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7 Reasons to Consider a Cyber Security Risk Assessment

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Don’t rely on false confidence. Read the following 7 reasons to consider why you should consider an annual cyber security risk assessment.    Read More

Should you consider a cyber security risk assessment? Many businesses think they are untouchable when it comes to cyberattacks or data breaches. History has proven that even the most secure organizations can be targeted. It’s common for business owners to think they don’t have anything cybercriminals want to access.

Cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for everyone. Ever thought “that won’t happen to me” in the face of bad news?

Don’t rely on false confidence. Read the following 7 reasons to consider why you should consider an annual cyber security risk assessment.   

What is a Cyber Security Risk Assessment?

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First, let’s be clear what we mean by cybersecurity assessment. Like an annual wellness check-up for your health, this assessment aims to diagnose potential risks before something serious happens.

What is a Cyber Security Risk Assessment?

A cyber security risk assessment is a proactive assessment aims to detect or identify any system, network, software, device, physical, and other threats or vulnerabilities. The assessment findings help your business plan what it will do to respond to and manage the risk. 

The depth and breadth of a cybersecurity assessment can depend on your business size, industry, risk threshold, timeline, and budget. Still, there are several signs suggesting your business needs to schedule a cyber security assessment soon.

#1 You’ve got a bad feeling that something isn’t right

Your Spidey senses are tingling. Or you’ve seen something suspicious that makes you question your cybersecurity. This might be:  

  • Finding strange files on your network 
  • Your computers behaving oddly 
  • Competitors knowing information about your company that isn’t yet public knowledge 

#2 Regulatory compliance requirements

Your business may need to meet regulatory requirements. For instance, there are many rules about testing for cyber exposure in financial, healthcare, energy, and educational settings. Compliance https://cybriant.com/compliance-regulation-in-cybersecurity/starts with a comprehensive cyber risk assessment, we are also able to make recommendations based on the results of your assessment to help your organization maintain compliance. 

#3 Your staff isn’t tech-savvy

Insider threats remain one of the biggest cybersecurity threats. Your investment in security to lock down your “virtual house” doesn’t help if your staff opens the door to anyone who knocks. 

Most employees aren’t malicious. They just have poor habits. Some don’t see a problem in securing their accounts (all of them) with a passcode such as “1234” or “password”. Others are naive enough to actually believe a Nigerian prince wants to send them millions! 

Even those with security awareness training can fall victim to business communications scams. Busy people may not notice when they get an invoice that looks exactly like a supplier’s but with a bad actor’s banking details.  

#4 Angry Former Employees

Depending on your size and the volume of work, you may not yet have a clear process in place for handling terminated employees’ technology access. Are unhappy people quitting? Have you fired staff? Not everyone leaves on good terms, so revoke all former employees’ access and change passwords.

Providing former staff with continued access to your cloud-based platform is as foolish as exposing yourself to germs by waiting on the sick-patient side at the doctor’s office.  

#5 Old Technology

We’ve all been there. We try to get more done with the tools we have rather than having to invest in and learn something new. Yet the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach is not applicable to technology. 

Old software or operating systems are more likely to expose you to cyber risk. Once software reaches a certain age, the provider stops supporting that solution. Microsoft, for example, is phasing out security patches and updates for Windows 7. 

Don’t plod along with decades-old technology, thinking you’re safe because there hasn’t yet been a failure or crash. The bigger danger is the small, unnoticed openings you don’t know about, but cybercriminals do.

#6 No data control policies in place

The number of technology entry points to control is always growing. There may be USB drives floating around your business environment holding essential data. Company laptops can be misplaced or stolen. Remote employees may sign on to unprotected WiFi networks and portable devices aren’t properly encrypted.  

Without policies in place to control data throughout your business environment, it’s difficult to determine your vulnerabilities. 

#7 Your employees use their own devices. 

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment makes employees happy. The cyber criminals are pleased too. Sure, this approach can save money. Your business no longer has to ensure every employee has the latest available technology. But, there are drawbacks: 

  • Employee devices may not be the latest, which could make them more susceptible to cyber-attack. 
  • Staff could download malicious software or apps onto their personal devices that give cybercriminals access to your systems. 
  • Users may be entirely unaware their devices carry malware and could infect your systems when connected.
  • The employee may not be the only user of the phone which has access to business information.
  • Disgruntled employees can use their own devices to damage your network. 

Download our Remote Workers Guide. 

Don’t Ignore the Signs!  

We compared the cybersecurity assessment to a personal wellness visit. Maybe you tend to put those off, too! Well, if any of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to schedule an assessment. 

Cyberattacks and data breaches are seriously damaging for business. If something does happen, your business could lose access to its network or systems for hours or even days. Every moment of downtime proves costly in terms of:

  • Productivity decline 
  • Lost revenues and possible fines 
  • Customer churn 
  • Damage to brand reputation.

 

Why Get Your Assessment Done by Pros 

A business can do its own cybersecurity assessments, but it’s a little like going to the Internet to diagnose your persistent cough. Is it a common cold or proof you’re dying? Cybriant offers several cyber security risk assessments that give you an objective, expert opinion. 

MSSPs understand potential threats and know where to look to identify internal and external vulnerabilities. They can also help gauge the likelihood of something negative happening, as well as the possible harm to your business. 

An MSSP doing a cybersecurity assessment should survey and inventory all your assets to determine what might happen and how devastating it could be to your business bottom line. Reviewing the network, hardware, systems, and business tools, the MSSP can map remote access points and confirm the right protection is in place. 

