Understanding Your Company’s Risk Tolerance

Dec 19, 2022 | Blog

risk tolerance orange county

How much can a cyberattack really cost your business? According to IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach 2021” security report, data breach costs rose to $4.24 million in 2021, a 10% increase over the previous year. Organizations with low-security posture and automation processes were more prone to receiving financial damage from these breaches. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat the possibility of cyberattack costs: considering your risk tolerance.

By understanding your company’s risk tolerance, or the amount of risk your organization is willing to take on, you can strengthen your security and be better prepared for a cyberattack. After all, ill-preparation can also lead to reputational harm to your business as well as time-consuming recovery efforts. Here’s how you can better understand your risks and start better protecting your data and confidential information today.

What is Risk Tolerance?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, defines risk tolerance as “The level of risk that a business is willing to accept in pursuit of strategic goals and objectives.” While every business has its own unique risks it will face, there are threats that are especially prominent in a digitally focused world. These include cyber threats like ransomware, phishing, hacking or data leaks. The question is, how much can your business handle before you suffer serious consequences?

Most businesses have some type of security plan in place but aren’t always diligent enough in keeping up with their strategy. As a result, they’re left scrambling during serious attacks. Preventative data breach protection is key to avoiding disaster when it matters most.

Defining Your Level of Risk

The first step to understanding your organization’s level of risk is to evaluate which components of your business are open to threats. Common examples could include confidential customer information or sensitive financial data. If customer details were leaked or compromised, it could lead to compliance issues, and legal ramifications including fees, fines or penalties.

Once you’ve defined what is at risk, you’ll need to settle on how much time and finances you’re willing to spend to protect your company. You don’t want to overspend on factors like data breach security, as this could eat away at costs you could spend on other endeavors. At the same time, a budget that is too small could cause you to have to make other financial sacrifices down the line.

Strengthening Your Cybersecurity

Beyond considering risk tolerance from a financial perspective, you can also exercise stronger cybersecurity practices to further protect yourself. This can be as simple as keeping your software and hardware up to date. You can also utilize data protection programs to tighten your security, ensuring no unwanted visitors enter your system.

On a broader scale, you can undergo cyber awareness training. You and your team can learn the key ways to recognize potential cyberthreats and ways to address them. You can also implement better security measures, including using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to request access to confidential documents. Utilizing these techniques can act as the best steppingstones to lowering your risk overall.

Understanding your risk tolerance can put you several steps ahead of your competitors. Improve your cybersecurity practices, and you can diminish the risk of cyberattack damage tremendously. If you’d like assistance strengthening your digital security practices in the new year, reach out to CyberTrust IT today.


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