Mark Kerrison
Mark Kerrison
NNT - New Net Technologies

As technology continues to evolve, so does the potential for cybersecurity risks, and just as the technology industry is showing no signs of slowing down development, neither are cybercriminals.

Unfortunately for adopters of advanced technologies, the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report – Global Edition reveals that the more digitally transformed an organization is, the more likely the company is to be breached. This reality has many companies scrambling to secure their organization against data breaches, ransomware attacks, DDoS attacks, phishing scams and other cybersecurity challenges.

But like so many others, organizations fall into the trap of navigating security challenges without adequate preparedness, lacking a clear and comprehensive security strategy and operating with limited visibility into how cybersecurity threats and incidents are being managed. Many businesses just assume that fulfilling compliance obligations sufficiently addresses their cybersecurity stance, but the continuing rise of high-profile security breaches shows otherwise.

risk based compliance

The Problem with a Compliance-Based Approach to Security

Businesses often confuse compliance with security. While they are closely related, compliance works to help identify gaps in your information security program that may have otherwise been missed without a proper compliance audit. However, businesses that adopt a ‘check-the-box’ approach to address compliance requirements end up with a false sense of assurance that because they are compliant, they are also secure, which is simply not true.

Compliance obligations typically only serve to protect a narrow amount of ‘in-scope’ information and are not designed to strengthen an organizations security posture, nor do they take into account the types of cybersecurity risks your organizations can be subject to, thereby reducing efficiency in dealing with cyber risks and leaving organizations highly vulnerable to attacks.

The Solution? Move to a Risk-Based Approach to Security

The solution is to move away from a compliance-based approach to security and instead, adopt a risk-based approach in order to proactively address cyber threats to your business. This is not to diminish the importance of compliance, but to instead take into account that an effective information security program must ensure that compliance and security go hand in hand; these areas must complement each other.

The idea behind this approach is that security helps build a firm foundation for your organization, while compliance builds on that foundation to ensure that businesses are protected from every possible angle. By emphasizing both areas equally, businesses will not only meet required compliance regulations, but also demonstrate it goes above a beyond in fulfilling its commitment to cybersecurity, thereby fostering long-term trust with customers.

Why Make the Switch to a Risk-Based Approach?

Adopting a risk-based approach to security will help your organization make smarter cybersecurity investments and avoid unnecessary spending by purchasing solutions that actually increase the effectiveness of your cybersecurity program. This approach also helps shift your organizations focus away from building controls across all functions to instead building appropriate controls for the most critical security vulnerability, those that target your businesses most vital functions.

Gartner recently sited in its latest research document ‘Compliance is No Longer a Primary Driver for IT Risk and Security’ that , “Compliance should be treated as a domain of risk within a formal risk management program and should not be allowed to dominate decision making,” further establishing the importance of this risk-based security approach.

CIS RAM (Center for Internet Security Risk-Assessment Method)

When making the switch to risk-based security, it’s recommended that organizations adopt the CIS (Center for Internet Security) RAM (Risk-Assessment Method). This tool is designed to help guide the prioritization and implementation of the CIS Controls with a sound business risk decision process. CIS RAM allows organizations to navigate between implementing security controls, risks and organizational needs using the Duty of Care Risk Analysis (DoCRA). This methodology allows organizations to weigh the risks of not implementing the controls and its potential burden on the organization.

Download the tool for free and learn more information here –

6 Steps to Transform to Risk-Based Security
  • Align your cybersecurity strategy with business outcomes
  • Cultivate a risk-aware work culture
  • Identify and address vulnerabilities
  • Identify security threats faced by modern businesses
  • Measure and report on the performance of your risk-based approach
  • Adopt a best practice framework like the CIS Controls
New Risk-Based Security eGuide

Developed by New Net Technologies (NNT) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS), this Executive Guide was developed to help IT leaders learn how to navigate from compliance to risk-based security effectively.

Transforming from Compliance
  • Download this new eGuide to learn how to:
  • Plan smarter cybersecurity investments
  • Leverage an established framework approach to guide implementation
  • Build controls to preemptively strike the most dangerous threats

Download the eGuide

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