Cybersecurity remains one of the most important topics that businesses and organizations of all sizes need to address. It also remains one of the most misunderstood aspects of business operations. We often hear about large corporations or even governments suffering data breaches and attacks, but it is important to realize that no entity is immune. Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable. Consider for a moment the following statistics regarding “small” businesses, which for this exercise are those with fewer than 1,000 employees:
- 43% of small businesses lack any type of cybersecurity defense plans
- One in five do not use any endpoint security protections
- 60% of small businesses report not feeling as though their business is a likely target of cybercriminals
- 28% of breaches in 2019 involved small business victims
“Small businesses are not immune to cyber-attacks and data breaches and are often targeted specifically because they often fail to prioritize security. Caught between inadequate consumer solutions and overly complex enterprise software, many small business owners may be inclined to skip cybersecurity. It only takes one attack, however, to bring a business to its knees.”
It is abundantly clear that businesses need to place cybersecurity front and center as a critical element of business operations. But how do they determine what needs protection? Where do they start? Enter the Cybersecurity Assessment.
What is a Security Assessment?
In the simplest form, a cyber risk assessment is used to identify, estimate, and prioritize the various risks faced by organizations – particularly when it comes to cyber-attacks, data breaches, and malicious digital behavior. The primary purpose of a security assessment is to help inform responsible parties and decision-makers so they can identify and implement the proper responses and processes. Since cybersecurity is always evolving, an assessment is an important first step of an ongoing process.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides the following guidance through their Cybersecurity Framework:
• What types of data breaches would have a significant impact on business operations?
• What are the most apparent internal and external vulnerabilities?
• What are your company’s most important and integral IT assets?
• What level of risk does your organization face? And what level of risk are you comfortable with?
Benefits of a Cybersecurity Assessment
Conducting an assessment takes time and can be costly. With that said, it is instructive to understand the benefits:
• Identify vulnerabilities – Allows you to see which parts of your security strategy are weak, where attackers can target, and what the security threats are for your organization. This information will allow you to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
• Improved organizational knowledge – By performing a thorough assessment, you gain far greater insight into your business operations, processes, and workflows, which can provide opportunities to improve these as well.
• Ensures regulatory compliance – It is very difficult for any organization to know all of the various compliance requirements that are required by governments and international bodies. Lack of compliance can result in massive financial penalties and loss. An assessment will help identify requirements and provide mitigation guidance.
• Prevents data loss – The possibility of data loss – particularly sensitive customer data – is perhaps the single most critical area to protect. A security assessment exposes vulnerable areas before they are compromised, allowing you to be proactive instead of reactive.
If you are still not convinced that you need a cybersecurity assessment, perhaps this will convince you:
Assessing your vulnerabilities and protecting your assets can literally be the difference between a thriving business and closing the doors forever. You do not need to go it alone. Wellforce provides comprehensive security assessments and customized, robust solutions to help secure users and data, meet compliance requirements, and give you confidence that your business is protected.