of data breach—cyberattack, human error, malware—have a significant impact on the business?
  • Do you know the potential threats that might affect your organization?
  • What are the internal and external vulnerabilities? What can be their impact on the organization?
  • What is the likelihood of their advent in the organization?
  • What is the level of risk your organization can take?

If the organization can answer these questions, it will likely be able to identify the areas that are potential threats. They must build security controls and data security strategies to handle these threats and vulnerabilities.

What is Security Risk Assessment?

Security risk assessment is performed to allow organizations identify and assess security posture. The assessment's primary purpose is to inform decision-makers about the security risks that might surface in the organization and ease risk handling.

While assessing security risks, the insurance organizations must answer the following questions.

  • Which are the most critical assets of the organization?
  • What type of data breach—cyberattack, human error, malware—have a significant impact on the business?
  • Do you know the potential threats that might affect your organization?
  • What are the internal and external vulnerabilities? What can be their impact on the organization?
  • What is the likelihood of their advent in the organization?
  • What is the level of risk your organization can take?

If the organization can answer these questions, it will likely be able to identify the areas that are potential threats. They must build security controls and data security strategies to handle these threats and vulnerabilities.


Solve Threats Faster With ServiceNow Security Operations

Security threats today come from anywhere and anyone and it is the job of your security team to halt the attacks and prevent them from happening again. However, does your team have the right applications in place to see when critical systems are under attack?

The 8-step Security Risk Assessment Checklist

Organizations must perform security risk assessment to reduce costs, avoid data breaches and regulatory issues, reduce downtime and data loss, and obtain better organizational knowledge. It is integral to the organization’s risk management strategy.

Before we provide the security risk assessment checklist, answer a fundamental question.

How do you rate your organization’s ability to respond to security threats and vulnerabilities on a scale of 1-10 (1 – being the lowest and 10- being the highest)?

If your answer is less than 5, then follow this 8-step checklist to assess and mitigate the security risks effectively:

The insurance organizations must follow this checklist and quickly identify a solution that responds to events and vulnerabilities. The solution should connect security and IT teams and provide metrics and dashboards to identify threats well in advance.

#1
Integrate with Configuration Management Database (CMDB), identify affected systems, and understand how vulnerable the insurance organization is to cyberattacks.
#2
Prioritize security incidents and vulnerabilities based on their impact on the organization. To prioritize, the organization need to know the affected systems and the consequence these systems may have on other related systems.
#3
Identify the right security operation solution, which has a single console from where the insurance organization can interact with other security tools to speed up the remediation process.
#4
Build a security playbook wherein the level 1 employee perform security work and the experienced professionals focus on identifying complex threats.
#5
If Service Level Agreements (SLAs) aren’t meet, then quickly escalate and identify authorized approvers and subject matter experts. The security of data is of utmost importance.
#6
Track team performance and collect data for post-incident reviews. Metrics can enable organizations to improve processes.
#7
Build a single source of truth for the security and IT teams to access and coordinate.
#8
Automate all the manual tasks such as threat enrichment to consolidate and quickly respond to security threats.

The insurance organizations must follow this checklist and quickly identify a solution that responds to events and vulnerabilities. The solution should connect security and IT teams and provide metrics and dashboards to identify threats well in advance.

ServiceNow SecOps for Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response

The insurance industry is adopting digital transformation and moving all its services online to make operations agile. Digital adoption opens the doors for new incidents and vulnerabilities, which prompts organizations to adopt solutions that can efficiently respond to them.

ServiceNow Security Operations (SecOps) module helps insurance companies enable their security teams to respond to incidents and vulnerabilities faster and more efficiently. This module has intelligent workflows that automate the security risk assessment process and builds a deep connection with IT to streamline it.

Royal Cyber, a ServiceNow Specialist partner, has helped several insurance companies ensure that incident and vulnerability identification, remediation, and coordination are easy. Our ServiceNow consultants enable clients to focus on complex, strategic tasks instead of manual tasks. We also provide our clients access to dashboards in the ServiceNow portal to assess their security operations.

Is your business a potential candidate for a security breach?

Are you prepared to address the potential data loss if a hacker infiltrates your network?

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