In today’s world, cybersecurity has become an essential aspect of any business that operates online. With the rise of digital attacks on corporations and individuals, cybersecurity measures have become more critical than ever. Companies need to ensure that sensitive information and data are secure and safeguarded from unauthorized access. One way to achieve this is through a cybersecurity risk assessment. A cybersecurity risk assessment is an evaluation of a company’s IT infrastructure, data, and systems to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. In this article, we’ll discuss why you should get a cybersecurity risk assessment and the benefits it can bring to your business. With an online search, you can find the many local cybersecurity risk assessment companies offering deals right now.
What is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?
Cybersecurity risk assessments aid public safety organizations in comprehending the cyber risks to their operations, such as mission, functions, critical services, image, reputation, organizational assets, and individuals. It is the procedure of scrutinizing the potential threats to an organization’s IT systems and data, along with its ability to shield against cyber attacks, is known as a cybersecurity risk assessment, explains Risk Optics.
By conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment, organizations can detect and rank areas that need enhancement in their information security programs. The source goes on to add that this evaluation also helps companies in communicating security risks to stakeholders and making well-informed judgments on how to allocate resources to reduce those security risks.
Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Frameworks and Methodologies
Several cybersecurity risk assessment frameworks and methodologies are available, all of which have the same ultimate objective. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is one of the most prevalent risk assessment frameworks, says IT Governance. It offers a structured and adaptable approach for organizations to evaluate their cybersecurity risks and determine which measures to prioritize to mitigate those risks.
The source adds that another widely-used risk assessment framework is the ISO 27001:2013 standard, which encompasses a comprehensive strategy for information security management, including stipulations for risk assessment and treatment. Organizations can also create their own tailored risk assessment frameworks and methodologies. Regardless of the approach chosen, the aim should be to identify, evaluate, and prioritize risks to information and information systems.
One of the main reasons a company should invest in a cybersecurity risk assessment is to identify any potential vulnerabilities. This refers to weaknesses in a company’s computer system, network, internal controls, or other system processes that cybercriminals can exploit, explains TRAVA. These weaknesses may include inadequate passwords, unlocked screens, or failure to back up data.
Cybercriminals actively seek out vulnerabilities to exploit businesses. Therefore, identifying and assessing the likelihood of risk associated with vulnerabilities is essential. Once identified, they must be mitigated accordingly to enhance the cybersecurity posture of a company, adds the source.
Document and Review Security Controls
Apart from identifying vulnerabilities, a risk assessment provides companies with insight into their security controls and how efficiently they are operating, says TRAVA. They’ll also determine if they need to be upgraded or if there are other issues that may result in data loss or destruction of IT assets, whether through malicious software or natural disasters.
Another area they’ll assess are if physical locks or cameras are necessary. Oftentimes, TRAVA warns that businesses discover that existing security protocols have been inadvertently overlooked, which comes as a surprise during the risk assessment process.
Using Old Technology
Using outdated software or operating systems increases the risk of cyber threats. According to Cybriant, when software reaches a particular age, its provider ceases to support that version. For instance, Microsoft is gradually phasing out security updates and patches for Windows 7.
Continuing to use decades-old technology under the misconception of being safe because there have been no apparent failures or crashes poses a more significant threat, warns the source. Cybercriminals can exploit unnoticed vulnerabilities that you may be unaware of, but they are not. Therefore, it is crucial to update your software and operating systems regularly to minimize cyber risks.
Meet Industry Compliance and Regulations
Handling data requires compliance for most businesses, says TRAVA, and depending on the industry, there may be rigorous regulatory and compliance requirements. Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment will identify potential issues that may arise and enable corrective action before any adverse consequences.
To summarize, a cybersecurity risk assessment aids decision-makers in identifying and prioritizing risks to create proactive and reactive plans to address them. Besides, the source points out that assessments offer additional benefits, such as making businesses more intelligent, strategic, and better prepared to withstand any security event.