What to Look Out For When Choosing a Cyber Risk Advisor

Six Attributes of a Good Cyber Risk Advisor

Cyber risk advisors aim to provide support in helping board directors make the right decisions with regards to navigating turbulent cyber weather. Listed below are six attributes of a good risk advisor.

1. Strength in Profession and Personal Skills

Cyber risk advisors should have great listening skills as well as the skill of communicating effectively in order to operate across numerous levels of the business. On top of this, they must also have the ability to analyze and synthesize significant amounts of data.

As well, a cyber risk advisor will need to understand and work around the logical and emotional aspect of the advisor-client relationship, be able to adapt to the pace of a client and respond in an appropriate manner. Advisors need to contain transparency and candor, in addition to empathy as well as imagination. Possessing these traits will give them the ability to read situations and place themselves in other people’s shoes. The advisor, ultimately, should be able to communicate in a way that is at the most appropriate for their audience.

2. Solid Grasp of Tech Pros and Cons

A good risk advisor needs a strong grasp of what certain technology is able or not able to achieve. Although tech controls have their place, even the top tech defense may be thwarted in the presence of human error. If for instance you possess staff and users that are perfect, one’s own organizational functions may slow down on the security end. The cyber risk advisor should have the ability to recognize how issues regarding cyber can have effects in the business and create the case for governance efforts.

3. Focused on the Business and People

In the end, the cyber risk advisor’s significant interaction will not be with the processes or technology, but with the business and people. This means, they must have the ability to frame cyber risk metrics in the context of business. Good advisors will recognize the value of security frameworks, for instance, the NIST cybersecurity framework. Advisor’s should have a clear vision that is outlined of the steps a business needs to make in order to meet compliance standards and be able to articulate current statistics against the target state.

A good risk advisor does not just look for methods to safeguard the business, but in addition locates solutions that will be successful for the people impacted by decisions that have been made in the name of security. With such instance in mind, they will prioritize threat intelligence as well as looking beyond boundaries on the geographical front into market incentives and trends.

4. Understands Company Culture

Each business has its own personality. To make sure of positive interactions, a savvy risk advisor will look to make sense of the personalities of the members of the board as well as the character of the business itself.

It is vital for risk advisors to address the biases of organizational risk, specifically when reviewing a list of prioritized risks along side top leadership. The advisor is able to use guiding questions to aid clients to identify any biases that may impact their ability to make optimal decisions in business. For instance, the risk advisor may question each line of business how it is managing its cyber risk, the scope of positive changes as well how such changes have been measured.

5. Maintains Trust and Open Dialogue

No matter how qualified advisors are, they must tread cautiously until they have gained trust with the client. Risk advisors need to develop trust with the client as well as to be able to work as a partner with the top leadership. In order to do this, transparency and honesty is key as well as establishing credibility and ensuring numerous lines of dialogue. Performing such will show how they understand the strategy of the business as well as the business itself.

6. Articulates the Company’s Cybersecurity Posture

Cyber Risk Advisors can provide an unbiased view on whether previous decisions have aided the organization or not. Advisors can also review the quality of the data presented to board in order to ensure its relevance, reliability and to make sure it is presented in business-centric terms. Of similar nature, they can assess the reliability and the strength of the business’ cyber indicators as well as the performance of the organization itself in terms of how well they are addressing the cyber risks. Cyber risk advisors also analyze the speed and efficiency of incident response as well as reviewing different important security indicators for signals of progress.

In the end, similar to when a CFO presents a financial statement to the board, the cyber risk advisor makes sure that cybersecurity is always framed in the sense of what the meaning of it is for the organization. They can ensure that the posture of the current cyber security is adequately-articulated and the target state is achievable given the business culture. As a final point, they can assess the business’ progress towards achieving their target state.


ISA is a cybersecurity focused technology firm, with over twenty-eight years of experience helping organizations of all sizes solve complex challenges relating to IT security.  We act as trusted advisors to help our clients define, implement and manage their strategies to minimize IT security related risk, and to provide a secure business environment for their employees and customers. 

Our focus is on cybersecurity. ISA’s solution portfolio consists of world-class products developed by the industry’s top vendors. Their solutions help customers protect their critical assets by engaging highly skilled people who focus on solving complex cybersecurity challenges. ISA is committed to helping customers reduce their total cost of ownership in technology through innovation, education, and consulting services. 

Our Professional Services team ensures that their customers are provided with advice, education, guidance, and mentoring in the design, development, implementation, support and ongoing management of their technology environments.

ISA Managed Services

ISA Managed Services are designed to respond to the evolving cyber threats and provide the information management and controls needed to increase the security posture of our customers. Our Managed Services will help:

  • – Manage security operations effectively and efficiently
  • – Protect intellectual property
  • – Provide security intelligence and the impact of cyber threats on the organization
  • – Provide real-time insight into the current security posture of your organization
  • – Enable your organization to know who did what, when, and prove it (evidence)


We Offer the Following Benefits :

– 24×7×365 monitoring and management, incident response and support with nearly anytime access to security experts for endpoint security and network security devices
– Optional integrated vulnerability intelligence to help improve attack identification and reduce false positives
– Customized configuration, tuning and management of  endpoint security and network security devices

ISA Managed Services offer the Following Benefits to Our Customers:

  1. – Increased compliance through the implementation of customized workflow reduces risk and costs
  2. – Predictability – the  environment is optimally protected based on the adherence to industry best practices
  3. – Minimize Outbreaks and Breaches – 24x7x365 monitoring by a team of research analysts and strict adherence to an execution of daily and weekly endpoint security enforcement and validation tasks results in a well protected environment
  4. – Productivity – free up customer resources to focus on other more critical tasks

ISA and Support Services

ISA’s ESS – Essential Support Services offer a menu of proactive support services that can be tailored to meet our customer’s individual needs. These services allow our customers to deliver a cybersecurity support program that will maintain their desired cybersecurity posture and will save them time and money.

L1, L2 Product Support

ISA’s team is responsible for delivering Level 1 / Level 2 vendor authorized support for our customers. We have direct access to the vendor support teams for escalating incidents requiring vendor product engineering team attention. We also have access to the same trouble-shooting tools and knowledge database intelligence as our vendor support organizations.

You will benefit from:

  • – 24X7X365 access
  • – Rapid response and case resolution – in many cases the ISA team may have assisted with the implementation of the solution and can leverage that knowledge of your environment and setup
  • – Single point of contact for all of your cybersecurity product issues
  • – Access to vendors’ award-winning advanced technical support resources through an established escalation process

Platinum Support Programs

ISA offers enterprise support programs to provide ongoing support, tuning, maintenance and knowledge transfer. Our dedicated Technical Account Managers will deliver this annual support program by providing a highly customized service designed to meet the unique requirements of our customers.

  • – Periodic system maintenance
  • – Block of Time services
  • – Incident Response
  • – Education services


So Why ISA?

ISA focuses on building strong partnerships with out clients by providing a superior client experience based upon a foundation of Quality, Commitment & Integrity. We focus on assisting our clients in achieving their goals by helping them deal with the complexity of defining and implementing strategies to reduce IT security risk. With ISA being Canada’s largest security solutions provider, we are a top trusted cyber risk advisor. 


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