Cyber Risk Assessment: Why and How

Cyber Risk Assessment: what’s that?

Hi guys! Today, let’s talk about the information security risks and risk assessment in detail. Nowadays, it is no-brainer that nowadays every single company needs cyber risk assessment. Risk assessment is the process of determining the probability of the occurrence of risk factors that could affect development of business and achievement of planned results. With all those cyber threats out there, cyber risk assessment is an important part of every organisation risk management strategy. 

Cyber Risk Score: how to get it?

Disruption of operational activities, loss of business and financial value, violation of legal, regulatory or contractual requirements – these and similar threats could have consequences for all the critical infrastructure. They have forced analysts outline risk-based standards to protect cyberspace. The reliability of risk assessment depends on the quantitative analysis of the whole spectrum of current vulnerabilities.

How to conduct qualitative risk assessment

1. Determine the value of information assets.

One can determine the value of an asset by the level of consequences in case of violation of confidentiality, integrity, availability of an information asset. In other words, how critical the asset is?

2. Determine the probability of risk realisation for the information asset.

You can apply a three-level qualitative scale to do that: is the probability of the particular risk low, medium or high?

3. Define the possibility of successful threat prevention taking into account the current condition of IS and protection measures.

You can apply a three-level qualitative scale to do that, too. Is the probability of the particular risk prevention low, medium or high? In other words, how feasible is current protection frame?

4. Considering all above, conclude the risk level.

You can use a five-point or ten-point scale to do so. Your company may operate with the concept of “acceptable risk level” – the level of risk the company is willing to accept – as a benchmark. In ideal world, you should minimise all risks to the acceptable level.

5. Finally, develop and implement security measures to prevent cyber threats and minimise risks.

Reputational Risk: it matters too!

Reputational risk is a threat or danger to the good name or standing of a business or entity. In other words, it is the risk of financial losses due to misperception of the company’s image. For many industries, such as banking, good reputation of a company is directly linked to its well-being.

IP/Domain Reputation

IP/domain reputation directly determines whether e-mails go to the spam folder. A good domain reputation increases the delivery of mail to the Inbox. This is why it is important to do regular check-ups and fix problems. The sender’s reputation is complex and dynamic. It changes with every IP address and even with every e-mail sent. One can calculate it basing on several parameters: sending history, operability, number of spam complaints, availability of authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) and others.

IP Reputation is tied to a specific server from which you send an e-mail. IP Reputation is tied to a specific server from which you send mail. These are two interdependent concepts that affect each other. For example, with a high IP reputation and low domain reputation, you run the risk of being spammed. 

Mail Server Reputation

Mail Server Reputation is the level of trust the mail service has in the IP address and the domain of the mail server, therefore, in the e-mail that comes from them. The concepts worth knowing here are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.


SPF (Sender Policy Framework)- the special DNS record that contains a complete list of IP addresses from which it is allowed to send email messages on behalf of the domain. Once you have configured the SPF record, the e-mail providers will understand that you are the one who sent the e-mail from your company domain.


DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) – the unique digital signature placed in the message header to confirm that sending of the message is allowed by the domain owner.


DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) is designed to give you as an email domain owner the ability to protect your domain from unauthorised use, commonly known as phishing.

Sure, all above is just a tip of the iceberg in the cyber risk assessment ocean. Stay tuned with our blog to navigate through the informational world and contact us today to get professional risk assessment for your online assets.

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