In an ever-evolving digital world, the importance of cybersecurity is hard to overstate. Attacks can cause plenty of trouble for your organization, including financial losses, legal issues, and damage to your company’s reputation. In this environment, ignorance is anything but bliss. It’s essential to know where your risks lie and work to mitigate them.
A cybersecurity risk assessment is an in-depth evaluation of your IT and data assets to identify areas that are vulnerable to these attacks. The evaluation covers all areas of potential targeting, from hardware and software systems to employee and customer data. Third-party vendors your organization uses or has a relationship with may also be part of the assessment.
The Value of Risk Assessment Services
As cyberattacks grow in frequency and complexity, investing in cybersecurity offers any organization various benefits. The absence of these attacks is the most significant return on investment of a risk assessment, considering the potential losses your business would face if it fell victim to an attack.
A risk assessment offers business owners, chief technology officers (CTOs), and other decision-makers critical insights into the company’s security, allowing them to review and update their protocols accordingly. Other benefits of an assessment include:
- Avoiding the unexpected and high costs of successful cyberattacks
- Building customer confidence in the business, since customers prefer to work with companies that have strong security practices
- Preventing service disruptions, system shutdowns, and other operational hitches common with cyberattacks
- Protecting your organization’s reputation from the negative media coverage that would follow a security breach
When Should a Risk Assessment Be Done?
Risk assessments should be a regular, continuous component of your business operations. A yearly comprehensive assessment is often sufficient for small and midsize companies. However, risk assessment can be done more frequently, especially for businesses that handle sensitive data.
Aside from the regular assessment, you can schedule one if you notice threats to your business. Some of the warning signs that you need to conduct a risk assessment include:
- Recent cybersecurity threats to your company
- Poor visibility into your network
- Outdated systems
- New technology products being introduced to your operations
- Lack of proper cybersecurity protocols and training systems for your employees
- New security regulations
CDG’s Risk Assessment Methodology
Several types of risk assessments can be done on your business. Depending on your organization’s needs, you will often require a blend of these assessments. Some of them include:
- Cloud security assessment: This is done to check the security of your cloud infrastructure.
- Threat assessment: This is run to identify vulnerabilities in your network and create solutions for them.
- Ransomware readiness assessment: This is done to test the preparedness of your staff and your system for ransomware attacks and the protocols in place to contain such events.
- Penetration testing: This is done to identify whether and where hackers could gain access to your system.
Different organizations employ different methodologies for risk assessment. Qualitative and quantitative approaches are both commonly used to analyze a company’s security. Qualitative assessments are subjective tests done in different threat scenarios to get a general picture of the organization’s security mechanisms. Quantitative analysis takes it a step further by finding specific values for various risk assessment elements, such as the cost of a data breach to your business.
Cyber Defense Group works with your business to tailor assessments that work best for you and your needs. The process begins with outlining the goals of your risk assessment. We then survey all your assets that may be at risk, including hardware, software, applications, internal and external data, and all the people involved in your digital environment. The review also includes your governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) policies around your systems.
Our team of experts then handles the complex task of identifying and enumerating the security risks to your assets through interviews, document review, and technical discovery. We take a look at your open-source intelligence (OSINT) systems and your cloud, as well as your external attack surface. Depending on your business, the process takes between six and eight weeks.
Risk Assessment Outcomes To Expect
After a risk assessment, you should expect a report outlining the findings of your security evaluation. Some of the components of these reports are:
- A description of the risks and vulnerabilities in your system
- The likelihood of attacks for each vulnerable point and their impact
- The cost of a cyberattack to your business
- Recommendations to mitigate these risks
Alongside the full report, Cyber Defense Group offers an executive presentation of the findings and a customized plan of the next steps you can take. You’ll better understand your infrastructure, where your risks are, and how to prioritize and address them.
Next Steps: Risk Treatment & Risk Management
After your risk assessment, your plan of next steps typically involves risk treatment and management. Risk treatment is the process of implementing measures to reduce your company’s susceptibility to cyberattacks. Risk management involves constantly monitoring your risks and vulnerabilities and employing new solutions to ensure your business stays protected.
At Cyber Defense Group, we help you treat and manage your risks using various strategies. Depending on your assessment, we provide a prioritized list of actions you can take as well as a roadmap to executing them. We also help you monitor your system’s security and provide an excellent incident response if anything happens.
Risk Assessment Services You Can Trust
Cybersecurity is a constant headache for businesses in today’s digital environment. A risk assessment and management plan gives you the peace of mind you need to run your business efficiently. While you can conduct checks internally, they consume a lot of time, and your team may not have sufficient experience to handle them well.
A quality risk assessment partner can help you overcome these hurdles by taking assessments off your hands and placing them in the hands of cybersecurity experts. Cyber Defense Group can run a full audit of your system, customized to fit your goals and needs. You can also take advantage of our expertise in cloud security, vCISO services, and incident response to protect your business entirely.