Digital Business

At last, AI can help you illustrate cyber risk

Jun 26, 2023
At last, AI can help you illustrate cyber risk

In the newly advanced AI frontier, CXOs are wondering how to apply these technologies best to defend against increasingly sophisticated attacks that often use the same capabilities. One way is by acting on timely and sophisticated AI-driven risk and exposure insights. 

Call it AI versus AI.

Backed by AI and built on the Zscaler platform, Zscaler has introduced its new risk quantification engine designed to help security leaders navigate the evolving cyber threat landscape. By ingesting real-time signals from internal and external sources, the Zscaler Risk360™ visualization framework generates an accurate visualization and reporting of your organization’s security posture and material cyber risk.  

With intuitive visuals that make the information easily digestible, CXOs can quickly prioritize security issues and communicate them to non-technical audiences who don’t naturally speak the language of cybersecurity. The dashboard enables teams to move away from disjointed tools and point products to a unified, accurate, and complete view of risk posture, facilitating speedy decisions and actionable insights. This becomes exceedingly important given the proposed SEC cybersecurity rules for publicly traded companies. The macro-level perspective of any CXO that owns cybersecurity is to prevent material risk/impact on business functions of the organization. 

Risk visualization for each of the four stages of attack

Zscaler Risk360 uses the four steps of a breach as a template for determining a risk score based on your users, third-party partners, applications, and assets:

  1. Starting with the external attack surface, Risk360 scans a broad range of publicly discoverable variables, such as exposed servers and autonomous system numbers (ASNs), to identify sensitive cloud assets. This allows a complete view of all assets open to the internet and potentially vulnerable to attack.
  2. It analyzes events, security configurations, and traffic flow attributes to determine the likely risk of compromise from malicious files and devices already showing signs of infection. 
  3. To compute the risk of lateral movement, Risk360 scans private access configurations and metrics, allowing you to evaluate and reconsider your segmentation policies.
  4. For evaluating the potential risk of data loss, it collects sensitive data attributes to see if data might leak out of your organization’s environment due to malicious insiders, poor business processes, or policies in need of updating or amending.

In total, Risk360 leverages over 100 factors in your organization’s cybersecurity environment and combines them with security research from Zscaler ThreatLabz to generate a broad, data-driven profile of your risk posture with a risk score on a scale from zero to 100. As the threat landscape evolves, Zscaler will continue adding factors to track. These data-driven metrics can be used to foster our cybersecurity program design goal – preventing a material cyber event. 

Communicating risk in the boardroom with industry benchmarks and progress trend lines

To help CXOs make the business case for security investment decisions, Risk360 exports executive summary slides that illustrate cyber risk in intuitive visual terms. It compares your organization’s risk scores to the rest of the industry across all four attack stages to generate critical peer rankings for creating a broader context. For deeper analysis and prioritization, the data can be organized by risk type, entity (users, third parties, applications, and assets), and location.  

To further quantify risk, the data is also mapped to potential financial risk, translating security risk into the language of business executives to increase their engagement and understanding. Decision-makers can then use the Risk360 scores and reports to prioritize security resources and allocate budgets. 

Risk scores can also be tracked and displayed in trend lines to reflect actions taken and show progress on your organization’s zero trust journey. All this reporting is automated, saving you and your team precious time that can be channeled to actionable insights and meaningful risk reduction.

Time-saving recommendations and CISO board slides

With cybersecurity staffing an ongoing challenge for enterprises across every sector, Risk360 saves time by aggregating the top 10 factors influencing your organization’s risk score. The tool provides guided workflows and detailed action steps that you can take to prioritize and remediate issues quickly.

For example, let’s say you’re investigating a potential data exfiltration finding. You can dig deeper and see the complete enriched data set and all the users exfiltrating data to an unsanctioned file-sharing application. You can then parse this data by department, location, or business processes. From there, you can double-click to take action and mitigate the risk.

Gone are the days of manually correlating data between disjointed tools. AI-powered tools have the power to arm today’s security leaders with risk visualizations, estimated financial exposure, and critical risk findings that can be easily presented to business leaders for a complete portrait of organizational cybersecurity, which is critical for mitigating financial, brand, or societal risk. 

The power of operationalizing AI

You can now leverage AI technology positively and productively to secure your organization from AI-driven attacks, automate remediation and mitigation steps, and streamline the reporting process.

Zscaler Risk360 removes subjectivity from evaluating your organization’s risk posture, helps effectively tell the story of risk exposure, and gets much-needed board support. Most importantly, it enables CISOs and CIOs to see risk in a holistic, data-driven way that simplifies risk and remediation priorities.

Want to learn more about Zscaler Risk360? Read the solution brief.

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