With even the largest of organizations falling prey to security breaches, it might seem daunting to try to protect your and your customers’ assets in a structured, organized manner. However, with rising liabilities — the average cost of a breach in 2022 is $4.25 million. As such, performing a cybersecurity risk assessment is most likely in order. With an assessment in place, you’re taking the first steps to better understand your network’s security vulnerabilities and what you need to do to address them.
Cybersecurity risk assessments are used to identify your most important data and devices, how a hacker could gain access, what risks could crop up if your data fell into the wrong hands, and how vulnerable your organization would be as a target, explains Business.com.
It should be noted that depending on your industry, you may already be subjected to mandatory cybersecurity risk assessments from a certified entity. In such cases, you may need to use a third-party system to comply with regulations.
Uses of a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
According to Security magazine, risk assessments help organizations determine their inherent security risks by doing the following:
1. Understanding Risk and Identifying Vulnerabilities
This use case is to identify, estimate and prioritize any risk to your operations. This could mean the potential for unauthorized intrusion into devices, applications and networks, whether on-site or off-site (work-from-home or remote employees). Vulnerabilities can also extend to potentially unsecured endpoints and applications used by customers, suppliers or third parties.
2. Understanding the Threat Landscape
Organizations can also use the risk assessment to determine the possible threats from bad actors that can compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of their data. While the previous step is focused on understanding internal vulnerabilities, this step intends to understand the potential threats that exist outside of the organization, requiring IT security administrators to become familiar with known viruses, malware and phishing techniques, among other threats.
3. Inventory of Control Measures
Performing a cybersecurity risk assessment allows the organization to identify what measures or controls are in place to protect the critical assets in addition to the measures or controls that it might be lacking. In a way, this use case serves as an inventory of the tools, point solutions, appliances and software the organization has at its disposal to fend off threats.
4. Planning and Preparation
A risk assessment must also include the steps that would be taken as preventive measures to counter a breach or threat. This use case includes a financial assessment of any investments that might be needed in security upgrades to reduce the organization’s levels of risk.
Helping Organizations Kick Off a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
The Migus Group can help your organization more effectively understand the potential cybersecurity risks facing your organization. You might already have performed some level of assessment, but you might need a deeper understanding of the threat landscape and what assets could be at risk.
Perhaps your organization has grown. Perhaps new endpoints, applications and networks have come online or new business strategies have brought fresh vulnerabilities into the organization. As organizations grow, so does the potential for threats.
A cybersecurity risk assessment can vary in size and scope, but comprehensive and holistic assessments yield more effective results. It should also be repeated as new threats arise and new systems or activities are introduced. Additionally, the assessment will provide a repeatable process and template while reducing the chances of a cyberattack adversely affecting business objectives.
Contact The Migus Group today to discuss a risk assessment and your security needs.
Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, he covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce and the Internet of Things.