With millions of security risks circulating the Internet and new ones appearing every day, keeping your organization safe might seem an impossible task. Realistically, you cannot prevent every possible attack or infection; however, you can identify the areas where you're the most vulnerable and focus on strengthening them through a process known as IT risk assessment.
Through an IT vulnerability check, you can locate potential holes in your cybersecurity and take measures to close them before hackers or scammers find them. Remember that no organization is immune to these attacks. Bad actors will steal data and wreak havoc anywhere possible; it doesn't matter how small your organization. Risk assessment makes it that much harder for them to do so.
It Risk Assessment Is A Process
As organizations take on IT risk assessment, they must be prepared to devise a specific plan if they want an effective security program. To develop this plan, you must first identify IT assets including hardware and software and the processes that use these assets. Then, you must identify the threats to those assets (from both within and outside your organization) and, by extension, processes.
Through this process, you'll see how costly an attack can be and why IT risk assessment and other security measures are worth their cost. However, one benefit of IT risk assessment is that you can identify and restructure redundant IT assets or processes to save money.
The Benefits of It Risk Assessment
On top of that, your organization can avoid financial and legal repercussions by ensuring your organization complies with all applicable laws. If your company isn't compliant and falls victim to an attack, you may be more financially liable than if your IT setup is compliant. Plus, you may not qualify for cyber insurance without an IT risk assessment. If you provide IT services to a person or organization who refuses to abide by best practices, ensure they recognize and accept responsibility for the risk this poses to reduce your liability.
How Often Should You Schedule It Risk Assessments?
Because security risks and your IT needs change over time, it's not enough to perform just one IT risk assessment. Every time your organization adds a new machine or process, you should assess the change in risks. Don't forget about staffing signs that indicate it's time to reassess your IT security. Consider what threats emerge during times of high turnover, for example.
If your systems and staff remain unchanged, perform an IT risks assessment every two years. Make it mandatory to ensure everyone participates. After two years, the threat landscape is practically unrecognizable, and traditional methods of cybersecurity may no longer be enough. You may need to upgrade your assets to ensure cybersecurity even if they still allow you to complete the necessary processes.
These assessments impact not just your organization but your partners and clients whos sensitive data you have access to. MSPs must assess risk within their own IT assets just as their clients must. Our industry peers understand that taking cybersecurity seriously boosts their reputation while failure to do so can harm it. Shareholders appreciate not only when companies commit to cybersecurity but are transparent about their efforts to mitigate risk.
If you've been putting off your first IT risk assessment, there's no better time to schedule one. Although an organization's first IT assessment may take some time and effort, it provides a template for future IT risk assessments, allowing them to go more smoothly without being as disruptive to the workplace.
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