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Proactive risk mitigation and why it should be a top priority for your business

When business is going well, it is easy to forget there are always unexpected events that could happen. It can be tempting to assume those potential events can be dealt with when they arise.

But the mistake of overlooking potential risks and not having a proactive risk management plan in place can become quite costly if those unforeseen circumstances manifest themselves. That is why keeping an eye on your risk levels across all aspects of your business should happen constantly – even when everything seems stable.

Today, cybersecurity and the security of business data are one of the top risk management priorities for most organisations. Being aware of potential cybersecurity risk events and then putting in protections against them is what proactive risk mitigation is all about.

The end goal is to ensure your business can take action early enough to prevent emergencies and avoid the consequences of those events and potentially catastrophic outcomes.

What is proactive risk mitigation?

Risk management or mitigation is a process where an organisation identifies and assesses risks that have the potential to affect its business operations and earnings. A successful risk mitigation plan helps businesses consider which risks they face, as well as how these impact their strategic goals or objectives.

There are several courses of action when it comes to risk mitigation:

Why does proactive risk mitigation matter?

The fallout from a cybersecurity attack has the potential to be immense and ongoing. The average cost of a cyberattack in the UK is $3.88 million per breach and nearly 35%  of UK organisations say they lost customers after a data breach. Cybercriminals have upped their attacks in recent years too, exploiting the pandemic-related changes to work environments that saw millions of people working remotely.

Without proactive risk mitigation strategies, organisations are extremely vulnerable and can spend a lot of time, resources, and money on battling and recovering from cyber-attacks. A cyber attack isn’t an isolated incident but a series of steps as part of an ongoing process, with the average time to detect and contain a cyber-attack being 287 days.

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Proactive risk mitigation strategies

Proactive risk mitigation should never truly end, as new threat actors enter the landscape at a rapid pace. To keep today’s dynamic IT environments protected, organisations may consider partnering with a managed security services provider (MSSP), who has the specialist skills, expertise, and resources to continuously ensure risk mitigation strategies are in place, so threats are identified and mitigated before they become a problem.

Regular review

Security tools, protocols, policies and practices are one thing to keep in mind at all times. However, the threat landscape is constantly changing. A proactive approach involves reviewing these things regularly with an eye toward new threats emerging, or new methods of attack that could emerge. The same goes for cyber safety training for employees regularly as part of your company’s security awareness program.

Ethical hacking

Instead of waiting for malicious actors to find ways into your network or systems, the best way to proactively make your business more secure is by attacking yourself. Certified ethical hackers can proactively find vulnerabilities in your defences so you know how they’re being exploited, which helps reduce the risk of malicious attacks. Cybersecurity experts use methods such as red team/blue team exercises, as well as overall or targeted penetration testing.

Automate intelligence

It is important to have tools that provide insights into what’s happening on your networks at all times. Intelligent software hunts for breaches and odd behaviour on your network 24/7 to isolate and fix when something shows up. This is a proactive approach that means you are ready no matter what comes up.

Endpoint security

With the increased use of internet-connected and remote work devices, securing endpoints as a proactive risk protocol has become more important than ever. Endpoint security should offer an integrated approach, continuously monitoring and detecting advanced threats, and constantly updating intelligence to make use of information coming from other parts of the IT environment.

Zero trust strategies

The Zero Trust approach to cybersecurity does not rely on a centralised firewall, but rather on the consistent deployment of strong cybersecurity measures throughout your network’s physical, virtual and cloud assets. The central idea behind this model is that an attacker should have no way to access your organisation’s data or resources through any single point of failure in its defences other than by circumventing them all simultaneously. This proactive risk mitigation strategy.

Final word on proactive risk mitigation

One of the most important aspects of business planning is proactive risk management. A technology partner who has comprehensive cybersecurity experience and expertise can be an essential ally in business. Talk to London’s leading security consultants at Network IQ and ensure your company is prepared for anything.

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