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What Is a Security Assessment?

Why Do You Need One?

What Is a Security Assessment?
July 31, 2020 Liz Pena

Do you have anti-virus software to protect your business’s data?

Maybe you also have firewalls and encryption technology, so you think you can just sit back and let technology protect you from a malicious cyberattack. 

Sorry — but that’s not the case. 

If your IT security strategy relies solely on installing an anti-virus software with no further checks or training, you are vulnerable to an attack — and it’s only a matter of time before you fall victim to a data breach that puts your customers at risk for identity theft and your business left to pick up the pieces!  

Don't believe us?

In 2017, Equifax became a victim of one of the costliest data breaches of all time (estimated at over $400 million). Hackers preyed on vulnerabilities in its web application framework to gain access to the confidential data of more than 143 million customers in the U.S.

In 2013, hackers infiltrated Target’s networks by sending a third-party vendor a phishing email, which ultimately compromised 110 million credit and debit card user details. The mega-retailer estimates the total cost of the breach at $292 million. 

If large firms such as Equifax and Target — that spend millions of dollars on IT security — can fall victim to cyberattacks, is your business really safe?

Small/medium-sized businesses are the most vulnerable — and have the most to lose.

If you believe that SMBs are immune to cyberattacks, or that hackers only target big companies, you’re putting yourself at major risk. Periodically testing for vulnerabilities is so important. It also calls for strong incident response plans, data backup measures and security awareness training for employees. 

Have you considered… 

  • 62% of cyberattacks target small businesses because their systems are easier to infiltrate. 
  • 16% of small businesses conducted a security assessment only after a breach.
  • 1 in 3 small businesses have no controls in place to prevent hacks. 
  • The average costs of a data breach for SMBs is between $36,000 and $50,000 but the total costs could be more when factoring in related costs such as fines, forensic examination charges, loss of clientele, etc. 

You may have the best security software installed in your organization but a determined hacker or a careless employee is all it takes to bring the whole system down. In the aftermath of the cyberattack on Target, cybersecurity expert, Shawn Henry pointed out: “Technology is a piece of the solution, but it’s not the sole solution.” 

So, how can you safeguard your business? 

To mitigate the risk of a cyberattack, you must build a culture of information security in your organization by regularly monitoring your security posture through security assessments. 

Schedule a Security Assessment Today

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What Is a Security Assessment?

Security assessments are periodic exercises that test your organization’s security preparedness. They include checks for vulnerabilities in your IT systems and business processes, as well as recommending steps to lower the risk of future attacks. 

Security assessments are also useful for keeping your systems and policies up to date. 

Our security assessment provides comprehensive insight into individual computers based on security criteria. Devices discovered on your network are assigned an overall score, as well as a specific score for each of the assessment categories detailed in the report card. 

Our assessment will help pinpoint IT risks, including: 

  • Internal network vulnerabilities — password policies, user databases, IT assets and personally identifiable information (PII)
  • Security policy inconsistencies 
  • Core firewall vulnerabilities 

Why Regular Security Assessments Are a Must for All Businesses 

Security breaches are extremely costly and installing a security solution alone is not enough to stop them. One of the main reasons for this? People are the weakest link in your information security chain. 

A security assessment will help you identify risky behavior of employees and take actions to better train them, in addition to testing your IT systems for vulnerabilities

More than 90% of the breaches that happened in 2016 were the result of human error.

Here are a few more important reasons you should be conducting regular security assessments: 

You're on the cloud.

By 2020, 78of small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing. While most major cloud providers follow standard security procedures, you still need to remain vigilant. It is predicted that over the next four years, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the fault of the user, not the provider. 

To ensure compliance.

HIPAA, FISMA, GDPR, PCI DSS  the regulations that you need to remain compliant with can feel endless. Many of these require regular security assessments. Regular internal security assessments will help to ensure you pass the third-party audits that are necessary for compliance certifications. 

To keep up with new threats.

With new IT security threats emerging every day, it’s crucial to take action to protect your business from hackers and data breaches. You should always take the time to find and fix your weak points before cybercriminals have a chance to exploit them. 

To detect security breaches.

Companies are not aware of a security breach until the hacker demands ransom or confidential data starts circulating in the public domain. Security assessments help you identify breaches more quickly and the faster you detect them, the less costly they will be. 

Contact Verity IT today to conduct a Security Assessment for you and your business! Don’t wait until it’s too late!