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ComplianceESGApril 19, 2017

Managing Cyber Security Risks using Bowties

Nowadays an increasing number of companies are becoming dependent upon their IT-Systems.

A large number of processes are being computerized and stored information becomes more important every day. Automation, therefore, has become crucial for most companies. The reliability, security, controllability, and availability of IT is getting business critical more often.

These developments are resulting in the fact that IT risks have become an important or even crucial component of the overall operational risk scenarios within a certain business. In reality, it often happens that directors are not really in control when it concerns their IT systems.

When an organization has a grip on these risks it will have a powerful tool at hand to effectively manage the insecurities within the IT environment while saving costs at the same time. Most IT incidents or failed IT projects are due to the fact that the existing risks haven’t been mapped properly beforehand.

Cyber risk assessment

Risk assessments are crucial as they form an integral part of the information security plan. Cyber risk assessments help the organization to:

  • Create awareness within the company concerning the hazards and risks that go hand in hand with the dependence on IT systems and processes
  • Identify and visualize the major risks
  • Determine whether the existing measures and solutions are sufficient or need to be improved;
    Prevent unnecessary failure of IT projects
  • Determine priorities concerning hazards and measures regarding security, controllability and availability/accessibility of the IT environment

The bowtie diagram offers a powerful tool to effectively visualize complex IT risks. Moreover, the bowtie diagram provides you with a valuable structure to apply control measures and to help prevent incidents. By means of this clear risk visualization, the importance of an IT process for your business becomes apparent, it is easy to understand, not only by IT personnel but also by all people within the organization.

In short: using bowtie models for cybersecurity offers the ability to demonstrate to workers why the IT department insist on the controls that often have been accused of being tedious and obstructive. Greater compliance with rules should be an early benefit; avoidance of cyber events will help your business retain control of its IP, assets, market share, revenue, and reputation.

Example IT bowties

Example bowtie diagram: sensitive information data in use
Example bowtie diagram: unauthorized access to online confidential data

© CGE Risk & Peter Moar (IO4U) 2017 - The copyright of the content of this blog belongs to CGE Risk Management Solutions B.V.
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