12 Essential Risk Mitigation Strategies for 2024

Understanding the Foundation of Risk Mitigation

Implementing robust risk mitigation strategies is essential to navigating the complexities of risk-related compliance activities. 

But before discussing risk mitigation techniques, we must discuss the necessary prep work. In the context of risk management, the preparation stage for risk mitigation solutions is identifying and assessing risks. You can’t mitigate risks that haven’t been identified, right? 

A risk assessment illuminates threats and vulnerabilities, setting the stage for crafting precise strategies that curtail risks. This foundational step is pivotal, for it dictates the effectiveness of subsequent risk reduction strategies. 

12 Essential Risk Mitigation Strategies for 2024

Broadly Speaking

The following high-level guidelines set the stage for robust risk mitigation strategies.

Keep Those Risk Assessments Coming

Comprehensive risk assessments are irreplaceable in maintaining a fortified stance against risks. These assessments serve as your radar, scanning the horizon for emerging threats and vulnerabilities that, if left unchecked, could evolve into significant challenges. 

Through the tried-and-true cycle of assessment and reassessment, organizations cultivate a dynamic environment in which risk management evolves with the shifting risk landscape.

Develop a Responsive Risk Management Plan

Your risk management strategy hinges on establishing a well-defined framework that delineates precise roles, responsibilities, and procedures for swift escalation in times of need. It’s about laying down a blueprint that can adapt and morph in real-time

Integrate Technology into Risk Management Processes

Integrating cutting-edge technological tools into risk management introduces new levels of efficiency and insight for security teams. Advanced solutions like automated risk assessments, intelligent risk registers, and dynamic monitoring systems help businesses navigate the complexities of the digital landscape with greater precision. 

Adopt a Proactive Regulatory Approach

Proactivity empowers organizations to anticipate adjustments in compliance requirements, allowing for timely adaptation and seamless integration into existing processes. Businesses can preemptively address changes by maintaining a vigilant eye on the regulatory horizon and deploying strategic foresight.

Strengthen Internal Controls

Fortifying internal controls is paramount for an unwavering strategy aimed at mitigating risks. They serve as the organization’s skeletal structure for risk management. Establishing stringent policies, meticulous procedures, and vigilant monitoring mechanisms lays the groundwork for efficiently identifying and addressing internal vulnerabilities. Internal controls ensure that risk is managed at its inception.

12 Risk Mitigation Measures for 2024

In the next section, we draw upon insights from the National Security Agency (NSA) to explore top-tier risk reduction strategies. The NSA spelled out these strategies to counteract common exploitation techniques they’re seeing today. The last two are not based on the NSA.

The NSA’s top ten mitigation strategies seamlessly integrate with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework functions. These functions, encompassing Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover, form the cornerstone of effective risk management and promote a robust defense-in-depth security posture. We’ll tag each mitigation technique with the corresponding functions from the NIST CSF core functions.

  1. Update and Upgrade Software

Apply all available software updates promptly to address known vulnerabilities. Wherever possible, use automation technology to streamline the patching process. Time is of the essence when it comes to patch management. Threat actors are notorious for exploiting vulnerabilities immediately after a patch release. Additionally, ensure that updates are authentic and delivered over secure channels to maintain the integrity of software installations.

NIST tags: Identify/Protect

  1. Assign Privileges and Access

Assign privileges based on risk exposure and operational necessity to minimize the impact of credential compromise. Use Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions to automate credential management and enforce fine-grained access control. Implement tiered administrative access to restrict privileges based on job roles and responsibilities. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access to critical assets and data.

NIST tags: Identify/Protect

  1. Enforce Signed Software Execution Policies

Implement modern operating systems that enforce signed software execution policies to prevent the execution of unauthorized or malicious code. Maintain a list of trusted certificates to validate the authenticity of executable files and scripts. Application whitelisting should complement signed software execution policies to restrict the execution of unsigned software and mitigate the risk of malware infiltration.

NIST tags: Protect/Detect

  1. Exercise a System Recovery Plan

Develop and regularly review a comprehensive system recovery plan to ensure business continuity during system disruptions or data breaches. Encrypt and securely store backups offsite to protect critical data from unauthorized access or tampering. Conduct periodic testing and evaluation of the recovery plan to identify and address any gaps or deficiencies in the restoration process.

NIST tags: Identify/Respond/Recover

  1. Actively Manage Systems and Configurations

Take inventory of network devices and software to establish a baseline for system configurations and operations. Remove unnecessary or outdated hardware and software to reduce the attack surface and mitigate the risk of exploitation. Implement proactive system management practices to monitor and enforce security configurations, ensuring compliance with organizational policies and industry best practices.

