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Digital Risk Protection
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Organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to know where their data is stored and shared in today’s technology-forward, connected world. Although these new, digital technologies help organizations advance their business, they come alongside risks that can be difficult to manage.
In this blog, we walk you through the emergence of digital risks and key steps you can take to help your organization to securely achieve the benefits of digital transformation.
As organizations become more interconnected to their supply chain, customers, and partners, the assets that security teams have been trying to protect become exposed. Adversaries take advantage of this exposure, making use of weaknesses, leveraging exposed data, and impersonating online brands. Unmanaged, this leads to the loss of sensitive corporate data, violation of privacy laws, and damaged reputations for organizations. If we want to manage these new, digital risks, we need to start looking outside the traditional perimeter.
In order to securely achieve the benefits of digital transformation, organizations need to consider three core areas.
So how can security practitioners protect against these threats to their businesses? Here’s four key steps you can take to help manage your digital risk.
If you want our comprehensive guide that lists free tools and resources to helping you manage and reduce your digital risk, check out our new guide, ‘A Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk.’
Step 1 – Identify Your Critical Business Assets
In order to properly manage digital risks, an organization needs to first determine what sensitive data it has, and how it might be used by threat actors or adversaries.
A good place to start is with thinking through common examples of critical business assets:
A best practice is to center your asset management activities around the critical business or economic functions of an organization. But with digital risk, there is an additional key step to think about: how are these assets referenced or how do they appear in the digital domain? In our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk, we note that “it is a good practice to list a wide range of identifying text strings which may be helpful in identifying particular types of assets, be they technical watermarks, footers, domains or protective markings used to mark confidential documents.” This then assists with building a plan to identify them online.
By spending the time working these items out, you can begin to think about where your organization may be exposed, and how adversaries might access this information.
Of course it’s not a perfect science – for example, some companies may not find social media accounts to be of critical importance, but we continue to see these accounts targeted by adversaries. We recommend working with the regulator who will often mandate this themselves.
Step 2 – Understand the Potential Threats To Your Business
In order to best understand and calculate your risk, you need to understand the following potential threats and digital risks to your business.
Step 3 – Monitor for Unwanted Exposure
To detect exposed assets, organizations should consider a wide range of sources and prioritize those that are most relevant to them across the open, deep, and dark web, including:
If you’re interested in a list of free tools to help monitor for digital risks and exposure, make sure to check out our free Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk. We share tips and tools that can help your team monitor for exposed employee credentials, exposed sensitive documents, customer accounts, sensitive code exposure, and more.
Step 4 – Take Action and Protect Against Digital Risks
While detecting your online exposure is key, you also need to ensure you have a mitigation strategy in place. It’s important to consider tactical, operational, and strategic approaches to mitigation.
While there’s not always the option of an immediate response, these can help with more strategic investment considerations. Here are some examples of tactical mitigations:
It is important to also have an ongoing view of your digital risk to help with detection strategies. Here are some examples of operational mitigations.
To implement a strategic digital risk management strategy, security teams should also work on more strategic investment in defenses. Some examples include:
Building a digital risk management strategy takes time and effort across the business; it’s no easy feat. Teams must include detection, integration, and remediation for helping to build maturity into their processes. Security teams can look to build digital risk capabilities internally, utilize free tools online, or invest longer-term in external enterprise solutions.
No matter which way you decide to take your organization for managing its digital risk, have a look at our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk, which offers free ways to get started and progress over time.
We hope this has been helpful as you consider your digital risk management strategies, and welcome any feedback to improving this guide.
If you’re interested in our digital risk solution, SearchLight, we’ve opened up our tool to use for 7 days free. You can gain an idea of your organization’s online exposure across the open, deep, and dark web, plus have a look at our intelligence library where we give insight into threat actors and campaigns.
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