Quick question for you. Did you get bloodwork done recently or have an annual check up at the doctor? Hopefully, you have. Frequent checkups are good for maintaining your health and nipping in the bud any potential issues that could lead to complications if not dealt with ahead of time.
Follow up question for you. Do you give your organization’s IT environment a check up? Just like you go to the doctor’s office to get your health checked to see if there are any health concerns you need to address, you also want to get your IT environment checked so you can nip in the bud any potential issues before they cause serious problems for your organization.
Maybe you are saying, “Do we really need to spend money on a cyber security assessment for our organization? That will just lead to more costs for the assessment plus any upgrades and fixes.” Well, in 2021, 61% of small-to-medium-sized businesses were attacked by cybercriminals (Source: Verizon 2022 Data Breach Report). Additionally, 75% of small-to-medium-sized businesses that were attacked by ransomware could not continue operating after the attack (Source: CNBC Mainstreet Overconfidence). Ransomware has become one of the most pervasive types of cyberattack there is, and the scope of who gets targeted is wide. Not only do you need to be concerned about your data, but you also need to be mindful that if you have a breach, your clients’ data that is in your environment could be compromised. Cybercriminals are looking for whom they can trip up and get an organization’s data no matter what the organization does and how large or small it is. While there is a pretty significant risk of cyberattack to your organization today, many sources are suggesting that the chance of attack is only increasing. So how do you actually get a security assessment and what does it do?
While there are a lot of ways to complete a security assessment of your organization’s IT environment, one way that is most recommended is to have a third-party complete the assessment. When a third party completes the assessment, you get an outside perspective on your cyber security so that you, or your MSP, are not “grading our own work,” so to speak. This assessment is similar to getting a multi-point inspection of your car at the auto shop. The inspection comes back to you and the auto shop makes recommendations on what absolutely needs to be fixed, what should be fixed, and what could be tuned up but maybe isn’t completely necessary. When a penetration test, or pen test, is conducted on your IT environment, the third-party completing the assessment will make recommendations about your environment to improve your cyber security.
There are a few areas that will be looked at in the assessment and it really comes down to what the scope of your assessment is. There are a few common things that will be looked at to find any potential weaknesses in your current IT environment. The test will look to see if anyone on your team has done anything that would make your organization vulnerable to common methods of hackers and cybercriminals today like compromised passwords, missing updates, patches, etc. It will also help you find which areas you need to take additional action on now because they are at more risk. This is where a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can help.
An MSSP will help you use the security assessment to address the areas that need to be shored up and which areas are currently doing well. By identifying what areas are security vulnerabilities, an MSSP is able to walk your organization through what action needs to be done and also be able to recommend the necessary tools to carry out those actions. This is very important because while the pen test and subsequential recommendations are helpful, they will not fix any issues that are uncovered. Those assessment recommendations will need to be assessed so a plan specific to your organization’s IT environment can be drafted and implemented. Additionally, since the technological landscape is always changing, an MSSP can help your organization set up a plan for routine vulnerability assessments to keep your environment up to date.
Completing a cybersecurity assessment is important for your IT environment and becoming increasingly so. Are you taking steps to take care of your organization’s technological health?
As always, we are here to help.