NIST tags: Identify/Protect

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Learn more about Risk Mitigation Strategies
  1. Continuously Hunt for Network Intrusions

Conduct regular threat-hunting operations to detect, contain, and remediate malicious activities within the network. Assume a persistent threat detection and response posture, utilizing dedicated teams and advanced security tools to identify and neutralize potential threats. Leverage Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities, and threat intelligence feeds to enhance detection and response capabilities.

NIST tags: Detect/Respond/Recover

  1. Leverage Modern Hardware Security Features

Utilize hardware-based security features such as UEFI Secure Boot, Trusted Platform Module (TPM), and hardware virtualization to enhance system integrity and protection against unauthorized access. Prioritize adopting modern hardware platforms that support advanced security capabilities, including system attestation and application isolation. Regularly update hardware firmware and retire outdated devices to maintain a secure computing environment.

NIST tags: Identify/Protect

  1. Segregate Networks Using Application-Aware Defenses

Implement network segmentation to isolate critical assets and services from untrusted network segments. Deploy application-aware network defenses to inspect and filter network traffic based on application protocols and content. Emphasize defense-in-depth principles by combining traditional intrusion detection mechanisms with advanced threat detection technologies to effectively identify and mitigate sophisticated cyber threats.

This correlates to the broader advice of adopting a zero-trust security model, which assumes threats may exist outside and also inside the network perimeter. Zero-trust architecture verifies and validates every user and device attempting to access resources, regardless of location or network context, and strongly emphasizes network segregation.

NIST tags: Protect/Detect

  1. Integrate Threat Detection Services

Incorporate detection reputation services to augment the organization’s threat hunting and response capabilities. Leverage multi-sourced threat intelligence feeds to identify and block malicious entities such as files, URLs, IPs, and email addresses. Enhance situational awareness and threat visibility by leveraging shared threat intelligence platforms and participating in information-sharing and analysis centers (ISACs) and industry-specific threat-sharing communities.

NIST tags: Protect/Detect

  1. Transition to Multi-Factor Authentication

Strengthen authentication mechanisms by transitioning from single-factor to multi-factor authentication (MFA) for user authentication. Implement MFA solutions combining multiple authentication factors, such as passwords, physical tokens, biometric identifiers, and one-time passcodes, to enhance security and mitigate the risk of credential theft or misuse risk. Prioritize using MFA for accounts with elevated privileges, remote access, and access to sensitive data or systems.

NIST tags: Identify/Protect

  1. Adopt an “Assume Breach” Mindset

We hate to break it to you, but the “assume breach” approach is not an assumption. It’s an awareness acknowledging that adversaries may already exist within the network despite preventive measures. This mindset shifts the focus from preventing intrusion to effectively detecting and responding to threats. Organizations proactively hunt for indicators of compromise and suspicious activities, continuously monitoring the network for signs of unauthorized access or malicious behavior. 

  1. Get Cyber Insurance

Organizations turn to cyber insurance to transfer risk to an organization that would cover the costs of a cyber attack, mitigating their own risk. According to HBR, the global insurance community saw the first cyber insurance program exceed $1 billion in 2020, and the number is only growing. 

Sadly, although the cyber insurance market is growing, insurers are increasingly aware of the need for more experience and historical context to assess cyber insurance policies accurately. To this end, they are becoming more stringent and demand that companies adhere to a baseline security standard for internal controls and safe IT practices such as asset inventory, patch management, vulnerability management, third-party risk management, and incident response.

How Govern Fits into Your Risk Mitigation Strategy

The newly released NIST  CSF 2.0 puts the “Govern” Function as the central pillar on which all other functions rely. Risk mitigation options for your company are only as good as the “Govern” function that underlies all other risk functions. A modern GRC framework does just that. It’s your ally in bringing together policies, procedures, and controls to guide your organization through the maze of identifying, assessing, managing, and monitoring risks across all areas of operation.

Harness the Strength of Centraleyes: Your Next-Gen GRC Partner

Embrace the future of risk management with Centraleyes.  Centraleyes streamlines risk management processes, offering unparalleled visibility into organizational risks while simplifying compliance with regulatory standards. The platform leverages advanced analytics, automation, and machine learning algorithms to identify, assess, and mitigate risks across the enterprise. 

With Centraleyes by your side, clarity is within reach, empowering you to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of risk management.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Looking to learn more about Risk Mitigation Strategies?
Skip to content