No More Risky Business: 4 Reasons Firms Should Leverage Cyber Security Assessment Services

By Eli Newman –

Risky business is the last thing modern-day enterprises want to deal with (and no, we’re not referencing the 1983 film starring Tom Cruise). That’s right, folks – today we’re talking about cyber security risks. Most organizations are fully aware of the fact that cyber threats are multiplying by the minute, and many of them already use some form of defense to ward off those threats. While this is all fine and good, if you’re unacquainted with your current IT standing, taking advantage of managed security solutions is kind of like going grocery shopping without checking to see what food you’ve already got in the pantry back home. Say you want to bake a cake, so you run to the store planning to get a boxed cake mix and vegetable oil, only to find that you already had the oil in your pantry and that you should’ve picked up eggs instead because the recipe calls for them and you’re completely out at home. The same goes for your IT systems; you don’t want to spend extra money safeguarding the parts of your network that are already adequately secured while failing to address other potentially significant vulnerabilities. Luckily, to prevent this exact scenario from happening, the IT security assessment was created.

If you’re wondering what a security assessment is, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we define this type of assessment, clarify its purpose, and explain why you need cyber security assessment services for your business.

Defining an IT Security Assessment

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a risk assessment (for the sake of clarity, a risk assessment, cyber security assessment, and IT security assessment are all different terms used to describe the exact same thing) aims to give businesses more insight into their cyber security risk to organizational operations, organizational assets, and individuals. In other words, a cyber security assessment can give enterprises a better idea of how well they’re protecting their very own valuable company data and business-critical applications and systems – and where improvements could be made.

The Purpose of a Cyber Security Assessment

The purpose of an IT security assessment is for organizations to determine their level of cyber risk, which measures the extent to which they are or would be threatened by a cyber security event. More specifically, cyber risk is assessed by identifying the following:

  • Threats to your business (assets, operations, individuals, etc.)
  • Internal and external system weaknesses
  • The potential harm that may come from a cyber security incident
  • The likelihood that a cyber security event will occur
  • Determination of risk

Reasons You Need Cyber Security Assessment Services

IT security assessments involve a careful analysis of threat and vulnerability information to determine the adverse effects of the worst-case scenario should a cyber attack occur. If you haven’t already realized it, conducting a thorough assessment can be quite the undertaking, which is why many modern-day businesses leverage cyber security assessment services from third-party managed service providers (MSPs). Because MSPs are usually comprised of a team of IT experts, they will be able to conduct a more thorough and accurate assessment, giving business leaders the ability to make better, more informed decisions. Still unconvinced that leveraging third-party assessment services is the wiser choice? Outlined below are four key reasons that your organization should utilize outsourced IT security assessment services.

1. Compliance

Nearly every regulatory compliance requirement includes a comprehensive cyber security assessment. During this assessment, you should evaluate your compliance controls so that you can better understand your full range of risk exposure. Using a third-party provider that specializes in compliancy initiatives is a great way to ensure that you’re not in violation of any of your industry’s regulations.

2. Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is a great way to pinpoint any deficiencies between your security strategy and a specific law or framework. In other words, a gap analysis tells business leaders where there is room for improvement regarding current security measures. Partnering with an MSP that is well-versed regarding compliance laws will help you to make sure that you’re not missing any of the security components.

3. Identify Vulnerabilities

IT security assessments help organizations identify weaknesses in their IT infrastructure and business applications. This gives firms an idea of their current security flaws and overall level of risk. Leveraging a third-party provider’s assessment services can help you fully understand the results, therefore allowing you to develop a strong action plan that aims to reduce the likelihood of a future breach.

4. Baseline

By conducting a cyber security assessment, you will create a baseline. A baseline report essentially tells you what your current security controls are, and of those, which ones are or are not working. This baseline measurement can help you create a standard for your company that will serve as a way to assess your firm’s cyber security levels and risk mitigation efforts. Working with a trusted MSP can help you keep track of your baseline information and future progress through quarterly reports, generated by the provider.

Now that you know that conducting a cyber security assessment is highly advisable and oftentimes required by law, you’re probably more concerned with how you’re going to do it. Leveraging security assessment services from a managed service provider like Contigo will leave you feeling confident that you are getting an accurate, compliance-based, and easy-to-understand assessment of your current IT standing. Contact us today to learn more about our network and HIPAA security assessment services.