A common problem for many companies that want to lower their data breach risk level and improve their cybersecurity posture is not knowing exactly where to start. If that’s the position you’re currently in, ask yourself this: If your organization experienced a breach or if you were audited, how would you demonstrate due care (i.e., the care a reasonable person would take to avoid negligence)? One significant way to show that you take IT security seriously is to undergo routine security assessments to identify any vulnerabilities.
If you haven’t thoroughly assessed your cybersecurity strategy recently, conducting a comprehensive risk assessment is a wise decision – especially if your business has made any major changes in the past year or so in terms of shifting to remote work, cloud migration or other significant alterations to your operations. Particularly in the wake of the pandemic-driven surge in cyberattacks, it’s prudent to ensure your IT environment doesn’t have any weak spots hackers could exploit.
The Importance of Preventive IT Security Measures
The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true across many aspects of life – and cybersecurity is no exception. Investing in a security assessment to quantify and document your current security risk is a great first step. Once you have the completed assessment, you can then begin to build a cybersecurity road map to address current vulnerabilities and generally improve your cybersecurity posture over time. Taking a proactive approach to security will always cost your company less than dealing with the aftermath of a security incident.
These statistics illustrate the value of preventive measures in the realm of IT security:
- The global average total cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, according to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report from IBM Security.
- The public health crisis worsened the pre-existing cybercrime epidemic: 90 percent of IT leaders reported experiencing more cyberattacks because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study conducted by Tanium.
- The potential cost of getting infected by ransomware – a type of malware commonly deployed by hackers via phishing – is on the rise: The average ransomware payout increased from $84,116 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $233,817.30 in the third quarter of 2020, according to the Sophos 2021 Threat Report. Additionally, cybercriminals have begun threatening to release sensitive data if their victims don’t pay up, meaning that reliable backups alone are no longer enough to get you out of a ransomware-related snafu.
Ultimately, stopping security incidents before they start is much less of a headache than handling the costs, lost business and possible regulatory consequences after you realize your business has experienced a breach. Recurring security risk assessments are vital for any organization that wants to maintain an effective cybersecurity strategy and minimize the chances of a breach occurring.
The Security Assessment Process and Key Benefits
A thorough risk assessment carried out by experienced security analysts can give you a clear picture of where you stand today and offer recommendations to address vulnerabilities and combat evolving threats. After undergoing the assessment process, you’ll receive insights into the following:
- Your current risk level and how your security strategy compares to current industry best practices
- Internal and external network vulnerabilities
- The best path for your business going forward in the form of a strategic security road map
Evaluating your cybersecurity posture on a routine basis benefits your business in numerous ways. Beyond lowering your data breach risk level and providing valuable insights into how to effectively defend your organization against cyberattacks, here are a few other notable advantages of carrying out security assessments:
- It can help you stand out from the competition in your industry. You’ll be prepared if prospective clients ask what measures you take to ensure the highest possible level of security.
- Assessments will enable you to easily answer any questions about due diligence.
- It could potentially lower your cyber insurance premiums.
Overall, security risk assessments can have a positive impact on not only your data breach risk level but also your reputation, marketability and overall success.
If you’d like to learn more about the security assessment process, our team of analysts would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.