In addition to running vulnerability scans, the MSSP can also offer a prioritized plan for addressing any risks identified. When you work with Cybriant for your cyber security risk assessments, we will also stick around to help your business implement the fixes and even recheck to be sure your cyber security is now up to snuff.

Cyber Security Risk Assessment Options

Cybriant offers the following assessments: 

Risk AssessmentOur Cyber Risk Assessment is a required step when determining the needs or success of your security program. Following NIST guidelines our risk experts perform interviews, documentation analysis, and walkthrough of physical areas to determine the state of the security program of the client.

Gap AnalysisOur Gap Analysis is critical when you are in need of identifying any deficiencies between your security program and a specific regulation or framework. Our experts will identify the minimum necessary adjustments your company must make in order to comply with said regulation. 

Penetration TestingOur Pen Tests are necessary for organizations that have a compliance need, or that have a concern of a specified system, or are within the monitoring phase of an overarching security program. With Cybriant’s Pen Test, a professional hacker attempts to exploit a technical vulnerability to gain unauthorized access to specified systems.

Mobile Risk Assessments – Mobile devices present a uniquely challenging landscape for security professionals and businesses alike. Cybriant’s Mobile Security Assessment considers every avenue and aspect in which risk may present itself and provides recommendations to address these challenges.

Cyber Security Risk Assessment Importance

A cyber security risk assessment is an important tool for any organization that relies on computer systems and networks. By identifying vulnerabilities and threats, a cyber risk assessment can help an organization take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.

In addition, a cyber risk assessment can also provide valuable information about the potential impact of an attack, allowing organizations to plan for and respond to cyber incidents.

While a cyber security risk assessment can be a complex and time-consuming process, the benefits of conducting one far outweigh the costs. By taking the time to understand the risks faced by an organization, a cybersecurity assessment can help to ensure that critical data and systems are protected from cyber threats.

Cyber Risk Analysis

A cyber risk analysis typically includes four key steps:

#1. Identifying assets and evaluating their importance to the organization

#2. Identifying vulnerabilities in systems and networks

#3. Identifying potential threats that could exploit those vulnerabilities

#4. Assessing the likelihood of a successful attack and the potential impact on the organization

Each of these steps is important in understanding the risks faced by an organization. However, the first two steps are particularly critical in identifying the most important assets and vulnerabilities.

Identifying Assets

The first step in conducting a cyber security risk assessment is to identify the assets of the organization. Assets can include data, systems, networks, and personnel. It is important to consider both physical and electronic assets when conducting a cyber security risk assessment.

Data assets may include confidential information such as customer data, financial records, or trade secrets. Systems assets include the hardware and software used by the organization, as well as the data stored on those systems. Network assets include both the internal network of the organization and any external networks that are accessed by the organization.

Personnel assets include the skills and knowledge of employees, as well as their access to systems and data. When conducting a cyber security risk assessment, it is important to consider all of the assets of the organization and their importance to business operations.

Evaluating Importance

After identifying the assets of the organization, the next step is to evaluate the importance of those assets. This evaluation should consider the impact of a loss of the asset, as well as the likelihood of that loss.

For example, an organization may consider its customer data to be a critical asset. The loss of this data could have a significant impact on business operations. However, if the data is properly protected and there is a low likelihood of it being lost, the impact may be less severe.

Similarly, an organization may consider its network to be a critical asset. The loss of access to the network could have a significant impact on business operations. However, if the network is redundantly designed and there is a low likelihood of it being lost, the impact may be less severe.

The importance of an asset is relative to the organization and its specific business needs. By evaluating the importance of assets, organizations can prioritize their protection.

Identifying Vulnerabilities

After identifying and evaluating the assets of the organization, the next step is to identify the vulnerabilities in systems and networks. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that can be exploited by threats to gain access to systems and data.

There are many different types of vulnerabilities, but some of the most common include:

Insecure interfaces and APIs

Lack of authentication or authorization controls

Insufficient security controls

Weak encryption keys and passwords

Poorly designed or implemented security controls

When conducting a cyber security risk assessment, it is important to consider all of the potential vulnerabilities in systems and networks. By identifying these vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to mitigate the risks.

Identifying Potential Threats

After identifying the assets and vulnerabilities of the organization, the next step is to identify the potential threats that could exploit those vulnerabilities. Threats can come from many different sources, including malicious actors, natural disasters, and software flaws.

Some of the most common types of threats include:

Malware: Software that is designed to damage or disable systems and data.

Phishing: An attempt to obtain sensitive information such as passwords or financial data by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.

Denial of service: An attack that prevents legitimate users from accessing systems or data.

Ransomware: Malware that encrypts systems and data, making it inaccessible to users unless a ransom is paid.

When conducting a cyber security risk assessment, it is important to consider all of the potential threats that could affect the organization. By identifying these threats, organizations can take steps to mitigate the risks.

Determining Potential Impact

After identifying the assets, vulnerabilities, and threats of the organization, the next step is to determine the potential impact of a loss. The impact of a loss can be categorized into three types:

Confidentiality: The unauthorized disclosure of information.

Integrity: The unauthorized modification of information.

Availability: The denial of access to information.

The potential impact of a loss should be considered in terms of the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.

Key Takeaway  

A cyber security assessment gives you a clear picture of your business’s risk exposure. If you recognized any of these symptoms, don’t put off a cyber security assessment any longer. 

Working with Cybriant, we’ll help you identify potential security gaps and benefit from their expert input to improve your cyber security health long-term. 

Learn More About Cybriant’s Cyber Security Risk Assessments

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