Need a Security Assessment? Here’s Where to Start
In today’s threat landscape, cyber security must be a top priority for businesses and enterprises. Cyber risks evolve just as rapidly as technology develops, meaning security efforts can never stop. With so much sensitive information at stake for businesses, their clients, and their customers, consistent cybersecurity assessments are a necessary practice to identify potential vulnerabilities and strengthen security measures.
To ensure businesses are taking the proper precautions in handling sensitive information, there are growing standards and regulations that govern how companies can store, manage, transmit, and use data. Security assessments are used to monitor, test, and report on whether these regulations are being followed.
At Arraya, our cyber security team is often approached by businesses looking to complete a cybersecurity risk assessment. They may be looking to satisfy compliance requirements, company standards, or security reporting, among other reasons. However, when these assessments are being used to simply check a box or satisfy a requirement, they’re not being utilized for their full value.
The right assessments in the appropriate order are enormously helpful in improving a company’s security position. In this blog, we’ll outline the different types of security risk assessments available and how those assessments should be conducted.
Types of Cybersecurity Risk Assessments
Business Impact Assessment
In general, a Business Impact Assessment (BIA) is the first assessment that should be completed. This type of analysis “predicts the consequences of disruption of business function and process and gathers information needed to develop recovery strategies.”
In short, this assessment allows a business to prioritize which functions are the most important and should be addressed first, should there be a disaster. What impact would each function have if it was unavailable? What can’t your business manage without? And how long can your business manage without them?
This gives your IT department a ranking of which systems to prioritize in a subsequent risk assessment.
Pinpointing the results from your BIA report, a risk assessment analyzes how the identified risks are currently being handled within your organization. Are your current procedures compliant with all rules and regulations? Are these procedures being followed accurately? Do your procedures make sense, or should these be adjusted to account for reality?
This type of risk analysis assessment is often used to validate whether your company is in compliance with regulatory standards.
This type of testing is also most valuable when conducted after a BIA.
Once your most critical systems are identified in the BIA, a penetration test (commonly referred to as a pen test), is an authorized simulated cyberattack on your network and computer systems that’s completed to evaluate how effective your existing security methods are.
With a pen test, businesses can identify where and how they’re most likely to fall victim to an attack and bolster their defenses, so they’re prepared when a real cyber-attack comes along.
We all know that a plan in theory and a plan in action are two very different things. While a penetration test evaluates the strength of your security systems, a tabletop exercise assesses the effectiveness of your current incident response plan.
If a system goes down, what is the order of your response and everyone’s role in the plan? Is the plan followed accurately? Are your current methods effective? Until your business is faced with a cyber-attack, you don’t know how your team is going to react. A tabletop exercise is not only a test of your incident response plan but of your organization’s communication abilities overall.
With a tabletop workshop, your organization can spend a day working through your response to a simulated cyber incident to determine your true level of preparedness.
Ransomware Readiness Assessment
It should come as no surprise that ransomware continues to be one of the most significant cyber threats used against businesses and organizations today. The FBI & CISA have recently issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory campaign focused on a #StopRansomware effort.
This joint effort encourages organizations to proactively review their ransomware preparedness to reduce the impact of ransomware overall.
A ransomware readiness assessment investigates a business’s resiliency against ransomware threats specifically. This is a tactical assessment in which the goal is to determine the organization’s point-in-time ability to both withstand and recover from ransomware attacks.
This will review your:
- Configuration policies
- Logging & monitoring policies
- Vulnerability management
- Patch management
- Backup processes
- Endpoint protections
- Identity & access management
Should any hazards or risks be identified, proper security controls can be implemented to strengthen resiliency moving forward.
Next Steps: Get the Best Value from Your Assessments
Each of these assessments offers a constructive look into your business’s cyber security standings. When used appropriately, they not only help you evaluate the risk you face and make informed decisions to protect your business but ensure you’re in compliance with all regulations and eligible for cyber insurance.
At Arraya, our expert cybersecurity assessment services will help you identify which assessments best fit your needs and when to conduct them. If you’re already making the investment, make sure you’re taking advantage of the full value.
Contact us today to learn more.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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