Cyber Risk Assessment: A Diagnosis of Your Digital Environment

by Trava, Cyber Risk Management

Cyber attacks have become a real threat to any company or business with an online presence. Learn the benefits of having a cyber risk assessment.

Cyber attacks have become a real threat to any company or business with an online presence. With a projected 2,200 cyber-attacks per day and an attack happening every 39 seconds, cyber security should be a top priority for every business. This is to protect the business, prevent loss of income, and protect customer data. It all begins with uncovering your security vulnerabilities through a cyber risk assessment. Unfortunately, this is something that most people feel is just too complex to wrap their minds effectively.

What Is Cyber Risk Assessment, and Why Are the Assessments Important?

A cyber risk assessment is simply a diagnosis to identify possible loopholes that could make it easy for hackers to access your online resources and information.

The cyber security assessment can take many directions depending on the focus of the assessment and the vulnerabilities being screened for. It can be as simple as asking questions and passing out a survey that assesses the security maturity in different areas of your cybersecurity program to more advanced methods like objective testing.

Surveys and objective testing form a baseline cyber risk assessment. The information obtained from the assessment is passed to the clients to scrutinize and see what their vulnerabilities are. They can then engage an expert to have the issues addressed and improve their cyber security.

Why Should Companies Conduct a Cyber Risk Assessment?

There's so much that can go wrong with cyber security that most companies decide not to open the can of worms in the first place. This is common with companies that don't have the budget to invest in assessments regularly and fix the issues discovered after the assessment. However, having a cyber risk assessment comes with numerous benefits.

It Gives You a List of Priorities

Not all the vulnerabilities uncovered need to be addressed at the same time. Some are riskier than others and need attention first.

An assessment report gives you a clear path on where to focus your limited security budget. With the assessment, you also have a clear picture of what you need to improve your cyber security.

Whether it is a policy you need, new technology, or simple adjustments, you have a plan of action and possible cost projections to better budget and plan and tick off the vulnerabilities one by one.

You Get a Plan of Action

The cybersecurity risk assessment has several components. Besides evaluating the existing cyber landscape, you also get a list of areas of improvement. This is to understand and mitigate the emerging issues, and most importantly, you get an action plan. This suggests the steps and measures to take to reduce your vulnerability.

This specific action plan includes detailed information on what will be accomplished at each step.

What Are the Indications That a Company Should Consider a Cybersecurity Assessment?

Jim Goldman, CEO and Co-Founder of Trava says, "The worst case scenario is they (the company) have an incident of their own."

Most companies wait until they've had a serious cybersecurity breach to consider doing an assessment. A story from a colleague or another business owner who has suffered an incident drives others. In many cases, it has to hit close to home for the business to realize they need to pay more attention to cybersecurity.

Even with all the hints, some businesses might still prefer to focus on other revenue-driven endeavors like getting new customers instead of getting a proper cybersecurity program.

The increasing rate of cybersecurity incidents should make companies get more intentional about getting assessments and cybersecurity assessment scans and start taking steps toward sealing those loopholes.

You don't have to wait until your business is compromised to take the necessary measures. By this time, it is too late. The effects of the cybersecurity breach could cripple your business and make it hard to restore customer trust.

Is a Cybersecurity Assessment Equally Important for Businesses in All Industries?

In some industries, cybersecurity assessment is so pivotal that it is regulated and is a legal requirement. Other industries are heading in the same direction.

But just because cybersecurity assessments are not a legal requirement in your industry doesn't mean you're not exposed to the same risks as other industries, which could make you a soft target.

You shouldn't wait until you're regulated. It's best to take measures early and gradually improve your security instead of taking a drastic, deadline-driven approach.

What Type of Information Does a Cyber Risk Assessment Uncover?

The type of information covered depends on the type of framework you use. A panel of industry experts put together each industry's framework.

The default one for cloud-based companies is the Center for Internet Security Version Eight framework. It has 18 different control families. However, 5 and 9 of the 18 control families are the most crucial.

Is There a Difference Between Frameworks and Risk Assessment?

Both serve the same purpose, but they are different. A risk assessment requires specific criteria and is a smaller aspect of a framework. The framework is broader and forms the standard for executing risk assessments.

How Often Should a Company Conduct a Risk Assessment?

Annually is a good interval for a full baseline cyber risk assessment. However, this varies with the industry. For some industries, the best practice is at least every quarter.

Companies should be aware of the fact that there are new viruses, malware, and techniques to breach current cybersecurity systems developed each day. The threats are always changing, and for companies, that means constantly staying in touch with your cybersecurity assessment company so you can always stay up-to-date with the latest security features. Your first step to getting back control of your cybersecurity systems should be to book a demo with Trava. Besides getting an assessment, you can learn more about securing your online presence and remaining proactive in keeping up with the latest cybersecurity trends.



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