Cyber risks are, unfortunately, part of the daily life of any business that uses technology. There are many ways that your company may be exposed to a cybersecurity breach. And as technology advances, so does the risk of being targeted by ever-more sophisticated hackers.
It has never been more important to prioritize your company’s cybersecurity. A risk assessment is essential for your business to determine your specific strengths, weaknesses, and needs in terms of cybersecurity. An assessment will help you understand what data hackers will target, who may want to attack your systems, and how they will try to infiltrate your company. Also, it will expose your vulnerabilities so you’ll know where and how to protect yourself.
Why Should You Get a Cybersecurity Assessment?
Security risks are a more significant threat than ever before.
Any business that uses digital technology is a candidate for an attack. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, it is difficult to know where to expect them. It is estimated that there is a cyberattack attempt every 14 seconds, and half of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses. A cybersecurity risk assessment will not only highlight weak areas but will promote a safer cyber culture within the company.
It’s a proactive approach.
If you wait until you suffer from a data breach to evaluate your company’s cybersecurity, it will be much too late to protect yourself from significant financial harm and the loss of consumer trust.
A risk assessment will show you where your blind spots and weaknesses are before they are taken advantage of so that you can prevent them from being exploited. Armed with the advice of an expert, you will be able to test areas of defense, patch weaknesses, and repair issues in your IT infrastructure. This will give you the power to deter attacks.
Compliance doesn’t cover everything.
Compliance with laws regulating how you handle customers’ sensitive information is essential for your business, but this alone does not constitute fully rounded cybersecurity protection.
Technology is continuously evolving, and cyber criminals are developing new ways to breach your systems. So even the most recent laws will not be able to warn you of how to protect against new threats. If you are relying solely on your adherence to compliance regulations, your business is most likely still vulnerable to cyberattacks.
A cybersecurity risk assessment will save you money.
A data breach can cause significant financial damage to your business, and it can also damage your professional reputation—something that could prove fatal for your company. The rideshare company Uber fell victim to a data breach where hackers stole the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers. The company paid the hackers $100,000 in an attempt to cover up the breach, but the information reached the public, and Uber was fined $148 million—a sum most businesses can’t afford.
A risk assessment will inform you which advanced cybersecurity services are needed to protect your company from dangers that can cost you much, much more money than preventative protection would.
Who Can Perform a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?
A business with sufficient in-house capabilities can use its team of IT professionals to conduct the risk assessment. However, if you do not have the qualified personnel, your best option is to outsource this task to a third party. Hiring a Managed Service Provider to perform a risk assessment is a great option for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a reputable source to assess the state of their cybersecurity.
What Information Will the Assessment Provide?
An experienced technician will conduct an in-depth analysis of your IT network. An assessment will do the following:
- Determine where the security threats come from.
- Identify any risks posed to your organization, including phishing, cyberattack, and network weaknesses.
- Evaluate the strength of your current cybersecurity plan.
- Show where your current vulnerabilities lie and how cyber criminals can exploit them.
- Ascertain the probability of a cyberattack and how likely it will be to succeed. These projections will be based on past data and measured against your current cybersecurity.
- Determine what potential impact an attack could have. This will include factors such as how much data could be stolen, potential cost of data loss, downtime, fines, and customer compensation, and the impact to your reputation.