Virtual CISO

Threat

A threat refers to a new or newly discovered incident that has the potential to harm a system or your company overall. There are three main types of threats:

  • Natural threats, such as floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes
  • Unintentional threats, like an employee mistakenly accessing the wrong information
  • Intentional threats, such as spyware, malware, adware companies, or the actions of a disgruntled employee

Worms and viruses are categorized as threats because they could cause harm to your organization through exposure to an automated attack, as opposed to one perpetrated by humans.

These threats may be uncontrollable and often difficult or impossible to identify in advance. To be better prepared when a situation does happen, Here are some ways to do so:

  • Ensure your team members are staying informed
  • Perform regular threat assessments
  • Conduct penetration testing

Vulnerability

A vulnerability refers to a known weakness of an asset (resource) that can be exploited by one or more attackers. In other words, it is a known issue that allows an attack to succeed.

Testing for vulnerabilities is critical to ensuring the continued security of your systems. By identifying weak points, you can develop a strategy for quick response. Here are some questions to ask when determining your security vulnerabilities:

  • Is your data backed up and stored in a secure off-site location?
  • Is your data stored in the cloud? If yes, how exactly is it being protected from cloud vulnerabilities?
  • What kind of network security do you have to determine who can access, modify, or delete information from within your organization?
  • What kind of antivirus protection is in use? Are the licenses current? Is it running as often as needed?
  • Do you have a data recovery plan in the event of a vulnerability being exploited?

Risk

Risk is defined as the potential for loss or damage when a threat exploits a vulnerability. Examples of risk include financial losses, loss of privacy, reputational damage, legal implications, and even loss of life.

Risk can also be defined as follows:

Risk = Threat X Vulnerability

Here are the key aspects to consider when developing your Threat & Vulnerability Management strategy:

  • Assess risk and determine needs
  • Include a total stakeholder perspective
  • Designate a central group of employees
  • Implement appropriate policies and related controls
  • Monitor and evaluate policy and control effectiveness.

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