What is a cybersecurity risk management framework?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a “risk management framework (RMF) provides a process that integrates security, privacy and cyber supply-chain risk management activities into the system development life cycle.”
A framework covers all aspects of cybersecurity and works to eliminate risks. It can be designed to identify, monitor, reduce and respond to risks. It is a comprehensive approach that integrates the framework into the design of a network. This makes identifying, assessing and remediating cyber risks more effective.
In addition to protection and prevention, the framework should include traffic monitoring and other tools that detect suspicious activity. The framework then assesses the activity and decides whether it poses a risk. If it does, operators can categorize the danger and decide on the best response.
Because it lays out each step in the process and accounts for all possibilities, a cybersecurity framework provides a more holistic approach than other types of measures.
Who needs a cybersecurity risk management framework?
Risk management frameworks are typically for mid-size and large companies or organizations. Individuals and small companies can use some of the risk management strategies that larger firms rely on, but an overall framework isn’t necessary unless the company is involved in handling sensitive data or has some other heightened risk factor.
The number of digital systems continues to grow, and the list of possible threats is growing with it. For large organizations and companies, a risk management framework is becoming ever more important.
What threats do frameworks protect against?
The goal of a risk management framework is to protect against as many types of threats as possible. In today’s cybersecurity climate, such systems pay special attention to three types of dangers.
In 2018, there were more than 812 million malware infections. Malware refers to malicious software that is downloaded by unwitting users and remains on the system.
Malware can do a lot of damage, including:
- Transmitting data to a hacker
- Providing access to a hacker
- Tracking keystrokes or activity of system users
- Installing ransomware programs that encrypt system data and make it unusable
There are different types of malware, but a vast majority of these unwanted programs come from email downloads, downloads via app stores or malicious sites masquerading as legitimate ones.
In addition to teaching users and employees to avoid such downloads, a company can improve its email filters and handle downloads via non-administrator accounts, which limit access to sensitive areas of the network. Network monitoring can also help locate unusual activity.
Ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts files on a system or device, making it unusable. Hackers have a method for encrypting the data, but before they give it to the company that owns the system, they demand payment.
The potential profits have made these attacks more prevalent. However, companies can fight back. The most effective way, aside from standard anti-antimalware measures, is to fully back up the system data. Then, if a hacker breaks into the system and encrypts the data, you can immediately switch to the backup and continue operations.