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Does your enterprise need a security risk assessment?

Don’t ignore internal security evaluations

In today’s climate of expanding attack surfaces and threats, preparing for them is essential for long-term IT health. An enterprise will take several steps to strengthen its security layer, and one way of doing such is with a security risk assessment.

Security risk assessments are operations in which an organization conducts a thorough investigation of its internal resources to reveal security threats, redundancies, and weaknesses. In other words, they’re checking for areas to improve on, while identifying weak points in their overall IT security.

These days, performing an SRA is essential. There are too many threats, available attack surfaces, and paths to breach network layers to avoid a cybersecurity event. As your organization grows, so too will opportunities for data loss, intrusions, and network-adjacent attacks.

Performing a security risk assessment

So, the question is, how do you perform an SRA? It depends on in-house resources (or lack thereof). Larger organizations typically have the capital and internal IT experts to perform their own SRA. Smaller businesses can still perform an SRA, though may lack enough resources for a sufficient and thorough report. An enterprise needs an intrinsic understanding of its network and production layers to anticipate where threats can occur.

A healthy, insightful security risk assessment will possess these qualities:

  • Provides detailed information about network and business layers including data about assets, threat potential, and risk factors
  • Ways to quickly identify and improve existing strengths
  • Provisions for long-term roadmaps to create success plans

Risk assessments cover a huge swath of areas too, depending on the size of the organization. Primary areas include:

  • Infrastructure
  • Policies
  • Network and Data
  • Applications/Software
  • Information Security
  • Servers and Systems

Within those sectors are the granular services and operations of the business (for example, infrastructure means the operations of servers, PC systems, cabling, and all physical installations). The idea, however, is the same: a risk assessment analyzes each of these to root out weaknesses and potential problems. Given the volume, size, and need for a full-on assessment, the task can seem herculean.

How is a security risk assessment performed?

Though it varies depending on the organization, assessments follow a general outline. The larger the enterprise, the greater the need for testing. It can also change if a business takes advantage of third-party services, but more on that later.

Creating a Plan

Before any assessment begins, management, staff, and cybersecurity executives establish the backbone of the assessment. What areas to focus on, predicting how long it will take, the cost, and all the necessary details go into this phase of an SRA.

Structural Review

Once the plan is set, getting a look at current operations is the next step. In other words, an enterprise needs to observe and understand its own infrastructure model. What is used for certain tasks, how long does it take for said tasks, and involved software.

Full Analysis

With the foundations in place, next is conducting a thorough analysis of all systems. This is designed to catch all problems within an organization’s network. The reason you perform the “structure review” is to see how operations are carried out, and then catch weaknesses in said operations.

The analysis will vary in the time it takes based on the size of an enterprise.

Report

Once the assessment concludes, next comes the report. As you can imagine, it’s designed to highlight the skeletal strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s security.

The ideal report is a digestible body of information for executives and management. It should contain critical information, translating to efficient solutions for the current cybersecurity and IT infrastructure.

In retrospect, it all sounds difficult, doesn’t it? The short answer is yes, security assessments require thorough attention to detail. And, based on the size of the organization – as mentioned – a SRA is a long, challenging process. The more variables there are to consider, the more complex the assessment.

This is where taking advantage of third-party resources comes in.

Using a MSP for security risk assessments

By now you know about managed service providers. In a time where IT resources are limited, reaching out to third parties is a common solution. MSPs are capable of performing insight-driven SRAs, and can produce meaningful data on a greater scale than the organization.

Due to an MSP’s expanded resources, expertise, and scalability, it’s easier for a third party to develop comprehensive reports. With those, an enterprise can move forward with confident decisions and agile solutions.

If you’re looking to perform a thorough risk assessment for your organization, don’t hesitate. Contact Bytagig today for additional information.

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