# Opener

Let’s Build a Ransomware Action Plan Together

Published by Axio

A Path Towards Meaningful Cybersecurity Communication

Both corporations and governments are putting more emphasis on the importance of a ransomware action plan, citing the ever-increasing frequency in attacks as the driving force.

According to PWC’s 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, one-third of US CEOs plan to increase investments in cybersecurity by double digits. And in just the last month, the Biden Administration has taken swift action to protect US Critical Infrastructure from ransomware threats.

The recognition of addressing ransomware risk as a top priority is a crucial first step in improving cybersecurity posture. The next step is to develop a ransomware action plan.

After a building a ransomware action plan, you can effectively:

  • Understand how susceptible you are to a ransomware attack.
  • Know how much a ransomware attack will impact your business in financial terms (and if you can survive it!)
  • Prioritize the projects to make you less susceptible, reduce your risk and improve your ability to recover.

Most importantly, a ransomware action plan puts you on the path to communicating cybersecurity in easy-to-understand terms across the enterprise. This means board members, C-level executives, and the threat hunters down in the trenches protecting the organization understand each other.

In order to bring people, processes, and technology together the communication can’t be vague or open to interpretation. A color chart of risks may be an effective visual aid, but it lacks clarity for meaningful decisions.

Cybersecurity, and ransomware risk in particular, needs to be in the language of the business: dollars and cents.

So how do you effectively communicate the risk of ransomware? Keep reading to find out.

Understanding Ransomware Shouldn’t be Complicated

Axio has created a process to develop a ransomware action plan in three 90-minute workshops. The Ransomware360 solution was designed based on guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), our deep relationships with insurers, as well as Axio’s analysis of thousands of real-world ransomware events.

You can click here to register for Ransomware360.

The 3 steps of a Ransomware Action Plan are detailed below.

Step One: How Susceptible to a Ransomware Attack Am I?

The first step in developing a Ransomware Action plan is to assess your ransomware preparedness. It’s important to understand how likely an attacker will succeed in executing an attack today, in your current operating environment. Using the Axio360 platform, you’ll run a facilitated assessment to recognize any deficiencies in your controls. These deficiencies are made up of issues like operational interdependencies, weak points not always obvious, and a lack of policies, processes, and procedures attackers can take advantage of. The assessment features a customized list of questions derived from real-world event data we have assembled from our relationships with the world’s largest insurers. After completing the assessment, you get a customized report with prioritized improvement recommendations. The output of the Axio360 Ransomware Preparedness Assessment will be accepted as supplementary evidence in support of cyber insurance applications.

Step Two: What’s the Financial Impact of Ransomware to Your Organization?

Once you have assessed your ransomware preparedness, you can model how an actual scenario will impact your particular organization. One of our Axio experts will walk you through a quantification exercise that will help you understand unanticipated operational impacts in advance of a ransomware event. Using inputs you control, there is complete transparency in how the impact range is derived and the calculation can be defended. Unlike other cyber risk quantification methodologies where calculations are based on industry data hidden in a black box, your entire team can drill into every component of the Axio360 model. This enables collaboration and a feeling of empowerment: you’ve not only calculated the risk but can understand exactly where the range of losses come from. We’re on a mission to make cyber risk quantification simple for everyone. You don’t need a PhD in Statistics or spend 6 months to get a financial output.

Step Three: Prioritize Your Improvement Projects

The final 90-minute step is to build out a ransomware improvement plan with an Axio expert. Using the results of the previous two steps, our experts will assist you in creating a roadmap towards a more secure future. It’s often very difficult to select which cybersecurity projects to focus on next. Your quantified ransomware scenario information from step 2 solves this dilemma. It becomes very easy to model which improvement projects will reduce ransomware scenario impact relative to the project’s cost. Axio recommends setting a current and target state for improvement, which makes it easy and convenient to track progress over time in the platform.

Ransomware may be the cyber scourge of our time but with an action plan in place, you can ensure survival and sleep well at night knowing you have all the right people, processes, and technology in place to weather the storm.

Click here to learn more about the Ransomware360 solution and schedule a consultation.