# Opener

Stop Using Spreadsheets to Manage Your Cyber Risk Program

Published by Axio


Stop using spreadsheets to manage risk 

The path to success as a CISO is riddled with obstacles, and the challenges they face when building a cybersecurity program become more demanding by the day. Cybercrime is on the rise, the threat landscape continues to expand, and internal constraints like budgetary limitations persist across industries. Yet, many folks continue to rely on inefficient, old-fashioned approaches to cybersecurity, using tools like rudimentary heat maps, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint decks to manage their program. 

A new way to solve old problems 

Spreadsheet-based risk management is flawed for several reasons and can even create more risk for your organization. Spreadsheets, while useful in other aspects of business, were not designed to be cybersecurity tools and are not the best option for managing risk. They quickly become black holes of information that are not very functional or secure. Here, we’ll examine the various flaws this outmoded practice presents and how CRQ tools like Axio360 present a better solution.  

Manual methods are inefficient 

Manual data entry and data management takes a lot of time, and no automation leads to inefficient data analysis. The threat landscape has evolved rapidly in recent years, and these time-consuming tools will no longer cut it. In this economy, security leaders have only days – not weeks or months- to determine budgetary priorities or respond to inquiries from the board. You don’t have time to waste thumbing through mountains of data in a spreadsheet or building an aesthetically pleasing slide deck. You need answers now, and cyber risk quantification (CRQ) is the solution that will get you accurate answers quickly. Axio360 is efficient and dynamic, and spreadsheets are neither. 

Lack of visibility  

Visibility is a vital requirement for CISOs when it comes to securing budgets and justifying spending on cybersecurity programs. They must manage a wealth of security data from numerous sources across the organization and present it in a way that makes sense to the C-suite and board. Meaningful data analysis is difficult with the limited capabilities of spreadsheets, but CRQ helps CISOs parse this information to understand the relationships between all these bodies of knowledge. It helps business leaders identify the areas they can improve with the most significant impact on the company. Cybersecurity is not just a technical problem; it’s a business problem. With CRQ, CISOs can measure cyber risk in the language of business and the board by presenting risk scenarios in dollars. 

Human error and accountability  

It’s no secret that shared spreadsheets pose a security risk to your business. Additionally, cyber risk management must be a team sport and using a spreadsheet as your “database” can hamstring team collaboration efforts and transparency. When matters as serious as protecting business assets and PII from cyber criminals are on the line, the right hand must be talking to the left hand. With our platform, teams can work together, safely sharing information in one place. This approach facilitates broad participation in the cyber program and consensus on numbers that were constructed as a team. We help CISOs fulfill the need to intuitively organize all aspects of their company’s risk landscape and support decision-makers, which is something spreadsheets cannot do.  

Audit trail and historical data  

Like death and taxes in life, compliance requirements for cybersecurity are an absolute certainty. Risk management spreadsheets likely don’t meet regulatory standards unless managed and maintained with near perfection. Furthermore, tracking changes over time and accessing that data is crucial to an effective, holistic cybersecurity program. CRQ grants the ability to look at the historical evolution of your risk landscape and make connections between interdependencies that an asset-by-asset spreadsheet repository would not reflect. It also factors in the current and historical risk landscape of your peers, making it easy to benchmark your progress dynamically.   


Cyber insurance companies have been losing buckets of money to ransomware, leading to premiums skyrocketing with little to no additional capacity. As a decision-making tool used for budget justification and prioritization, CRQ can help scale and specify risk transfer for your insurance portfolio. Spreadsheets lack the insights needed to optimize the posture of your cyber insurance program, but the methodology of Axio’s platform allows the visibility necessary to understand the risk that drives these things and how your business could be affected by a cyber event. In addition to the insurance advantages, CRQ can help you easily scale and improve on your risk program as the business grows. 


By all accounts, a robust CRQ tool like Axio360 is a better choice for cyber risk management than the old-fashioned spreadsheet approach. Axio360 delivers value with pre-loaded cybersecurity frameworks and compliance standards, saving you time and avoiding mistakes. Our reports produce actionable and transparent data that you can be certain boards and executives will understand and actively interrogate. With Axio’s intuitive and comprehensive platform, you have the power to evaluate risk scenarios and threat status continuously, allowing your business leaders to rationalize budgets and investments at a rapid pace. Take your first step toward a better way to manage cyber risk and request a demo of Axio360 here.