By Milica D. Djekic

Dealing with the risk is not an easy challenge By the risk, we could mean the likelihood that something wrong could happen with our IT infrastructure. As it’s quite obvious, the risk could easily get correlated with Murphy’s Law which would suggest that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. In other words, the risk is something that would increase with time if we do not manage so in order to keep it at an acceptable level. Differently said, the risk would get higher and higher if we do not put a certain effort to make it being satifactionary.

Cybersecurity environment is the very dynamic and complex one and as the laws of physics would teach us the entropy in the Universe would only go up and up.  So, how could we correlate the entropy with the risk? The entropy is the level of the system’s disorder and the risk could get observed from a similar perspective. If we talk about the potential disorder within a  cyber system, we would undoubtedly cope with the risk that can occur in case we do not watch out that asset and do not put some hard work in order to prevent the consequences of such causality.

In order to deal with the risk using the most appropriate manner, we should know that there are some methods and techniques to obtain so. In this case, we would talk about the risk assessment and cyber defense auditing as the ways of managing the risk. The risk assessment could get seen as the initial step in approaching the risk and estimating how such an occurrence could affect the entire cyber asset. On the other hand, once you get all procedures, policies and preventive measures implemented within your organization – you could review the status of your cyber infrastructure applying some of the cybersecurity auditing phases.

The risk assessment would usually include the skillfully prepared questionnaire that would offer the chance to an assessor to estimate how serious the risk to a certain IT infrastructure is. The likelihood of something harmful getting happen could get assessed and prevented once you get the completed assessment. The risk assessment survey would normally cope with the intelligently written questions and places for comments that would support the assessor in preparing the skillful reporting.

Once the risk assessor produces the well-developed reporting, he would push forward his effort to the decision makers who would make a decision on how such a cyber system could get prevented from the risk. The questions being the part of the risk assessment would try to find the answers on how we could protect our cyber asset from being compromised or attacked. For instance, if we want to prevent our system from the hacker’s incidents,  we should think hard about some anti-malware solutions or at least some intrusion detection and prevention systems.

It’s not always necessary to count on the expensive technology, because we could obtain quite good results dealing with the pretty cost-effective solutions. It’s always encouraging to highlight that cost-effectiveness could be from the vital significance especially in the developing economies, because those societies would need adequate cyber defense – but, for the rational pricing. Sometimes we should think about the advantages of some open-source or freeware software that could get downloaded from the web free of charge and also do the good job to their users.

Also, we would like to mention that it’s not an easy task to develop the risk assessment surveys that would cope with all law regulation requirements as well as cybersecurity frameworks and documents. Next, once the risk assessment gets approved,  the cyber defense professionals would get scheduled the task to create the cybersecurity procedures, policies and education, and training programs. This is so important for a reason for dealing with the risk in the practice. For example, many cybersecurity experts would see antivirus applications as the best ways of cyber defense prevention and they would also appeal on the well-prepared cybersecurity procedures, awareness efforts and skillfully implemented laws and frameworks. In other words, once you pass through your risk assessment process, you would need to implement all those phases into your operating process.

The purpose of the cybersecurity auditing is to review how well your cyber defense preventive measures, as well as awareness programs, are implemented in the practice. So many cyber professionals would use some tools in order to do auditing and they would so commonly suggest that those advancements got appropriate for the good reporting. Some experts would recommend the three main phases in the good auditing process and those are monitoring, scanning and configuration analysis. It’s also advised that the cybersecurity auditing should get done annually and in the combination with the good risk assessment, it can serve in terms of improving the organization’s cyber defense.

In other words, we would see the risk assessment, developing cybersecurity measures and awareness efforts and cyber defense auditing as the crucial steps in the cybersecurity best practice. The risk assessment with the cyber auditing could get observed as the good risk management and those phases could greatly contribute to the good cybersecurity. The cyber auditing is nothing else than the usage of some monitor, scanning, and configuration analysis applications in order to discover some vulnerabilities that could get exploited and once we get such an input – we should prepare the skillful reporting about our findings and use so to advance the cyber defense – in total. So, the auditing is not the risk assessment as many experts would suggest and it’s rather the phase in the good cyber defense practice.

In conclusion, the main steps in the cybersecurity best practice could get the risk assessment, operating process development, and cyber defense auditing. Through this effort, we have tried to provide a brief insight into the challenges of the risk assessment and cyber auditing.  This research would indicate to us that there are so many solutions regarding these topics on the marketplace and if anyone wants to become the good risk assessor or auditor  – he would need to cope with the quite wide range of the skills. Finally, we would recommend to everyone who wants to deal with the cyber risk to take advantage over the good training programs and tries to gain some professional experience – before he decides to take part into so requiring assessor’s or auditor’s roles.

About the Author

A thoughtful and frequent contributor to Cyber  Defense Magazine, Milica Djekic graduated at the Department of Control Engineering at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, she’s been an engineer with a passion for cryptography, cybersecurity, and wireless systems. Milica is a researcher from Subotica, Serbia. She also serves as a Reviewer at the Journal of Computer Sciences and Applications and.  She writes for American and Asia-Pacific security magazines. She is a volunteer with the American corner of Subotica as well as a lecturer with the local engineering society.