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Why Does Your Organization Need a Cybersecurity Assessment?

October 31, 2022 by
Why Does Your Organization Need a Cybersecurity Assessment?
Reza Abdolee

Sometimes, we see attackers targeting organizations using the same techniques time and time again. Yet, we still fall prey to those techniques and become victims of cyberattacks. For instance, the attacker scans the environment for security weaknesses, i.e., unlocked data accounts, weak passwords, or misconfigured software or hardware. 

Cyber crimes are increasing day by day. More than half of internet users have ever experienced cybercrime. According to a survey by Statista, almost 69% of US respondents had been victimized online. Despite the importance of cyber security, organizations lack adequate security controls and don't pay much attention to assessing those controls. 

Cybersecurity assessments can help organizations evaluate their IT security and analyze the ability of established security controls to mitigate risks. This article will highlight the need for cybersecurity assessments for organizations, their benefits, and 5 tips to maintain online business security. 

Understanding the Need for a Cybersecurity Assessment 

Cybersecurity assessment is critical in today’s threat landscape to assess the ability of established security controls and whether or not they are sufficient to defend against attacks. Understanding the risk factors in your IT infrastructure is essential in order to recognize the importance of cybersecurity assessment. 

Risk Factors Contributing to Cyber Threats

Often organizations overlook the need to assess their established security controls. However, several weaknesses in the infrastructure can contribute to cyber threats if not addressed in time.

Some of the risk factors include:
  • Poor Patch Management: Patch management is a vital part of cybersecurity. It is easy to fall into the habit of using the same software applications. However, without frequent system updates, license renewals, and system checks, the network can become vulnerable to cyber threats. 
  • Weak Passwords: Poor password practices remain a weakness in many organizations. Often systems are secured using a username and a password, which, if compromised, can wreak havoc. 
  • Excessive Access to Digital Assets: Businesses often lack proper access controls in their infrastructure, and too much access is given to individuals without having the need. Insider threats are prevalent. Unauthorized employees accessing digital assets are a liability in the cybersecurity infrastructure. 
  • Vulnerable Remote Team: In the wake of the pandemic, working from home has become the new normal. Employees are comfortable in a hybrid work environment where they can simultaneously work from home and the office. However, the remote team often uses personal devices and insecure public networks, making their devices and network vulnerable to cyber threats. 
  • Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness: Cybersecurity awareness is essential for IT personnel and employees accessing the network. Attacks like phishing scams most commonly target employees. Your staff’s poor security practices can become a threat, leading to data compromises within the organization.

If these risk factors are not assessed or addressed in time, they can become cyber threats, costing the organization a lot. Organizations need cybersecurity assessments to evaluate their security controls and address known and unknown vulnerabilities before it's too late. 

Benefits of Cybersecurity Assessments

Cybersecurity assessments not only help identify vulnerabilities but also provides several benefits. Its benefits include:

Identify Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities are a backdoor for cybercriminals to enter the organization's network. For instance, a weak password enables unauthorized network access and data exposure. A cybersecurity assessment helps identify vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure and address them to mitigate the risk associated with security vulnerabilities.

Reduced Chances of Data Breaches

Over 53 million individuals were affected by data compromises in the first half of 2022, including data breaches. Data breaches can disrupt business operations as well as impact customer trust. Cybersecurity assessments help keep you informed about new threats and ahead of attackers to defend against security incidents.

Understanding Your Ability to Address a Cybersecurity Threat

Organizations implement security controls but often forget to assess the ability of those controls to defend against cyber attacks. Evaluating your ability to address a cybersecurity threat is essential to understand whether or not you’re ready to defend against an attack. Cybersecurity assessments provide complete visibility into your security posture and help evaluate security processes. 

Improved Compliance

Depending on the industry and type of data you store, your organization can be subject to different regulations. For example, Organizations handling financial data are subject to PCI DSS, and healthcare organizations are subject to HIPAA. Compliance with such regulations is necessary. Cybersecurity assessments evaluate your security controls and ensure you meet the compliance requirements and don't face penalties.

Enhanced Customer Trust

Customer trust and brand reputation are interdependent. Suppose an organization is subject to non-compliance or has become a data breach victim. In that case, customers will start losing their trust in that business, leading to a compromised brand reputation. Cybersecurity assessment ensures compliance with regulations and the effectiveness of security controls, thus enhancing brand reputation and customer trust. 

Tips for Online Business Security

Here are a few tips to enhance your online business security. 

  1. Keep your antivirus and antimalware software updated since attackers use phishing techniques to infect the system with malware. Update your software regularly to ensure its effectiveness. 
  2. Encrypting the systems with only passwords is not enough. Use strong passwords and multi-factor encryption to enhance system security. 
  3. Ensure proper patch management to keep the system secure, as hackers can access the system through outdated, vulnerable software. 
  4. Execute cybersecurity training for employees so that each staff member plays a part in defending against cyber threats. 
  5. Implement access controls to limit access to sensitive data and resources on a need-to-know basis. 

Conducting a Cybersecurity Assessment

Cybersecurity assessments are critical for any organization to analyze the effectiveness of its cybersecurity posture and established security controls. Creating a regular security assessment report helps organizations gain visibility into the strength of the current security and whether any improvements are needed. 

Specialized cybersecurity companies like Novesh can help organizations assess their IT and OT environment to identify and address vulnerabilities. We provide security assessment services to find weaknesses in your critical assets before attackers do. We provide solutions based on your architecture. Book an online appointment to get a free consultation today.

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