In today’s services economy, it is all about delivering products quickly, reliably, and safely as a service to customers at all times. This market shift has produced new sales and delivery models enabling buyers to browse and pay for diverse products and services with unprecedented speed and convenience. As a result, huge amounts of data and sensitive information pass through multiple channels. According to a study by the University of Maryland, a cyberattack against a computer with internet access happens every 39 seconds.

The threat of exposure or recurring attacks supports the cost and value of performing a cybersecurity assessment as an essential top priority for any business leader. The cybersecurity assessment identifies the risk of exposure for digital assets by assessing potentially vulnerable network devices and services. This requires an evaluation of the strength or weakness of all the software, IT processes, and channels that valuable company information flows through. Whether conducting the assessment internally or working with a trusted cybersecurity service provider, the assessment must focus on how valuable the information is and what it would cost the business if the information is lost, stolen, or damaged. It’s critical to manage reputational risk. You should ask yourself: – how badly would the business and brand be affected if a breach occurred and key customers, the public, and larger society had to be notified? If a security threat is detected or even deemed likely, the business must quickly weigh the cost options. Is remediating an issue more expensive than facing a costly data breach that requires customer notification, fines by the record count, or exposure by the national media?
cybersecurity service provider
3 cybersecurity assessments
Three common types of cybersecurity assessments are:

  • Vulnerability Assessments – scanning and evaluation of the hardware, software, and processes against identified vulnerabilities within the current production environment or as scoped out with the Chief Technology of Chief Security Officer.
  • Cybersecurity Audits – audits that have defined compliance or security scopes pre-defined based on specific regulatory requirements like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, or in an opinion format e.g. a SOC1, SOC2 or ISO27001 review. Some of these reviews can be performed as readiness reviews or pre-assessments in order for the company to ensure that they can obtain an unqualified opinion to satisfy external user auditors and external stakeholders that rely upon such reporting to satisfy some of their internal control testing requirements.
  • Penetration Testing – Also known as a pen test or ethical hacking, this is an authorized simulated cyberattack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system. It is much more intrusive than a vulnerability assessment and must be entered into with the knowledge of senior IT management of an organization. Typically, senior management tests the reaction time of operational resources on their team to see how ready they are should a true attack occur to their network perimeter.
While cybersecurity assessments are critical for all businesses, there is no “one size fits all solution.” A good approach allows an organization time to dig deep into the devices, networks, and processes that manage sensitive information and select a solution and tools that are customized to meet the organization’s specific business and compliance needs. Depending on size and budget, organizations can choose to work with the management team or hire a cybersecurity service provider that specializes in the industry. One thing to remember is that it is crucial to have a strategy that defends against potential threats (singular or recurring) – as it is critical to keep company data secure as it passes through various channels – through a formal and defined data encryption policy and strategy. Data should be protected both at rest and in transfer as defined by key security protocols including PCI/DSS, HIPAA, and NIST 800-171. Identifying the weak points in a business now could protect it from costly intrusions in the future.
cybersecurity assessments are critical for all businesses