The Business Case for Cybersecurity Performance Management in Financial Services


According to 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), data breaches caused by ransomware increased nearly fivefold, from 5% to over 25%. Additionally, the cost of data breaches has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2021, the cost of a data breach averaged $4.24 million, an increase of more than 10% according to IBM. Risk is no foreign concept to anyone in the financial industry, but in recent years, cybersecurity risk has become a preeminent priority among financial services companies. Increased regulatory scrutiny and the constant presence of online banking services have forced the industry to prioritize cybersecurity as a central pillar of its business calculus. At a House Financial Services Committee hearing with the CEOs of the 6 largest US banks, four executives reiterated that
cybersecurity is their top priority. Given the scale of data breaches that can harm a bank’s reputation and the importance of consumer trust in banking decisions, it’s no surprise that risk demands their utmost attention.

Risk is a natural extension of providing financial services to clients. A big mistake we often see companies make is misunderstanding cybersecurity risk. Some companies imagine cybersecurity as an immutable cost center, a black box that absorbs all the budget expenditures you can spend on it with no perceived return on investment. This is simply not the case; in almost every aspect that matters, cybersecurity risk is a business risk.

This means that cybersecurity risk can be quantified, mitigated and documented like any other business risk. It’s not easy and the mitigations are different, but it’s an achievable task that needs to be implemented across the entire organizational structure. The answer, in this case, is cybersecurity performance management.

Cybersecurity Performance Management

Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM), in simple terms, is the process of managing cybersecurity performance using KPIs to track meaningful cybersecurity measures that enable decision makers to strategically allocate budget resources to best mitigate the cybersecurity risks. Companies today are pouring endless amounts of resources into the latest tools and software suites without considering the realistic return on their investment. CPM leverages the visibility of ongoing performance against goals along with consistency metrics to create a tremendous new understanding of risk, enabling data-driven decision-making that can truly improve safety and reduce expenses. excessive.

This type of insight provided by CPM is revolutionizing the way organizations manage cybersecurity in support of the business. Integrating cybersecurity risk into existing organizational risk management processes provides a structured and sound way to identify and manage cybersecurity risk. CPM and risk management then provide a cyclical system; the risk management process identifies the risks and CPM provides the tools to target specific actions that reduce the risks.

This new visibility into cybersecurity performance against objectives, along with consistency and coverage metrics, creates tremendous new understanding of risk, enabling data-driven decision-making that can actually improve security and reduce overspending. . Being able to make quantitative decisions based on real performance data is a powerful tool for increasing operational efficiency. This visibility allows you to effectively target your worst performing metrics and significantly boost your core cybersecurity performance without falling into the trap of burgeoning cybersecurity budgets. Even better, it becomes possible to see and measure the impact of improved cybersecurity in real time. Being able to demonstrate to board members, executives, and stakeholders the tangible return on their security investment is critical to gaining cybersecurity buy-in from all stakeholders.

How you can implement CPM

Basically, performance management doesn’t tie you to any specific vendor or ecosystem. It is a process, not a product. But there are tools that dramatically increase the effectiveness of any performance management program, and it all comes down to automation. Automation is at the heart of CPM. The best way to launch any type of performance management program is to automate the collection, aggregation and reporting of relevant KPIs. This is no different with CPM, where automating the collection of cybersecurity performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to making the best strategic decisions to reduce business risks. The goal is to consolidate as many of your existing security tools as possible into one convenient place where you can run analytics on past and current data. This automation can be achieved by building custom tools, but it’s not always maintainable when it only takes one or two updates to an API endpoint to break your reporting tools.


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