7 Strategic Reasons Why Businesses Must Have A Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
As cyberattacks are on the rise, a cybersecurity risk assessment makes more and more sense every day. Though many companies think they may be untouchable to cyberattacks, data breaches, or similar security risks, history has proven that even rigorously secure businesses are able to be targeted. Though you may think that your business doesn’t have any information of value to cybercriminals, there are other aspects of your business that makes it a valuable target for hackers. This is just one of the reasons why you should make cybersecurity a top priority for your business. Here are seven smart reasons why you should consider having a cybersecurity risk assessment performed on your business.
What Happens in a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?
Much like an annual checkup with your doctor, a cybersecurity risk assessment helps you catch potential risks before a much more serious event takes place. It helps you identify potential threats or vulnerabilities in your system, helping you develop your business plan with details on how to respond and manage risk. The depth and breadth of the assessment depends on your company’s size, risk, industry, timeline, and budget, but here are some key indicators that you should schedule an assessment ASAP:
- Something doesn’t seem quite right. You might not expect that something will happen, but something looks suspicious or seems a little hinky. This could be that you’re finding unusual or foreign files on your network’s systems, your computers aren’t behaving quite properly or your competitors have business information on your company that isn’t public knowledge.
- Your business had regulatory requirements. For financial, energy, healthcare, and educational industries, there are rules and regulations to prevent data breaches. You should start with a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure you’re in compliance, then follow any recommendations made based on the results of the assessment
- You don’t have tech-savvy staff. Insider ignorance of the potential cybersecurity threats is one of the biggest potential vectors for a cyberattack. If you secure your network but your employees have poor habits, use poor passwords, or think that it’s okay to share their login information with anyone who comes along. Having solid digital security training in place can help you avoid accidental data breaches.
- Angry Ex-Employees. Depending on the size and volume of your company’s work, you may not have developed a solid process for terminating employee access to your technology. However, because some employees leave on bad terms, it’s important to be able to quickly revoke former employees’ access and change any passwords they’ve used, including cloud-based software or platforms.
- Outdated Technology. You want to get everything you can out of the technology that you’ve invested in, but if it’s not keeping up with your needs, it may be causing more harm than good. Outdated software or operating systems that are no longer supported can leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- Lack of Data Control Policies. Because the points of access for your data is always increasing, through USB drives, company laptops or unprotected WiFi networks, it’s vital to have proper policies in place to control the flow of data in your business. This allows you to stay on top of vulnerabilities.
- Bring-Your-Own-Device Environment. When the pandemic swept through, many companies allowed employees to use their own devices at home, but that can leave you open to vulnerabilities as staff downloads malicious software, un-updated devices are susceptible to cyberattacks, connecting to the system can spread malware, the employee may not be the only person operating the device or angry employees can intentionally cause damage.
Why Should You Get a Professional Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?
You could undertake your company’s cybersecurity assessment, but if it’s not your mainstay, you could miss some very important signs that something isn’t quite right. Because professionals deal with a wide range of IT systems and approaches to cybersecurity, they’ll be better able to provide you with an objective opinion of your system’s overall security risks. When you work with a managed service provider (MSP), they know to not only look at your company’s internal risk factors but also external vulnerabilities to your business’ data. They can help you determine the possibility of negative cybercriminal activities and the harm it can cause to your company.
They’ll take the time to survey and inventory all of your company’s digital assets to weigh the possible solutions, the possible risks, and what could happen to your company’s bottom line. They’ll look at your business network, your hardware assets, your platforms and systems, the business tools you use, and any other digital assets that can impact your company’s productivity. They’ll then map any remote access to ensure the proper protections are in place. Once this is complete, they can create a prioritized plan to address any potential risks.
After a plan has been developed to deal with any potential vulnerabilities, the MSP can help you implement the changes you need to make to keep any cybercriminal activity at bay. Delaying having a cybersecurity risk assessment performed on your business simply increases your company’s overall risk of having any vulnerabilities taken advantage of, creating an environment where cybercriminals can install ransomware, add a virus to take over your system or take your company’s data to promote their own ends. It’s important to have a cybersecurity risk assessment performed regularly to ensure that your systems are up-to-date and not vulnerable to any other potential risks that have popped up since your last assessment.
If your business needs to have a cybersecurity risk assessment performed, but you’re not quite sure where to turn to make sure that you receive a comprehensive assessment, the experienced IT professionals at Alvarez Technology Group can help you find the solutions you need. Our experienced staff is ready to help you find any vulnerabilities and deal with them in a comprehensive plan, making it easy for you to focus on running your business effectively.