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Developing Risk Management for Cyber Security Threats

The accelerated digital transformation across most industries has made cyber security risk management more important than ever before. Technology has increased efficiencies across all areas of our lives, from banking to hospitals, logistical distribution centres and more. This growing reliance on tech has also created new opportunities for cyber security threats, attacks and warfare.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre documented 2,266 cyber security incidents and an average of 164 cyber attack reports per day, in addition to one report every 10 minutes (July 2019- June 2020). This staggering figure continues to grow as cyber security threats become a real challenge for businesses across the country. These incidents pose a risk to many individuals and the data, networks and systems of many organisations.

Solutions for cyber risk management

Managing complex cyber security threats and minimising harm takes a practical approach with clear contingency plans. There are three core stages to cyber crisis management: readiness, response and recovery.


Readiness for a cyber attack requires an acute awareness, vigilance and expert help to address the potential threat. Businesses must train their staff on the importance of data protection, phishing and hacking techniques. Encrypted data, external servers and cyber threat simulations are all useful methods of preparing for a potential cyber attack. Hackers often look for a weak point of entry into an online system which requires further education on potential threats to boost the defence.


The initial stages of a cyber security threat are crucial and will dictate the impacts of the entire attack. An early detection, coordinated response, and clear communication  can help contain the cyber attack. Businesses may need to respond to the attackers themselves if there’s been ransomware (a bribe from hackers) or external communication to customers for a breach of data. Companies and IT teams need to understand their unanimous response so it can be deployed swiftly and successfully.


The recovery stage focuses on limiting damage, repairing and re-evaluating all systems after a cyber security threat or attack. This may include assessing the extent of the damage, preparing a restoration job and understanding key takeaways from the cyber attack to strengthen cyber risk management plans.

Developing a cyber risk management plan

Developing a readiness, response and recovery plan will utilise different skills across key areas of a business. Consider each of the following elements when establishing a risk management plan for cyber security threats (Deloitte).

  1. Governance

The overarching guidance that provides a clear framework for all roles, responsibilities, documentation and protocols involved when responding to a cyber threat.

  1. Strategy

A cyber security incident response strategy will guide how people act, communicate, prioritise and lead during a cyber threat.

  1. Technology

The software and hardware acquired to prepare, respond and recover from an attack.

  1. Business Operations

How regular business operations will continue after a cyber security threat with minimal disruptions.

  1. Risk and Compliance

How a business can collaborate with risk and compliance establishments, for example with legal counsel, regulators or law enforcement.

  1. Remediation

Once the business has returned to its usual operations, organisations must learn from the attack to prevent it from reoccurring.


Many companies face real cyber security threats

Well-known companies in Australia and around the world have faced cyber security breaches. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the  World Health Organisation (WHO) also drew unwanted attention from cyber attackers. In April 2020, the WHO saw 450 email addresses and passwords leaked online, which was incredibly disruptive to their work addressing theglobal pandemic. This attack on the WHO demonstrates that cyber security threats can come at any moment and often have very damaging and inconvenient repercussions. The WHO took actions like migrating to a more secure authentication system, educating employees on phishing emails and creating an internal response system. This is just one of many cases across the globe. Other organisations that have experienced a recent cyber threat include Nine Media and JBS Foods Australia.


Protect the web and learn cyber security

Australia needsmore skilled professionals who can address the rise in cyber security threats by developing the types of risk management plans outlined above. Be at the forefront of this growing industry by pursuing a career in cyber security . Gain all the required skills with the University of Adelaide’s online Master of Cyber Security program withhands-on technical training that meets the industry standards for cyber security professionals. Taught 100% online, this program allows students to continue working whilst studying.  Dive into the world of cyber security today tojoin the next generation of cyber security leaders tomorrow.

To find out more about how a Master of Cyber Security can enhance your career path, make an appointment to speak with an advisor today. 


Studying a Masters of Cyber Security will allow you to progress your career further & adapt to a growing industry. View a list of potential jobs here.