Your Cyber Risk Readiness IQ

National perspectives on cyber risk management complexity and performance

Your institution is great at managing the risk associated with loans and credit, but how well do you apply that same discipline to cyber risk?

Cyber risk management is the process of preventing, identifying, assessing, and managing the risks associated with cyber threats and vulnerabilities. This includes understanding the potential impact of a cyber-attack on your institution’s reputation, operations, and finances, as well as developing and implementing strategies to manage those risks. An effective cyber risk management solution encompasses four integrated components: Risk Assessment, Governance, Security and Fraud. In addition, it needs to account for the impact of operational changes at your institution.

Getting there begins with an understanding that cyber risk is uniquely dynamic, a result of two factors:

  1. Threat actors are always on. Cybercriminals are always on the watch, seeking out weaknesses that enable them to penetrate your defenses.
  2. Your institution is in a state of constant operational change. Therefore, you are in a state of constant risk. Expanded digital offerings, upgraded technology at existing branches or opening new branches are all reasons to celebrate change, but can open the door to additional risk.

In this challenging environment, how does your bank or credit union compare to other institutions on the core elements of cyber risk? To what degree are other institutions working to get ahead of cyber risk and protect their sensitive data?

To help you answer these and other critical questions, DefenseStorm surveyed hundreds of financial institutions. The findings are captured in the 2023 Cyber Risk Benchmarking Report. Protecting your institution requires both a defensive and offensive approach to cyber risk management. An approach that is specifically designed to address your institution’s unique requirements, including complex technology systems and extensive regulations.

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Report Highlights

Report highlights

Key takeaways from The 2022 Cybersecurity Benchmarking Report:

Upping their game

Upping their game

More than half of survey respondents acknowledge the need to optimize their defensive strategies, improving how they assess risk and manage their program.

Upgrades needed

Upgrades needed

Two-thirds of respondents are either using automation to improve governance and compliance or know they should but haven’t been able to implement the move to automation yet.

Help wanted

Help wanted

Almost 60% of those surveyed realize they could benefit from additional or better technology designed specifically to address cyber risk. Utilization is an issue, with many say they are using their current technology to a moderate or limited degree – or in some cases not at all.

Tech Challenges

Tech challenges

More than half of respondents said keeping on top of new and emerging cyber risks is difficult or that they need additional people to bolster their security operations team.

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An effective approach to cyber risk addresses five key areas

The dynamic nature of cyber risk means that there is more for you to consider than just how you approach cybersecurity. Based on our experience benchmarking the approach used by leading financial institutions, an effective cyber risk program must address five key areas to better fight potential threats and protect not only sensitive information but business continuity, financial performance and community trust.


To innovate and grow, your institution is undergoing constant change with new technologies, new staff, etc. All those changes have cyber risk implications that are best addressed proactively before an issue arises.

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Since cyber risk is so dynamic, you must continuously assess risk to provide a real-time understanding, be able to demonstrate how risks and controls have evolved over time, and use insights to better inform decision making including planning, resource allocation and budgeting.

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With sound processes and procedures, banks and credit unions can achieve their business objectives, address uncertainty and follow stringent regulations, so an institution can demonstrate it acts with integrity.

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How well a bank or credit union can detect and respond to constant and always-evolving cyber threats is critical. Failure to do so often has long-term consequences and you only get to be wrong once in this arena.

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Cyber Fraud

Since cybercriminals corrupt and steal personal and financial information stored online to commit fraud, institutions must have the systems and technology to protect customers’ data. Proactive vigilance allows you to stop fraud before it happens.

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How does your FI measure up?

Take this quick self-evaluation to understand your cyber risk readiness and how you stack up against your financial industry peers.

The outcome will help you identify areas where you are strong or where you have vulnerabilities or gaps and provide tangible recommendations for improving your cyber risk maturity.

Take the Cyber Risk IQ Evaluation

About the Cybersecurity Benchmarking Report

In late 2022, DefenseStorm surveyed information security and IT professionals across the US. The goal was to benchmark the progress that companies are making against five components of effective cyber risk management. Based on their survey responses, respondents were grouped into four maturity levels:

Assessment Categories

Further Resources for You

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2023 Cyber Risk Benchmarking Report

Protecting your institution requires both a defensive and offensive approach to cyber risk management. An approach that is specifically designed to address your institution’s unique requirements, including complex technology systems and extensive regulations. Read how financial institutions play both offense and defense.

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DefenseStorm 2023 Annual Threat Report

DefenseStorm experts share key insights about what makes your financial institution vulnerable.

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Discuss your cyber risk IQ and discover options for addressing your pain points.