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The importance of Human Risk Management in cybersecurity

Understanding and mitigating human cyber risk is crucial for maintaining a robust security posture.

We believe in empowering businesses to tackle the often-overlooked aspect of cybersecurity – human risk.

But what is Human Risk Management (HRM) and how can it help you to calculate, reduce, and monitor human cyber risk?

Understanding Human Risk Management (HRM)

HRM is all about recognising and addressing the potential vulnerabilities introduced by human actions within your organisation. From unintentional mistakes to falling prey to targeted cyber attacks, human behaviour can significantly impact your overall cybersecurity.

We approach HRM as a proactive strategy that involves calculating, reducing, and monitoring human cyber risk.

Calculating human cyber risk

1. User behaviour analysis:

Begin by understanding how your users interact with your digital environment. Analysing user behaviour helps identify patterns and potential risk factors. Are there employees who frequently click on suspicious links? Do certain teams exhibit higher risk behaviours? These insights form the foundation for calculating human cyber risk.

2. Risk scoring:

This involves the assignment of risk scores to different user profiles based on their behaviour and the potential impact of their actions. This scoring system allows you to prioritise areas that require immediate attention. A user-centric risk scoring model helps you focus your efforts where they are most needed, optimising your resources for maximum impact.

3. Incident history:

Understanding the context and circumstances surrounding previous incidents helps in refining your HRM strategy. Learning from past experiences enables you to fortify your defences and reduce the likelihood of similar incidents occurring in the future.

Reducing Human cyber risk

1. User-focused security training:

Education is a powerful tool in mitigating human cyber risk. Conduct regular training sessions that equip your employees with the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond to potential threats. Practical, user-friendly training materials can go a long way in creating a security-conscious culture within your organisation.

READ MORE: Cyber security training

2. Phishing simulations:

Phishing attacks remain a prevalent threat, often exploiting human vulnerability. Conducting simulated phishing exercises allows you to assess how well your employees can identify and avoid phishing attempts. The insights gained from these simulations help tailor your training programs to address specific weaknesses.

3. Access controls and least privilege:

Limiting access to sensitive information based on job roles is a fundamental strategy in reducing human cyber risk. Implement least privilege principles to ensure that employees only have access to the information necessary for their tasks. This not only minimises the impact of a potential breach but also reduces the likelihood of accidental data exposure.

Monitoring human cyber risk

1. Behavioural analytics:

Behavioural analytics can detect anomalies and deviations from established patterns, signalling potential security risks. By staying vigilant and proactive in monitoring, you can address issues before they escalate.

2. Real-time alerts:

Implement real-time alert systems that notify you of any unusual or suspicious activities. These alerts provide immediate visibility into potential security incidents, allowing for prompt intervention. Quick responses are essential in minimising the impact of human cyber risks.

3. Ongoing evaluation:

Human cyber risk is dynamic, and your HRM strategy should evolve alongside it. Regularly evaluate and update your risk assessment models, training programs, and access controls to adapt to changes in your organisation's structure, technology, and threat landscape.

Strengthening your security posture

We understand that human risk is an inherent part of the cybersecurity landscape.

LEARN MORE: iTG Cyber Security Academy

By embracing Human Risk Management, you not only calculate and reduce the potential risks introduced by human behaviour but also establish a continuous monitoring system that adapts to the evolving nature of cyber threats.