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How to Measure Cybersecurity Risk


Quantifying and measuring cybersecurity risk can be difficult, but it's important to do in order to manage and mitigate the risk of a breach. The cost of a cyberattack can be devastating and can potentially shut business operations down. As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more common, it's important to understand how to measure cybersecurity risk so that you can protect your business from potential cyberattacks. 

Steps to measure cybersecurity risk

  1. Identify the risks: The first step to identifying potential risks is to understand what valuable data or assets your organization has and what kinds of threats could target those assets. Customer data and employees' digital identities are typically the most sought-after assets of a company. It is important to understand what type of data the company collects, how it is stored and who has access.

  2. Identify external and internal threats: After you have a good understanding of your organizational assets, the next step is to identify and document all external and internal threats. External threats are typically from malicious actors, such as hackers, who are outside of the company. Internal threats can come from employees, contractors or business partners with malicious intent or even accidents.

  3. Assessing all threats and vulnerabilities: Now that you have identified and documented all threats, the next step is to do a more in-depth analysis. This can be done either in-house or can be outsourced to a reputable penetration testing company. At this stage, a pentester will go in and identify potential vulnerabilities that can compromise your security posture and recommend solutions to increase security.

  4. Analysis of business impact: The next step is to analyze the business impact of each potential threat. This includes looking at things such as the probability of occurrence, the amount of damage that could be done and how long it would take to recover from an attack.

  5. Prioritizing risk response: The final step is to prioritize the risk response. Label each risk as low, medium or high to help prioritize which risks need to be addressed first. From there, you can develop a risk response plan to address the most pressing risks.

    • High risk: preventative measures should be implemented as soon as possible

    • Medium risk: preventative measures should be implemented within a reasonable period of time

    • Low risk: plan to implement preventative measures down the road or accept the risk


Quantifying and measuring cybersecurity risk is essential to managing and mitigating risk. The steps to measure cybersecurity risk include identifying the risks, identifying external and internal threats, assessing all threats and vulnerabilities, analyzing the business impact of each potential threat, and prioritizing the risk response. By taking these steps, organizations can develop a plan to address the most pressing risks.

Packetlabs can help you identify the vulnerabilities in your system, applications, and networks to minimize the risk of a cyberattack. Contact the Packetlabs team today for a consultation.