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Cyber Security Risk Assessment
and Management

Cyber Security Risk Assessment and Management is a proactive approach to allow organizations to protect their IT infrastructure and reputation against the ever-changing cyber security risks faced by organizations on a daily basis. Cyber Security Risk Assessment and Management is a security risk assessment designed to help organizations to identify, assess, and implement key cyber security controls to protect from evolving cyber security threats. The assessment proactively focuses on preventing security defects, security exposure, and security vulnerabilities by conducting an assessment as an integral part of an organization's risk management plan.


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What are Cyber Security Risk Assessment
and Management Regulations and

Cyber Security Risk Assessment and Management can cover many
different security certifications or be subject to many different regulations.
Here is a list of security certifications and regulations:

CYBER Secure Canada

CyberSecure Canada is dedicated to Canada’s cybersecurity certification program designed for small and midsize businesses (SMB). This program will allow organizations to enhance their competitive advantage by certifying that their organization's supply chain is certified and can be trusted by their clients and business partners.

What is CyberSecure Canada Certification?

CyberSecure Canada Certification is a cybersecurity certification program that helps small and medium-sized organizations implement certification requirements so they can proactively protect their organizations, employees, clients, and partners from the latest intelligent cybersecurity attacks so they may protect their reputation and financials.

Why should your organization get certified with CyberSecure Canada Certification?

By performing a Cyber Security Risk Assessment and Management program including CyberSecure Canada Certification, an organization will improve their competitive advantage in the industry by reassuring their clients and business partners that their valuable data is safe and secure. This will greatly reduce direct and indirect impacts on the organization from cyber criminals using the latest cyberattacks. Organizations can now protect from any financial loss, reputation damage, and protect critical IT infrastructure.

Service Organization Control (SOC) Compliance

If you are a services organization, your services may have an impact on your clients financial reporting. This can result in your client auditors requiring assurance that your controls surrounding your services are designed to work and operate effectively. Assurances of your processes and security would be part of a Service Organization Control (SOC) audit and it will help create trust and credibility. SOC 1 and SOC 2 audit reports are different with certain distinct differences that your organization must consider before deciding which one is best for your organization:

What is SOC 1?

SOC 1 (Service Organization Control) is known in the industry as the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18. SOC 1 report focuses on a service organization’s controls that are relevant to an audit of a customer’s financial statements. These control objectives are related to business processes and information technology.

A SOC 1 report Type I audit report will focus on a description of a service organization’s control and how these controls are designed to achieve the control objectives. A SOC 1 Type II audit report expands on a SOC 1 Type I report by adding opinions on the operating effectiveness to achieve related control objectives. SOC 1 audit reports are restricted to the management, user entities and user auditors of the organization.

What is SOC 2?

SOC 2 (Service Organization Control) addresses an organization’s controls in relation to their operations and compliance. This includes availability, security, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. An organization may choose a SOC 2 audit report to focus on any area of the five Trust Service principles including Type I or Type II audit. A SOC 2 report includes a detailed description of the auditor’s test of controls and results.

PCI Compliance

PCI compliance is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) security standards that are designed to ensure that all organizations that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment safe from cyber security threats. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was developed to manage the ever-changing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards. They focus on improving payment account security through the transaction process. The PCI DSS is administered and managed by the PCI SSC that is an independent body that was created by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and many other payment organizations. Enforcement of the PCI compliance is the responsibility of the payment brands and acquirers and not the PCI council.


The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies to all Canadian organizations in the private sector that collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of a commercial activity. According to Canadian law, it is defined as commercial activity of any particular transaction, act, or conduct, or any regular course of conduct that is of a commercial character, including the selling, bartering, or leasing of donor, membership or other fundraising lists. If your organization operates nationally in Canada, it is important to note that Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec have their own private-sector privacy laws that are similar to PIPEDA.

What is a Cyber Security Assessment?

A cyber security risk assessment developed for an organization to understand, manage, control, and mitigate their cyber risk as it is a crucial part of any organization's risk management strategy and proactive data protection efforts.

Cyber security assessments are not new when it comes to management of business risk and it is an evolving system as cyber security threats mature. As the world relies more on technology to do business, the inherent cyber security increases over time resulting in changes to IT processes, IT procedures, and cybersecurity measures.

Cybersecurity Framework was developed by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide organizations a base for industry best practices.

What is Cyber Security rRsk?

