Meet in the Middle: Blending ERM & Infosec


Table of contents

You handle swaths of sensitive data in your business, so it’s vital that you do everything possible to avoid letting cyber criminals get their hands on it. 

As a pressing threat to your business, even your enterprise risk management (ERM) team should focus on cybercrime. Unfortunately, cyber-risk is often not on an ERM team’s radar. 

When you aren’t adequately taking care of cyber-risk, you’re missing a large part of the risk management puzzle. Cybersecurity risk management (CSRM) is a form of ERM, which means that ERM and IT should be working together. 

Infosec and ERM, when paired well, make up an all-star task force that can help your business address the serious liability of cyberattacks. Let’s look at how enterprise risk management and cybersecurity risk management differ and how they can come together to tackle even the gravest risks in your business. 

What is Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)?

ERM is all about risk reduction. With ERM, the organization looks at every aspect of the company to minimize risks, both large and small. That means analyzing finances, operations, supply chain, and more to weigh each risk in terms of its potential financial harm to the company. 

ERM was formerly completely separate from cybersecurity. However, cyberthreats are constantly increasing in severity, scope, and cost. Organizations have so much of their workflow online that cyber-risks now score as high as everyday risks. This means that what happens in the IT realm is very much a part of the ERM team’s business.

What is Cybersecurity Risk Management (CSRM)?

As we’re seeing much more frequently, a single cyberattack can take down an entire business incredibly quickly. Attacks such as data breaches, ransomware, and phishing can: 

  • Exfiltrate client data, which could cause compliance problems
  • Leak blueprints and other intellectual property to the public
  • Cost anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars in damages and remediation
  • Put your organization at risk of legal liability (if it’s egregious enough)
  • Steal personal identifying information such as social security numbers, addresses, and other data leading to identity theft
  • Create a PR nightmare that can rapidly destroy an organizations reputation

CSRM proactively addresses gaps in your cybersecurity posture to prevent breaches and the disruptions that come with them. CSRM also helps mitigate the damage after a cyberattack so you can quickly return to business as usual.

Why ERM and IT Teams Should Work Together

ERM and IT teams can’t afford to play in separate sandboxes anymore. Cybersecurity directly affects reputation, finances, operations, and compliance, so it’s an important risk vector to include in the risk management landscape. A few other great reasons why ERM and IT need to join forces include:

Increased Support for IT

IT departments can’t singlehandedly protect your business from the perils of cybercrime. It can also be challenging for IT to get leadership to invest in their projects, which is where ERM can take the lead. 

ERM has organizational leverage that Infosec alone might not be able to command. Together, ERM and IT can get executive attention to gain support for initiatives for both teams. This can greatly increase support for IT, garnering the resources and leadership buy-in necessary to reduce a wide range of cyber-risks. 

Minimize Risk Even More

Simply put, two heads are better than one. When you bring ERM and IT together, more eyes are on your cybersecurity infrastructure, which can help you create better, more integrated solutions to keep your business safe. 

Combining ERM and IT will also help ERM realize threats to your business that may not have been previously considered. They might need to completely rethink (and reclassify) the list of threats against your business. So while it's a tough pill to swallow, this can significantly help ERM realize the true level of risk so they can take steps to minimize it.

Reduce Siloes

Communication barriers and misunderstandings are pretty common between IT and non-technical departments. The good news is that bringing ERM and IT together can eliminate siloes and the communication barriers they create. 

IT can educate ERM teams about the varied risks associated with cyberthreats. Then, ERM can quantify those risks in non-technical terms that everyone can understand. ERM can also help quantify risks and prioritize them so that everyone is on the same page regarding what each department needs.

Bring ERM and IT into One Dashboard

It’s clear that ERM can’t operate in a vacuum, and neither can IT. They have to work together. Businesses should add cybersecurity to their enterprise risk management practices to prevent disruptions and realize the true level of risk facing their organizations. 

To solve the problem of bringing ERM and IT to the same table, it’s vital to pick an integrated solution like LogicGate. LogicGate blends ERM and IT cybersecurity into one innovative platform where you can see all your risks in one place. Request a demo to see how LogicGate can simplify your cybersecurity risk management.

Related Posts