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Why You Need a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

In our technology-oriented landscape, having a sound IT infrastructure is the key to a business’s success. But without proper cybersecurity protocols that can anticipate and respond to threats, companies can be exposed to costly data breaches and other malicious threat actors.

If you rarely check your organization’s cybersecurity controls or haven’t at all, you may be doing your business a disservice. Educate yourself on the importance of remaining vigilant and understand:

  • What a cybersecurity risk assessment is, and how often they should be performed
  • Why businesses need IT assessments
  • The cons of failing to schedule a regular risk analysis test

What Is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment? What Does It Do?

A cybersecurity risk assessment is an evaluation of the security status within an organization that identifies potential vulnerabilities in its infrastructure. This assessment includes physical access, authentication mechanisms, network architecture, communications protocols, system configurations, and more. By identifying these areas of vulnerability, organizations can take proactive measures to prevent or mitigate cyberattacks such as malware infections, data theft, or phishing attempts.

How Often Should You Get an IT Assessment?

The frequency of your cybersecurity assessment depends on many factors, like:

  • The size and complexity of your IT infrastructure
  • The kind of data your store
  • How much security your network needs
  • The industry you’re in

As a general rule of thumb, most organizations should consider performing a cybersecurity risk assessment at least once every year or two. However, organizations with large networks or more demanding security requirements may want to consider performing assessments more frequently—like every six months, for example—to ensure their systems remain secure.

Additional Factors to Consider

On top of the frequency of assessments, there are several other important things to consider to ensure you’re getting a quality assessment.

For one, your security risk assessment should cover all security areas—like access control, data protection, disaster recovery, incident response plans, and user training—to provide a complete picture of your security strength. You should also make sure the risk level assessment is performed by qualified professionals with experience identifying these potential risks and weaknesses.

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The Importance of Cybersecurity Risk Assessments

No organization is immune from cybersecurity threats, and, unfortunately, many organizations mistakenly believe that they can simply install antivirus software or firewalls and consider themselves safe from attacks.

While this approach is a great measure, it doesn’t provide an adequate level of protection most businesses need and fails to address the many different kinds of attacks that occur. As you gain an in-depth understanding of the importance of regular cybersecurity risk assessments, understand the immense benefits your business could miss without them.

What Failing to Schedule Regular Assessments Could Mean for Your Business

Without regularly assessing an organization’s IT infrastructure, attackers can exploit weaknesses or vulnerabilities that would otherwise have been identified and addressed. This can lead to devastating data breaches, financial losses, reputational damage, or even regulatory action.

Additionally, you could be even more at risk if you have a small business. Typically, smaller or less-established organizations may need more resources or trained personnel to respond quickly and efficiently in the event of an attack. So while the cyber-risks are the same for businesses of all sizes, some companies may be more equipped to recover from a severe hit than others.

The Benefits of Cybersecurity Assessments

Whether it’s a cybersecurity risk or IT infrastructure assessment in general, there are numerous benefits your business can receive:

  • 1. You’ll Have an Easier Time Identifying Risks

    The main benefit of the risk assessment process is that it helps organizations identify any areas where their systems are vulnerable to attack, allowing them to make any necessary changes to improve their security. When left unchecked, these vulnerabilities can provide access for malicious actors to infiltrate an organization’s network and potentially steal sensitive data or disrupt services.

  • 2. Risk Mitigation Can Help Your Business Stay Compliant

    Another benefit of regular cybersecurity risk assessments is that they can help organizations stay compliant with regulations and industry standards. Many organizations are subject to data privacy laws and regulations like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) that require the implementation of specific security protocols, such as encryption tools or two-factor authentication.
    By performing periodic assessments, organizations can be sure that they are meeting these requirements and avoiding any potential fines or legal repercussions due to non-compliance.

  • 3. You Can Pinpoint Where You Need Additional Resources

    Finally, regular cybersecurity risk assessments can clue businesses into areas where they may need more resources or personnel to maintain the highest levels of security.
    For example, if an assessment reveals weaknesses in password management systems or outdated software, the organization may need additional personnel dedicated to managing user accounts and updating software. By recognizing these issues ahead of time, organizations can be proactive in their cybersecurity strategy.

Call on Onward Technology for Your Next Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

When it comes to cybersecurity risk assessments, Onward Technology is the perfect choice for your business. Cybercriminals are using more advanced technology than ever before, and we’re here to equip companies with adequate security controls to protect their most precious assets. With our experience, expertise, and dedication, your company can remain protected from cyberattacks as you continue to work toward your business goals.

Our core focus is built on providing a people-first experience where results matter, and that’s why our team of certified professionals is committed to helping you achieve your goals while delivering an outstanding customer service experience. When you give us a call, you’ll get a taste of what a people-first approach looks like.

Get started with a cybersecurity risk assessment and contact us today.

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