Every organization has its own combination of cyber risks, including endpoints, internet-connected devices, apps, employees, third-party vendors, and more. Year after year, the risks continue to grow more complex and new threats emerge as threat actors become more sophisticated and the use of artificial intelligence aids their efforts. There’s not much an individual organization can do to change the evolving cyber landscape, but every organization can control its own cybersecurity strategy. Taking a risk-based approach to cybersecurity is one of the most impactful strategies to protect against cyberattacks.

A risk-based approach to cybersecurity focuses on the specific risks of a organization, taking into consideration what the organization wants to accomplish and what it wants to protect. Organizations that use risk-based cybersecurity benefit from the approach. These organizations find over 50% of incidents within one day, stop three times more attacks outright, and see impactful breaches reduced from 76% to 28%, according to an Accenture cybersecurity report.

Doug Howard, CEO at Pondurance, believes managed detection and response (MDR) providers should take a risk-based approach to cybersecurity and offered his perspective in a recent video interview with Tom Field, Senior Vice President at Information Security Media Group. Doug discussed several aspects of Pondurance’s risk-based approach including:

  • Cyber risks. Cyber risks include blind spots, gaps, and weaknesses in the network that make an organization vulnerable to threat actors. These vulnerabilities can include an expanded attack surface, new employees with a lack of phishing training, and improper implementation of multifactor authentication (MFA) on a network, to name a few. A risk-based cybersecurity approach will identify your organization’s unique cyber risks, prioritize the most important risks, and find the most impactful ways to protect your organization against those risks. 

“There are different kinds of risk,” says Doug. “Our definition is specifically around cyber risk. We focus on making sure that the areas of risk associated with you doing business in the digital world are addressed, so you can lower risk on a continuous basis.”

  • Compliance. Cybersecurity regulations continue to evolve with strict requirements for heavily targeted industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and retail, at both the federal and state levels. For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act imposes federal cyber regulations on financial institutions, and the New York Department of Financial Services cybersecurity regulation has some overlap as it imposes state rules on New York financial institutions. The laws require that organizations meet basic standards to ensure the security of their information systems to protect consumer data. 

Doug briefly discusses the importance of putting in place basic standards for cybersecurity, such as implementing MFA and staying current on patch management, to protect a client’s environment. He also explains the compliance implications of knowing where critical data is on your network and understanding how your organization would be affected if that data were compromised.

  • Questions for MDR providers. Today, most MDR providers claim they have a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, but do they? The only way to know for sure is to ask the tough questions. Does the provider know precisely where your critical data is located on the network? Does the provider know your vulnerabilities? Does the provider understand the risks of your users? Doug discusses these questions and others that you should ask to determine whether an MDR provider is truly using a risk-based approach to protect your organization against cyberattacks. 
  • Client benefits. A quality MDR provider will help clients embrace a risk-based approach to get the most out of their cybersecurity programs. At Pondurance, the risk-based approach drives everything the team does. As the first and only MDR provider to be built around a risk-based approach, the Pondurance team believes it is the best strategy to protect clients from threats and reduce their exposure to attacks. Doug explains how Pondurance partners with clients for the long term to keep cyber risks from having a negative impact on their organizations. 

Your organization has cyber risks, and it’s important to know what those risks are and how they could affect your organization if a cyberattack occurs. Learn more about Pondurance’s risk-based approach to cybersecurity. Watch the video below.