An organization’s single biggest risk is not knowing how much risk it has. Which parts of the organization are most exposed? How likely will that exposure result in material loss? How much will that loss cost you? How much should you spend to reduce your exposure? You can’t know this until you start measuring your cyber risk.

Cyber risk quantification (CRQ) is on the rise. Most organizations are interested in it, many are experimenting with it, and yet several still struggle to fully embrace CRQ in their risk management approaches. Building the business case is a critical first step toward a scalable CRQ effort.

Our new report, Build The Business Case For Cyber Risk Quantification, helps security and risk pros overcome the fundamental hurdle of getting started with CRQ. Using Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ model, we outline considerations for CRQ’s benefits, costs, flexibilities, and risks. We also highlight five goals for a CRQ program and five steps to kick-start implementation.

Making the case for CRQ requires you to interrogate your existing risk management practices. Is your current risk assessment method adding value to the way you make decisions? Spoiler alert: If you’re only evaluating compliance as “risks,” the answer is no. An effective CRQ effort is one that enables you to:

  • Use your limited resources wisely. Security programs have a cost problem. Businesses can’t increase security budgets indefinitely, and at a time when CISOs are held personally liable for security incidents, showing ROI — the risk reduction benefit you get from your security investment — is critical.
  • Speak the language of the business to get buy-in. Maturity assessments, control audits, and penetration tests are meaningful to IT and security teams but not to boards and executives. Not all exposures or findings are risks, but they have potential amounts of risk associated with them.
  • Make quantitative risk assessment a priority over heatmaps. Qualitatively, all “high” risks are equal, so saying that your mitigations are “risk-based” is woefully misleading. Ditch the risk heatmap as an assessment tool and prioritize risk by quantified exposure.
  • Understand your risk exposure today to take advantage of new opportunities. Good risk management helps you safely take on more risk to pursue value. You can’t prioritize innovation without knowing how much risk you have, how much you can accept, or whether your controls are effective.

Check out the full report to take CRQ from idea to implementation, and schedule a guidance session or inquiry with me to learn more.