Common Challenges

By Michael Hoffman – Director Business Operations, VisibleRisk

At VisibleRisk, our core mission is to enable better cybersecurity decisions through Next Gen Cyber Risk Quantification (CRQ). Traditionally, these decisions have been left to enterprise security and technology experts. However, as cyber attacks grow in frequency and impact, other leadership roles are required to take a more significant role in managing cyber risk. New CRQ technologies and methods are making this possible. Today,  technical and non-technical corporate executives alike can transform their approach to cyber risk management by focusing on the risks with the greatest potential for financial impact. This transformed approach has critical implications for a variety of key stakeholders across an organization. 

Detailed below are common challenges executives face in managing cyber risk and the ways in which the VisibleRisk CRQ Platform can help ameliorate them.

Chief Information Security Officer

How can cybersecurity be treated as a business issue?

Quantifying cyber risk in financial terms empowers security professionals to communicate with other key stakeholders more effectively by speaking in a common language. CRQ can help shift the corporate dialogue away from technical controls and metrics and towards impact elevates cybersecurity from a security issue to a business issue and further positions the Chief Information Security Officer as a business leader.  

How can we get the support we need for the security program?

Business leaders rarely allocate financial resources without fully understanding the expected return, or more specifically, cost avoidance. As a result, many security leaders struggle to secure adequate funding because of their inability to demonstrate risk reduction on their program improvements. VisibleRisk empowers chief information security officers and their teams to make a compelling and benchmarked business case for their cyber investment requirements.

Chief Risk Officer

How do we measure and manage cyber risk effectively?

The VisibleRisk CRQ platform enables organizations to integrate cyber risk into their enterprise risk framework. Our reporting is mapped to common ERM frameworks such as Basel II and provides additional analysis on the reputational, compliance and regulatory risks associated with a meaningful cyber event. This visibility into your cyber risk appetite empowers more strategic risk transfer, mitigation, and acceptance decisions. 


Do we have the right amount and type of cyber insurance?

Companies face a variety of challenges in procuring cyber insurance. For one, the lack of visibility into cyber insurance coverage coupled with common policy exclusions, silent cyber coverage, and sub-limits can leave you footing the bill in the case of a breach. VisibleRisk empowers more meaningful cyber risk transfer decisions by positioning your company’s financial exposure to cyber risk relative to your insurance policy, while accounting for its strengths and limitations.

For companies without cyber insurance, VisibleRisk provides an independent, contextual assessment of that decision and its implications.

Board of Directors

Are we fulfilling our governance responsibilities for cyber risk?

According to McKinsey – 95% of board committees discuss cyber risk at least quarterly but a majority find these reports too technical. This paradigm – in which board directors are responsible for proper cyber risk governance but do not fully understand the data in front of them – is untenable. Improving the dialogue in the boardroom by focusing on the business impact of cyber event metrics and benchmarking enhances confidence in proper governance.

boardroom by focusing on the business impact of a cyber event metrics and benchmarkings enhances confidence in proper governance.

Would the loss from a cyber event be material for our company?

In the digital economy, the elimination of cyber risk is unobtainable. Ultimately, it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure the company is managing risk so that an extreme cyber event falls below its materiality threshold.  In the digital economy, the elimination of cyber risk is unobtainable. Ultimately, it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure the company is managing risk so that an extreme cyber event falls below its materiality threshold. VisibleRisk CRQ platform produces highly tailored reporting that details whether an extreme event – across relevant cyber-attack scenarios – would be financially material for the organization.

Chief Executive Officer

How do we evaluate security performance?

Executive leadership has long required an independent assessment of their cybersecurity posture. The results of these assessments are often presented in the form of technical cybersecurity standards such as NIST CSF and the CIS Benchmark. VisibleRisk recognizes the technical value of these common frameworks which is why we provide reports aligned to these common frameworksversions of our reporting in these formats for security leadership. 

For executive leadership, VisibleRisk goes beyond these technical frameworks to provide a necessary business centric standard for assessing cyber risk and performance which can be widely understood and managed.

How are we doing relative to industry peers?

Translating cyber risk for non-technical stakeholders begins with applying financial and governance metrics to cyber risk. However, these metrics require relative context to be truly meaningful and understood.

To solve this, VisibleRisk provides industry benchmarks across its reporting. These benchmarks provide a meaningful, relative, and risk-based view of the company’s cyber performance in relation to their industry peers. 

Chief Financial Officer

Are we spending the right amount on our security program?

For financial officers – cyber investment has long been opaquea black box. Cyber budgets are expected to grow 10% annually through 2027, yet for most organizations it is impossible to show a return on those dollars. 

VisibleRisk provides just that. The VisibleRisk platform provides a framework for financial officers to understand what level of risk their investment is mitigating and how their spend across key program areas compares to industry peers. These data points, relative to the VisibleRisk rating and benchmark, empower financial leaders to make more informed cybersecurity investment decisions

Internal Audit 

How do we evaluate the efficacy of the security program?

The VisibleRisk CRQ platform provides critical risk management, governance and compliance analysis to internal auditors who have long relied on more subjective, self-attested, check-the-box assessment frameworks for measuring the efficacy of their security program. Instead, our approach is built on automated, evidence based analysis. 

VisibleRisk’s validated, risk-based output is a significant step forward for internal audit functions seeking assurance that their security, risk, and executive management teams are effectively managing cyber risk.

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