If you are ready to go through a cyber risk assessment, you will definitely encounter a roadblock where you may have to choose between qualitative vs quantitative risk assessment. If you are an organization in its nascent stages of cyber security or have never conducted a cyber hygiene assessment before, we would highly recommend going for a qualitative assessment based on industry standard frameworks such as CIS controls.
A qualitative assessment is an in-depth analysis of a cyber risk to determine the likelihood, impact and likelihood of occurrence. The qualitative assessment should include a review of the context and threats, identification of the potential impact and vulnerabilities, and identification of potential mitigation options.
The goal of a qualitative assessment is to better understand your current cyber security posture This understanding can help organizations identify mitigations that are suitable for their current environment and business needs, as well as help them prioritize future mitigation efforts.
A quantitative cyber risk assessment is an analysis of a company’s cyber security readiness by using tools like the HEX-IDE. The goal of quantitative risk assessment is to identify potential vulnerabilities and take steps to reduce their impact.
Quantitative risk assessment can be performed manually or with the help of an automated tool.quantitative risk assessment begins with a threat analysis, which identifies potential security risks and assigns scores to each one. To measure the likelihood of an attack occurring, quantitative risk assessment techniques such as loss expectancy (LE) are used. Quantitative risk assessment is used for both internal and external threats.
Historically, quantitative approaches are time-consuming and difficult to implement with an automated security management tool and a knowledge base. This approach generally does not focus on the personnel level, and thus security awareness training might be neglected. To collect and quantify risk information, preliminary work is required.
There are several advantages to conducting a qualitative assessment: It is more thorough than a quantitative assessment. It takes into account all factors that could affect the cyber risk, including context and threat, impact, and vulnerabilities. It provides an understanding of how your organization is being impacted by these factors. It allows you to make decisions about what you want to do with regard to the cyber risk that you have identified.
A qualitative assessment, on the other hand, focuses on the human factor and factors like organizational culture when it comes to cyber risk. These factors are hard to quantify and often go beyond the control of a business owner.
Incorporating both qualitative and quantitative risk assessments into your risk management strategy will make for a stronger approach. One way to do this is to create a risk assessment matrix that combines both approaches. A risk assessment matrix is a grid that lists risks on one axis and the impact they can have on your business on the other axis. Once you have completed your qualitative and quantitative risk assessments, you can enter the data into the risk assessment matrix to create a visual representation of your risk assessment findings.
This can help you not only understand your risk assessment findings, but also communicate them to others. Another way to combine qualitative and quantitative assessments is by conducting both types of risk assessments at the same time. For example, you can create a questionnaire or use a tool such cyberhygiene.me that rates the risk of specific cybersecurity risks in your business. This will help you create a qualitative risk assessment of your cyber security risks. You can then use the data from the risk assessment to create a quantitative risk assessment.
We offer a free, no obligation, most comprehensive qualitative Cyber Hygiene report. Go to cyberhygiene.me to get started