A cyber security risk is what an organization faces if they experienced a cyber attack that would damage their reputation and cause potential financial loss. It would be measured from zero, low, medium, to high including three risk factors as part of a cyber security risk vulnerability assessment. These include:

  • What is the cyber security threat?
  • How vulnerable is the organization from a cyber security threat?
  • What would be the reputation or financial damage if the organization experienced a cyber security breach?

What is a Cyber Risk Assessment?

A cyber risk assessment is defined as an evaluation of cyber security business risks that are used to identify, estimate, and prioritize risk to business operations, business assets, and business information systems.

The primary purpose of a cyber risk assessment is to help management support proper business risk responses. They provide an executive summary to help management make informed decisions about cyber security. The cyber risk assessment process is concerned with answering the following questions:

  • What are an organization's important technology assets?
  • What data breach would have a major impact on your business? Malware, cyber-attack, or human issue.
  • What are the relevant cyber security threats and the sources to your organization?
  • What are the internal and external cyber security vulnerabilities?
  • What is the impact if those cyber security vulnerabilities are exploited?
  • What is the likelihood of the cyber security vulnerabilities?
  • What are the cyber attacks, cyber threats, or cyber security incidents that can impact your business?
  • What is the level of cyber security risk your organization is comfortable taking?

An organization management tool needs to answer the following questions:

  • What is the risk you are reducing to your organization?
  • What is the highest priority cyber security risk?
  • What risk are you reducing in the most cost-effective way?

These strategic questions will help organizations understand the value of data information and allow organizations to better understand their information risk management process in the scope of protecting business needs.

Why Perform a Cyber Risk Assessment and Cyber Risk Management?

How Do You Perform a Cyber Risk Assessment?

There are many reasons an organization wants to perform a cyber risk assessment as well as look into their cyber risk management.

  • Reduce Costs: Organizations need to identify potential cyber security threats and cyber vulnerabilities. They then need to work to mitigate them to prevent or reduce cyber security incidents. This will save organizations money as well as protect their reputation long-term.
  • Organize Knowledge: When an organization knows their cyber security vulnerabilities, this gives them a clear picture of the improvements needed within the organization.
  • Avoid Data Breaches: if an organization avoids data breaches, they can avoid a large financial and reputation damage.
  • Avoid Regulatory Issues: If an organization does not comply with industry regulations such as Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), they can receive large penalties.
  • Avoid Downtime: Information technology systems that are client-facing systems need to be available and functioning for staff and customers to do their jobs in a secure and timely manner.
  • Data loss: Organizations need to protect data from theft including trade secrets and other key information assets that could mean you lose business to the competition.

Cyber risk assessments and cyber risk management are integral to any business including information risk management and strategy.

This will be high level and summary that will cover multiple areas as well as questions to be asked. An organization needs to have a clear understanding of what data they have, what infrastructure they have, and the value of their data that they are trying to protect from cybercriminals.

Here are 10 questions when preparing for a cyber security assessment:

  • What data does your organization collect?
  • How and where does your organization store data?
  • How does your organization protect and document the data?
  • How long does your organization keep data?
  • Who has access internally and externally to the corporate data?
  • Is your organization storing the data securely?
  • What is the purpose and scope of the cyber security assessment?
  • What are the organizations priorities and constraints that can affect the cyber security assessment?
  • Who has access to all the data and information needed for the assessment?
  • Does your organization use a risk model for risk analysis?

Many of these questions are easy and self-explanatory. Organizations need to know the following information:

  • Who will be analyzing the information and assessment?
  • Who has the experience required to properly assess the information?
  • Are there any regulatory requirements you must comply with?
  • Are there any budget constraints that the team must be aware of?

Here are the steps that need to be taken
to complete a cyber risk assessment that
will provide you with a cyber security risk
management plan.


Determination of Value of Information

Organizations do not have an unlimited budget for a cyber security management plan, so it is essential to limit the scope to business-critical assets. For the cyber security assessment to be a success for the organization, it is important that there is a definition on the importance of an asset. This may include asset value, legal standing, and business


Prioritize and Identify Assets

The first step allows organizations to identify their assets so they can evaluate and determine the scope of the cyber security assessment so they can now prioritize which assets to assess. Organizations may not want to perform an assessment on every part of the business including building, employees, data, trade secrets, and other items. It is important to


Identification of Vulnerabilities

Cyber security vulnerabilities are a weakness that a cyber threat can exploit to breach security to harm your organization and steal sensitive valuable data. Cyber security vulnerabilities are found through a vulnerability analysis, audit reports, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) vulnerability database, vendor data, incident response

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