In today’s digital world, businesses are constantly threatened by cybercriminals looking to access their systems and steal valuable data. Businesses are encouraged to implement IT security measures to stay secure, such as implementing an IT security assessment.
If one operates a small business, an IT security assessment might seem like something they can put off for a few months. However, getting it sooner than later can help them minimize the risks and financial damage from any cyber-attacks.
What is an IT Security Assessment?
An IT security assessment is a process by which a third party assesses an organization’s risk level and recommends best security practices. The evaluation involves reviewing the business systems and the people who operate them to identify vulnerabilities. An assessment might include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and social engineering testing.
IT security assessments are a way to determine if a company’s information technology (IT) systems, administrative procedures, and physical assets are functioning as they should and vulnerable to attack.
The assessment typically focuses on the IT assets, including servers, networks, desktops, and other technologies supporting business operations. It also includes evaluating key staff members who operate IT systems and procedures. The assessment investigates how internal controls are applied throughout the IT organization, such as how policies are created, who has access to what, and how rules are documented. An IT security assessment is different from a risk assessment, which looks at an event’s likelihood and impact.
Why Should You Get One?
Business owners are constantly told to protect their data with robust IT security measures, but they might not know where to start. Getting an IT security assessment is an excellent place to start.
The assessment offers a comprehensive look at the organization’s IT security posture and identifies any risks that might put their data at risk. The review helps businesses determine if they need to make any immediate changes to keep their data safe.
Maybe the businesses are already susceptible to a specific type of attack, and they’re just now noticing the signs. Or, they’ve been under the misconception that they’re safe, but now they realize that’s not the case.
The assessment will help them identify any areas that need improvement to prioritize their security spending and ensure they’re taking the necessary precautions to secure their business.
When Should a Business Get An IT Security Assessment?
The best time to get an IT security assessment is immediately after being aware of a breach. A breach investigation and remediation is a common step in stopping a cyber attack. A breach investigation and remediation identifies what happened and measures to prevent it from happening again. Business owners might be asked to provide information about their companies to help with the research, such as what systems were involved, the date and time they were accessed, and the person who accessed them. If the company experiences a data breach, they’re best positioned to detect any lingering risks that might put its data at risk. If no violation has been detected, there’s no reason to delay. An assessment can help them spot any areas of weakness and prioritize the security spending in the business.
What are the Top Factors that Determine if a business needs an IT Security Assessment?
Size of the company- The company’s size has a significant impact on the level of protection that it can afford. This is because larger companies are more likely to be subjected to attacks and more likely to be affected by such an attack. However, the cost of implementing a robust IT infrastructure and a robust cybersecurity program is not proportional to the company’s size. This means that even a small IT department can afford the proper level of protection, from a MSP like MyTek, without incurring an unreasonable financial burden.
How knowledgeable the staff is. That includes the IT team members and those who work with their customers. The more they are experienced, the more likely they will spot potential problems with their systems. Many companies are developing a culture of security where employees are encouraged to take more responsibility for their cybersecurity. This includes requiring staff to periodically update their passwords, limiting access to connected devices, and implementing strict policies on the use of sensitive data.
Potential risks the business faces. Many companies don’t know the risks they face or don’t realize how close they are to a threat. That could mean the difference between the assessment being necessary and not. It’s also important to remember that not all risks can be predicted.
If the business has an online presence-The online presence of a business includes everything that happens on a company’s website and in its online fact, such as a website, social media channels, and digital marketing strategies. The level of protection that a business has on its online presence will depend on its measures to protect its data. If a company does not take adequate steps to protect its data, that data could potentially be made accessible to hackers and other malicious actors.
IT Security Assessment Checklist
• Completing a security awareness training course.
• Evaluating business risk and making risk reduction a top priority.
• Enforcing internal controls to reduce the risks of misuse or stolen credentials.
• Implementing reasonable physical security measures to protect their data.
• Implementing strong encryption to protect sensitive data in transit.
• Maintaining regular patching and backup procedures to help mitigate risks from an attack.
• Educating their employees on the importance of security and helping them recognize the signs of phishing emails.
• Reviewing policies regularly and making sure they accurately represent the company’s core values.
• Keeping an eye on the business activity and being ready to detect signs of a potential attack.
• If businesses suspect their system has been compromised, they should block access immediately and report the incident to their security vendor.
An IT security assessment is the first line of defense and can help IT security leaders identify and address possible issues before they become serious threats to business data.
Even if businesses don’t find anything during the assessment, it will help them prioritize their security spending. There are many ways to improve business IT security without expensive third-party evaluations. This includes using passwords for every account, not clicking suspicious links, and implementing two-factor authentication for critical reports.