Basics: Why Start With a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?

cybersecurity risk assessment

It’s important to consider that having a cybersecurity risk assessment performed is not merely a defensive exercise. On the surface, it appears to be used to identify risks and vulnerabilities for the purpose of improving a company’s cybersecurity posture. But the goal is not necessarily protection for protection’s sake. A cybersecurity audit of this nature helps shield an organization’s brand from being tarnished.

By onboarding a third-party firm to run through the cybersecurity risk assessment steps, customer data will be better protected, the organization will be more reliable, and the potential economic losses of getting hacked will be mitigated. Essentially, having a cybersecurity risk assessment performed and hardening your defenses makes your organization better.

What is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?

A cybersecurity risk assessment is designed to determine a network’s vulnerabilities, identify risks, and prioritize the organization’s defense of digital assets. It’s important to note that cybersecurity risk and network vulnerability are not the same things. A vulnerability involves an inherent weakness in your system that could be exploited by a hacker. The risk is the likelihood of that vulnerability being used to successfully breach the system and pilfer off digital assets.

Risk and vulnerability are basically two sides of the same coin. A cybersecurity audit spotlights these issues and creates an opportunity to close gaps. These are critical questions that get answered by a cybersecurity assessment.

  • What are your most valuable digital assets?
  • Which type of data breach would have the most harmful impact?
  • What threats can be identified?
  • What is the possible impact of each threat?
  • What internal vulnerabilities exist?
  • What are the greatest external vulnerabilities?
  • How great is the likelihood of a vulnerability being exploited?

A cybersecurity service provider takes a deep dive into an organization’s system to answer these and other questions. With the data from an objective assessment in hand, a third-party cybersecurity firm works with decision-makers to adopt a defensive posture that addresses company priorities. Not all online information is equal and data that poses the greatest risk to people and business practices are typically fortified. Industry leaders who engage in this type of cybersecurity risk assessment checklist find the process rewarding.

Benefits of Starting with a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

Digital thieves continue to develop new ways to exploit network vulnerabilities and sidestep cybersecurity measures. The cold hard truth is that a sophisticated and well-funded advanced persistent threat can breach most business systems. The goal is to harden your defenses and be able to repel hackers should they attempt an attack. These rank among the benefits industry leaders typically enjoy following a cybersecurity risk assessment.

  • Compliance Data: Government agencies continue to add stringent regulatory compliance guidelines. It’s difficult to be sure if your cybersecurity basics have every box checked. The information garnered from the assessment provides valuable compliance insights.
  • Know Your Capabilities: The assessment tends to focus on risk and vulnerability for the purpose of closing gaps. By that same token, business professionals also learn more about their existing capabilities. When the process is over, you will have an opportunity to greatly enhance them.
  • Employee Knowledge: More than 90 percent of data breaches are the result of human error each year. Employees are prime targets for slick hackers that send them persuasive phishing schemes. Once an employee clicks on the wrong link or downloads a malicious file, hackers can seize control. A cybersecurity assessment estimates employee risk and provides an opportunity to educate staff members.

By teaching frontline workers tips about how cyberattacks are orchestrated, they will enjoy a heightened awareness that benefits the entire organization. When staff members know how password managers, zero trust protocols, and risk monitoring work, forward-thinking business leaders reduce vulnerability and risk.

Contact a Trusted Cybersecurity & Managed IT Service Provider

At CyberTeam, our managed IT and cybersecurity experts have the experience and technology you need to protect your company from a data breach. Our cybersecurity risk management solutions help our clients protect their business interests and intelligence, so they can focus on growth. If you are interested in having a cybersecurity risk assessment performed, contact CyberTeam and schedule a risk assessment to learn more about your vulnerabilities and how we can help.

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