Conducting Risk Assessment with APRA CPS 234

In today’s digital era, where cybersecurity threats loom large, the need for robust risk management frameworks has never been greater. For financial institutions in Australia, complying with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Standard CPS 234 is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a critical step toward securing customer trust and safeguarding their strategic interests.

Understanding APRA CPS 234

APRA CPS 234 sets the foundation for managing information security risks in the financial sector. It outlines the standards for prudential practice and focuses on resilience against cyber attacks. However, its implications go far beyond that.

Key Requirements and Objectives

One of the primary objectives of APRA CPS 234 is to ensure that entities maintain a robust information security posture by identifying and mitigating threats. This involves adopting a comprehensive and disciplined approach towards cybersecurity.

Scope and Applicability

APRA CPS 234 applies to all APRA-regulated entities. This broad applicability makes it imperative for not only compliance officers but also CEOs and business owners to understand and implement its guidance effectively.

Conducting Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is a cornerstone of APRA CPS 234, guiding entities in identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Identifying Critical Information Assets

The first step is to pinpoint what needs protection. This means recognising which information assets are critical to your operation and the potential consequences should they be compromised.

Assessing Threats and Vulnerabilities

Once assets are identified, the next step is determining the potential threats and vulnerabilities each asset faces. This process should be thorough and continuous, as both threats and assets may change over time.

Determining Likelihood and Impact

Evaluating the likelihood and impact of a threat gives organisations a clear understanding of what they’re up against. It informs how they can prioritise resources for the most significant areas of concern.

Prioritising Risks

With a comprehensive risk assessment, organisations can prioritise risks based on their potential impact and the likelihood of occurrence. This helps in focusing efforts where they’re most needed.

Conduct a Gap Analysis 

After identifying and assessing risks, organisations can conduct a gap analysis to determine if their current cybersecurity measures are sufficient. This involves comparing the recommended controls in CPS 234 with the organisation’s existing practices.

Implementing Controls

APRA CPS 234 outlines mandatory controls that must be implemented by APRA-regulated entities. These include implementing information security policies and conducting regular security testing.

Implementing Mitigation Measures

Merely identifying risks isn’t enough; it’s crucial to take decisive steps to mitigate them.

Developing Controls and Safeguards

Implementing appropriate controls and safeguards minimises the vulnerability of information assets. These measures should be both preventive and detective to halt incidents in their tracks or to discover them early.

Establishing Incident Response Plans

A well-structured incident response plan equips an entity to act swiftly and effectively in the event of a security breach, which is paramount in minimising damage.

Ensuring Compliance and Reporting

CPS 234 requires regular reporting on an entity’s compliance status and the ongoing effectiveness of their controls. This keeps risk management practices transparent and accountable.

Benefits of Compliance

Complying with APRA CPS 234 isn’t just about adhering to regulations.

Strengthening Cybersecurity Posture

Implementing APRA CPS 234 enhances an organisation’s cybersecurity defences, making it more resilient against attacks.

Enhancing Customer Trust and Reputation

When customers know their data is protected, trust grows, leading to enhanced reputation and competitive advantages.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

CPS 234 compliance is not optional. Meeting these requirements is crucial for legal and operational standing.


Risk assessment under APRA CPS 234 is an ongoing journey rather than a one-time checkbox. It’s a critical endeavour that protects institutions and their customers from contemporary information security threats.

Looking to bolster your risk management practices? Siege Cyber experts are here to help. From assessing critical assets to implementing robust controls, our expertise aligns with the most stringent APRA standards. Contact us to fortify your cyber defences and ensure compliance.

Remember, a proactive stance on cyber risk is not an option; it’s a necessity in the modern financial landscape.