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In the past when senior management (execs) needed to understand the financial implication of cyber threats and their exposures, they turned their questionnaires toward IT for relevant answers. In other words IT risk assessment was the answer in the past to understand the financial implications of cyber threats. The IT risk assessment is not the comprehensive or overall assessment of the company to understand the total implications of cyber threats. The overall assessment will not only include IT but also other departments like HR and legal etc… Basically cyber threats are neither IT issue and nor a legal or HR issue any more, it’s simply an enterprise management issue.

In old days the firewall was used as a major defense against potential cyber threats. The new cyber threats are sophisticated enough to demand better defense. New threats (virus, adware, worms, Trojan, spyware, spam, phishing) use modern techniques to bypass defenses. The potential risks of these new threats demand an immediate attention (of CFO or higher) and approval for resource allocation to protect against cyber threats. To make a solid business case for security ROI, senior level execs need to know the overall risk they are reducing, and their highest priority.

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ANSI and ISA have jointly released a document to assist senior management to prepare for financial implications for cyber threats. Basic essence of the guide is to provide a tool to execs to understand the financial implications of potential cyber threats to their organizations.

“The 40 page guide was put together by task force of risk management execs from more than two dozen organizations. The new guide offered by ANSI and the ISA recommends that CFO ask their various team’s questions about the biggest threats to data confidentiality, integrity and availability,” to get to know the existing controls in place and any relevant mitigation plan. Risk analysis of this information can help execs to map the cyber threats risks into correct financial terms and make better resource allocation.
The senior execs who want to implement information security as a process in their organization should consider ISO 27001 (ISMS) as a best practice, which provides a reasonable on-going due diligence to protect and safeguard organization data.

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