Cybercriminals will often exploit a company for months before it is noticed, sometimes longer. Other intruders are never detected. In Part 2 of this series we detailed five types of cybersecurity threats small and medium-sized businesses face every day.

Using cybersecurity risk assessment tools can help SMBs mitigate top threats. Businesses of all sizes should routinely conduct cybersecurity risk assessments. Here’s why.

What is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?

Before getting into the benefits of conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment, it’s important to understand what one is. If you haven’t been actively involved in cybersecurity processes, it may sound like a foreign concept. In a nutshell, cyber risk assessments, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are used to identify, estimate, and prioritize an organization’s risk to operations, assets, individuals, and other organizations when they use or operate information systems.

Benefit #1: Determine Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities are essentially weaknesses cybercriminals can exploit within a company’s computer system, network, internal controls, or other system processes. Weaknesses can also include poor passwords, not locking screens, or neglecting to back up data. When the bad guys actively seek out ways to exploit businesses, they search for vulnerabilities. Identify them, assess the probability of risk, and then mitigate them accordingly to strengthen your cybersecurity standing.

Benefit #2 Gain Insight Into Your Ability to Mitigate Security Threats

Aside from pinpointing vulnerabilities, a risk assessment also points out other problems that could lead to data loss or destruction of IT assets, be they from malicious software or from a natural disaster. It also can determine if cameras or additional physical locks are needed. Many businesses are surprised when they find existing security protocols have been inadvertently overlooked.

Benefit #3: Determine if You Meet Compliance Regulations

Most businesses are subject to compliance when it comes to handling data and, depending on the industry, may have strict compliance and regulatory requirements. A thorough risk assessment will highlight any potential issues so they can be corrected before consequences emerge.

To sum up, a cybersecurity risk assessment helps decision-makers identify top risks so they can create proactive and reactive plans for dealing with them. It offers many other benefits as well. Assessments make businesses smarter, more strategic, and better poised to withstand a security event.

For a quick reference guide on the Top 10 Things Every SaaS Company Should Do to Protect Their Data, download our infographic.

To learn more, contact Trava today.