One phishing email with a link clicked by one employee causes all your data to instantly become unreadable as ransomware spreads throughout your network. You’re left having to clean up the mess and potentially pay thousands of dollars in ransom to get your operations back up and running.
Once the dust clears and your IT team or service provider have identified the cause of the breach as an unpatched operating system, you wonder, “How did we miss that?!”
This scenario is often all too common. Business owners are just trying to keep forward motion while also putting security in place for their network and devices, but several things can cause them to be caught off guard. These include:
- The quickly evolving landscape of cyber threats
- Balls getting dropped in the busyness of the week
- Adjustments to new work processes, like remote workers
- Hidden vulnerabilities, like shadow IT use by employees
One way to avoid being caught off guard by a security incident is to have an IT risk assessment performed regularly.
What is an IT Risk Assessment?
An IT risk assessment is a review by an IT professional of your technology ecosystem, including the current cybersecurity strategies you have in place. It’s designed to reveal any vulnerabilities that could threaten your network and data security.
This assessment is designed to:
- Find asset vulnerabilities
- Gather threat and vulnerability information
- Look for both internal and external threats
- Identify potential business impacts of vulnerabilities
- Determine overall risk
- Offer recommendations for addressing risks
- Prioritize risk response by importance
The Growing Threat Landscape
One of the reasons to consider an IT risk assessment is because the cyber threat landscape just keeps getting more dangerous.
Here are a few recent statistics illustrating the growth of IT security dangers:
- The FBI recently warned that cyberattacks have risen 400% during the pandemic
- 71% of security professionals have reported an increase this year in threats, such as phishing, malicious websites, and malware
- The cost of ransomware demands increased 140% between 2018 and 2019
The Benefits of Doing an IT Risk Assessment
Having an IT risk assessment done can offer you peace of mind and many other benefits.
Identifies Areas of Security Vulnerability
You can go for months without realizing there is a big hole in your cybersecurity strategy. Since a business technology infrastructure is so complex, risks come from multiple areas (networks, endpoints, cloud applications). One vulnerability can be easy to miss.
An IT risk assessment is a double check over everything in your technology infrastructure to weed out any potential risks or vulnerabilities that you may not realize are there.
Gives You Data to Prioritize Cybersecurity Spending
Should you invest in a cloud system, assess security first; or is adding remote access security more important?
You get the answer when you have an IT risk assessment done. It will give you both a list of vulnerabilities and a level of risk for each one, so you can use it as a roadmap to plan and prioritize your cybersecurity spending.
Helps You Find New Security Requirements
Did you know that misconfiguration has jumped to the #2 reason for data breaches, according to a 2020 report? If you don’t have an IT risk security assessment done annually, then you may not realize that a change like that in the threat landscape requires attention.
An IT risk assessment helps you find any weaknesses in your IT security, including ones that may not have been weaknesses two years ago, but are now due to the changing attack vector.
Gives You Due Diligence Documentation
Many data security regulations, such as HIPAA, will penalize a company for a breach more harshly if they were negligent in their data security activities.
Having an IT risk assessment provides you with documentation that you did your due diligence in trying to find any potential system vulnerabilities. It can also provide documentation for how you addressed each item.
If you happen to suffer a breach later, this can be invaluable in proving to a regulatory authority that you took all reasonable steps to secure your network and data.
Helps Educate You & Your Team
An IT risk assessment helps to educate you and your team and improve awareness about cybersecurity. It can identify areas where employees can make a difference and where their activities may be causing a risk.
Learning the “why” behind safe cyber practices can help employees be more diligent about cybersecurity, reducing your human risk when it comes to things like phishing attacks and data leakage.
Schedule an IT Risk Assessment with C Solutions Today!
Don’t leave your company vulnerable. By having an IT risk assessment done, you can sleep easier at night knowing exactly what your technology risk exposure is and how to address it.
Schedule your IT risk assessment today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.