By 2025, Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the global cost of cybercrimes will reach $10 trillion USD annually. Along with the more obvious financial risks associated with cybercrimes—like stolen money or decreased profits associated with downtime and recovery—there are other serious issues, too. Cybercrimes often result in lost productivity, stolen intellectual property and data, and decreased business reputation. In other words, there’s a lot at stake here, and staying vigilant is critical.
Fortunately, there is a way to help limit your organization’s potential exposure to these kinds of crimes. Performing a regular cybersecurity risk assessment empowers businesses to identify their cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and risks.
Of course—especially for small- to mid-sized businesses—performing these kinds of regular assessments may sound like an overwhelming prospect. Luckily, you’re not in this alone. There are a number of cybersecurity risk assessment tools on the market that can help you protect your business and your assets. Keep reading to find out more about the goals of these tools and the types of security assessments available.
What Is a Cybersecurity Assessment Tool?
A cybersecurity assessment tool is a software or application that is designed to help organizations identify their vulnerabilities, threats, and risks. In cybersecurity, these similar-sounding words have very different meanings. Vulnerabilities refer to the various weak points in a business’ infrastructure. Threats refer to actions and activities that may potentially exploit a vulnerability in an organization. Finally, risks combine both vulnerabilities and threats—and these are what have the greatest potential to lead to serious cybersecurity issues.
On top of helping organizations assess their vulnerabilities, threats, and risks, the best cybersecurity assessment tools also provide functionality to address these issues to improve an organization’s overall security posture. This can be helpful when seeking to purchase or renew cyber insurance, meet compliance goals like SOC2, or even present security efforts to a board. To further break this down, the best cybersecurity assessment tools do three primary tasks:
Assess an organization’s security posture and cyber risk. This includes developing a strategy to perform regular, automated scans and assessments. Risk assessment is not a one-and-done phenomenon.
Mitigate a business’ existing risks. This includes implementing tools and techniques to address any threats and vulnerabilities. Developing a plan to address potential or existing threats now and in the future are also critical components of this step.
Align and connect with the right cyber insurance company. For a lot of organizations, cybersecurity assessments are completed to help receive the best outcomes when seeking cyber insurance. By performing routine cybersecurity assessments, you can help eliminate surprises during this critical process.
Why does all of this matter? In today’s increasingly digital world, cyber threats truly are everywhere. In fact, roughly 61% of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMB) reported at least one attack in 2021—a number that only underscores the importance of an excellent cybersecurity posture. And that’s exactly where cybersecurity assessment tools come in.
What Are the Assessment Tools in Cybersecurity?
There are dozens of different assessment tools on the market, ranging from an individual low-cost or free cybersecurity assessment tool all the way up to an all-in-one platform that performs everything we described above. Individual tools are certainly useful for assessing a specific aspect of your organization’s cybersecurity posture. However, all-in-one platforms like Trava combine a variety of risk assessment scans and other techniques to not only assess risk but mitigate it as well.
No matter what option your organization ultimately chooses, here are a few of the most popular and powerful cybersecurity assessment tools:
Automated Questionnaires: When performing risk assessments, it’s imperative to use the right kinds of questionnaires to evaluate third-party risk. Building and deploying vendor-specific surveys can empower organizations to understand what risks are associated with each of their partnerships.
Employee Assessments: Remote work has brought about significant changes to the workforce. And with these changes also comes risks associated with personal devices, unsecured WiFi networks, and phishing emails. Identifying and understanding these risks can improve overall cybersecurity.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) to help organizations identify, detect, protect, respond to, and recover from potential threats. Organizations aligning with the NIST framework must ensure they follow each of the standards set forth by the NIST.
Penetration Testing: Penetration testing is designed to illuminate weak spots such as high-risk vulnerabilities, how these vulnerabilities could impact business, how well a network can detect a threat, and more.
Security Ratings: Security ratings provide a concrete, data-driven analysis of an organization's cybersecurity posture. These ratings can assess both internal and external risk factors to provide a more holistic view of an organization’s cybersecurity efforts.
Third-Party Assessments: Taking a deep dive into any and all third-party vendors, including the tools they use, can help an organization determine whether or not these relationships are worth it from a security perspective.
Trava: Your All-in-One Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Platform
With all these tools and more available, how do you identify the right tool or platform for the job? And, how do you determine which kinds of assessments are business critical? At Trava our team works with our customers to develop a customized plan based on your goals. Our tools can be broken out into vulnerability scans, risk assessment surveys, and phishing simulations. These tools are ideal for environments and applications including:
Asset / Discovery
To get started, we encourage you to take a free cyber risk assessment today!