cybersecurity risk

What is Cybersecurity Risk? Full Definition & Action Plan

What is a cybersecurity risk? Also, what are the best practices you can apply?

Read on to learn more.

What Is Cybersecurity Risk?

Cybersecurity is a real problem now. In fact, no one is exempted from this. 

Individuals, businesses, organizations, it doesn’t matter. And it’s even more of an issue now in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As technology advances, hackers are also advancing. And with the easy access of connectivity, it’s a prime market for threats.

Now, all sorts of cybersecurity risks come and go. Some can be just a minor nuisance. But, others can be devastating.

Yes, as scary as it sounds, there are a lot of cybersecurity risks. But, they are identifiable and preventable.

So, how can you do so?

Cybersecurity Risk Formula: Threat x Vulnerability x Consequence

To better understand this, let’s talk a look at its parts.


There are many threat actors. It includes:

  1. Cyber terrorists
  2. Government-Sponsored/State-Sponsored Actors
  3. Organized Crime/Cybercriminals 
  4. Hacktivists
  5. Insiders
  6. Script Kiddies
  7. Internal User Errors

They also have different motivations for why they do something. For instance, they do it to gain money. Or gain fame among other actors.

Others also want to steal something. Or expose a secret. While nations who do so want to spy on others.


Vulnerabilities are the launching of attacks by threat actors. And it involves a process, procedure, or technology.

For example, an insider can exploit their familiarity with the company’s security. Like their processes, or knowledge of the following:

  • Everyone in their company uses the password “1234.”
  • Usernames only consist of first and last names.
  • They have no additional security controls like multifactor authentication.

And yet this is just one vulnerability. Others may include:

  • unpatched software
  • unsecured access points
  • misconfigured systems
  • outdated apps


Finally, the consequence is the result of the vulnerability which turned into a cyberattack. 

It may be a loss of sensitive data, a disruption in a corporate network, or physical electronic damage.

Of course, it doesn’t only affect the breached data. It also results in a lot of damages.

Companies can lose their customers. And that’s because customers are likely to leave them.

And it will spread like a wildfire. Other potential customers may also be wary. So, they will choose not to employ your services.

They can also lose their good reputation. And in time, suffer in lawsuits.

All of these can cost them a lot of money. So, they can lose a lot of finances, too.

Cybersecurity risk management: 4 Things to focus on

Knowing about cybersecurity risk is one thing. But, managing it is another issue.

Here are the three best practices you can work on. So, you’ll have a goof cybersecurity risk management program.

  1. Ensure that your senior management is involved. Executives and board members should lead the conversations. Especially when they hire security firms.
  2. Know your assets. By doing so, you’ll know what to protect. This may also include customer data, intellectual property, etc.
  3. Limit the number of people who have access. You don’t go on and announce your trade secrets to all employees. Of course, it should be on a need-to-know basis only.
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