Choosing Cyber Risk Remediation Software (Key Features)

Effective remediation management is critical as it has the greatest positive influence on your cybersecurity risk management lifecycle. Efficient remediation ensures vulnerabilities are completely addressed, supporting compliance management efforts and a healthy security posture, reducing overall data breach risks. Poor remediation burdens security teams with avoidable incident responses, distracting them from emerging cyber threats bloating remediation backlogs.

In this post, we list the key attributes to look for when searching for the best cybersecurity risk remediation software.

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What is Cyber Risk Remediation?

Cyber risk remediation is the process of ensuring discovered security vulnerabilities no longer negatively impact an organization’s security posture. Risk remediation sits within the response stage of one of the most widely adopted cyber risk management lifecycles, NIST CSF.

Risk remediation sits inside the Response function of NIST CSF.
Risk remediation sits inside the Response function of NIST CSF - Source:

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A closer look at the ideal outcomes of the Response Function within NIST CSF reveals a framework for a cyber risk remediation framework and its intersection across four cybersecurity disciplines.

  • Incident Response - A cyber risk remediation program should supply threat intelligence data to incident response teams.
  • Cyber Threat Communication - Risk mitigation efforts should be promptly communicated with stakeholders and any specific regulatory breach notification channels (such as the OAIC in Australia and PFIs under the PCI DSS regulation).
  • Risk impact Analysis - A mechanism for measuring the efficacy of remediation tasks should be in place to support the continual improvement of remediation workflows.
  • Risk Mitigation - Remediation tasks should be promptly executed to minimize business continuity disruptions by preventing impact expansion across other areas of information security.

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By extrapolating the subprocesses of each of these categories and identifying their primary objectives, a list of features for an ideal cyber risk remediation solution can be developed.

Top 3 Critical Capabilities of Risk Remediation Software

A security risk remediation solution that will maximize the ROI of your cyber risk mitigation program should have the following set of features and capabilities.

1. Cyber Security Mesh Architecture Alignment

Cyber Security Mesh Architecture (CSMA), a defense methodology where each modular IT environment is protected by its own security layer, is a highly effective cybersecurity approach for our modern hybrid workplaces. Gone are the days when a singular IT security solution, like an antivirus, could protect all your IT assets. To maintain data breach resilience, an IT risk management strategy needs to be flexible, capable of instantly conforming to rapid and unexpected threat landscape changes. A CSMA provides a framework for such an idealistic defense approach, dividing displaced work environments into self-contained “cybersecurity islands” capable of rapidly scaling their security controls independently.

Cybersecurity mesh architecture layout by Gartner.
Source: Gartner

CSMA’s incredible defense potential at a time when elusive cyber threats like ransomware continue to grow in complexity, placed the methodology as the number 1 trend in Gartner’s list of top security and risk trends to look out for.

Your degree of resilience against complex cyber threats, such as phishing and ransomware attacks, is proportional to the scalability of your risk management solution.

Besides securing displaced work environments with their own security perimeters, like firewalls and Multi-Factor Authentication for endpoints, a Cyber Security Mesh Architecture is characterized by interoperability between modular defense solutions, creating an integrated approach to cybersecurity. This goes beyond just a shared security policy and should include:

  • Security and Analytics Intelligence Sharing - providing real-time data to associated risk management security solutions,
  • Dashboard Consolidation - Offering a composite view of internal and third-party attack surfaces.

To ensure your cybersecurity program remains effective in current and future threat landscapes, it should align with the rising trend of CSMA adoption, namely its principle of coordination with associated risk management initiatives, like Vendor Risk Management (VRM).

Having a single underlying risk management platform interoperating with internal risk management workflows (like first-party vulnerability management) and VRM processes (like risk assessments) allows better data sharing between the tenants of a risk management framework, improving overall risk management efficiency.

A single cyber risk remediation tool addressing internal and third-party cyber risks.

A single cyber risk management tool for internal and third-party security risks is also a very efficient model for enterprise risk remediation, which supports the scalability requirements of the Cyber Security Mesh Architecture.

How UpGuard Can Help

UpGuard offers a single cyber risk remediation tool for managing internal and third-party security risks. Data integration keeps associated risk management practices updated with risks that have been addressed in remediation efforts. For example, risk assessment templates mapping to popular regulations and frameworks, like the GDPR and ISO 27001, identify compliance gaps and their impact on vendor risk scores. These discoveries then inform the risk identification protocols for impacted vendors, producing feedback mechanisms within the regulatory risk lifecycle.

Internal and third-party risk data is also fed into the different components of risk remediation management, like patch management and malware injection susceptibility, to simplify and automate the complete scope of cybersecurity risk management.

Watch the video below for an overview of UpGuard’s remediation workflow.

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2. Risk Prioritization

A cyber risk remediation solution must be capable of prioritizing critical security risks - a vital requirement of the identity function of NIST CSF. Critical security risks are those that will have the greatest negative impact on your security posture if exploited in a cyber attack by hackers.

Within the NIST CSF model, risk severity is determined in the Detection function through methods like risk assessments or continuous monitoring - the ongoing detection of internal and third-party security risks against a set of common attack vectors. These risks then continue through the NIST CSF lifecycle to the Response function, where the most severe should be prioritized.

Seamless progression betweeen detect and respond functions of NIST CSF.

Because within the NIST CSF model, risks should seamlessly progress from the Detection to the Response function, an idealistic cyber risk remediation tool should be a component of broader risk management software addressing the entire cyber threat lifecycle. This will ensure risks identified as critical are pushed through remediation workflows without delay.

Risk prioritization compresses the risk management lifecycle, meaning you are more likely to address data breach threats before 200 days - the threshold for reducing data breach damage costs by up to $1.12 million.

How UpGuard Can Help

UpGuard’s risk remediation tool is a feature inside of a broader internal risk management solution (BreachSight) and a Vendor Risk Management solution (VendorRisk).

With its Vendor Tiering feature, UpGuard identifies vendors with the greatest security risks so that they can be easily prioritized in remediation efforts.

Because the UpGuard platform manages the complete scope of internal and third-party risk management, its features streamlining workflows for related processes significantly impact overall remediation efficiency, further supporting critical risk prioritization. This obsession with continuous efficiency improvement is especially focused in an area known for delaying remediation efforts - vendor risk assessments.

Watch the video below to learn about just some of the features supporting greater vendor collaboration efficiency.

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3. Security Posture Management

The primary objective of an ideal risk management tool is to improve risk management process efficiency. This is a natural outcome of helping security teams understand how to intelligently apply their response efforts. Strategies like risk prioritization help in this regard, but to increase their impact, security personnel should understand the potential impact of remediation efforts on a business’s security posture.

The best risk remediation software can predict the likely impact of selected remediation tasks to help security teams prioritize the most meaningful response efforts. With a more efficient incident response distribution curve, human error caused by overwhelmed security staff is decreased, which positively impacts all other business processes.

How UpGuard Can Help

UpGuard’s risk remediation tool can predict the impact of selected risks on your security posture to help you decide which threats should be addressed first. With greater control over the impact of your remediation processes, UpGuard gives security teams greater control over the security of their sensitive data.

Watch the video to learn how UpGuard streamlines risk assessment workflows.

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