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What is a Cyber Security Assessment and Why Do You Need One?

With the number of high-profile cyber attacks rising every year, a cyber security assessment is one of the most important investments your business can make. Hackers are exploiting security gaps in companies of all sizes and sectors to steal confidential data and information. Ransomware attacks in particular are increasingly making headlines, with cyber criminals demanding sometimes millions in payment before releasing the stolen data back to businesses.  

As businesses are increasingly reliant on technology, the threat landscape evolves, exposing IT environments to all new vulnerabilities. So how do you identify security gaps in your business? And how do you fix them? It all starts with a cyber security assessment. 

What is involved in a cyber security assessment? 

A cyber security assessment is a core component of any data protection and risk management strategy. It provides your business with a deeper understanding of your current security posture. This understanding enables you to identify, control and mitigate all forms of cyber security risk. When you can pinpoint your potential security risks and vulnerabilities, you can then take the steps to remove these. 

A cyber security assessment should be performed by a security professional who is able to understand the type of IT environment, information and business data you are trying to protect.

Why should you invest in a cyber security assessment? 

There are a number of reasons you should commission a cybersecurity assessment. Here are just a few: 

Better visibility of your security
By gaining full visibility of your security landscape, you can clearly see the weaknesses in your organisation. This gives you the insight you need to improve and strengthen your cyber security. 

Avoid non-compliance
Non-compliance with government and industry regulations surrounding data protection and information security can result in hefty fines. A cyber security assessment can ensure you comply with regulations such as GPDR. If client data or employee records are compromised, the Information Commissioner’s Office may impose fines of up £500,000 against your company for failing to comply with the Data Protection Act. 

Prevent data breaches
A cyber security assessment can help you identify and remediate potential risks that could lead to a data breach. Data breaches can cause significant financial and reputational harm to your business. 

Protect yourself from disruption
Beyond the financial implications, losing data or other critical business information will result in downtime. This halts productivity, performance and more. 

Safeguard your business
A cyber security assessment will help you safeguard and protect your business from the implications of cybercrime. The impacts of a successful cyber attack can range from disruption to services to the loss of millions of pounds, customer loyalty and more. At worst, it can result in permanent business failure. The risk of leaving your cyber security to chance is simply not worth it. 

What areas of your IT infrastructure can a cyber security assessment address?

Every aspect of your IT infrastructure has the potential to be a security risk. Depending on your current understanding and aims, a cyber security assessment can encompass your entire IT landscape, or just elements. You can and should monitor the security and level of protection across all areas on a regular basis. This includes assessing some or all of the below:

  • Your identity and access management policies 
  • Your cloud security and threat protection
  • Infrastructure security 
  • Endpoint security 
  • Privileged access model
  • Firewall security
  • Collaboration platform security (i.e. Microsoft 365)
  • Security software
  • Network security 
  • Data and information protection
  • Application security 
  • Shadow IT 

Solution-specific vs a full infrastructure assessment

Rather than taking a siloed approach, the best-practice approach to security should consider every potential avenue in your business. This gives you a complete understanding and helps you identify your risk-level across the breadth of your critical infrastructure. Instead of focusing on an individual technology or platform, it’s best to scan your full IT environment for vulnerabilities, and then take the steps to fix them.

However, it’s understandable that cyber security assessments require resources. Time and resource constraints can mean sometimes a siloed approach works best. The important thing to remember is that any focus on security is better than none, but a robust risk management strategy provides greater protection in the long run. With the cost of cyber crime sometimes running into the millions of pounds, your security is worth investing in.

Don’t leave security to chance

848 offers environment specific cyber security assessments to full audits that aim to move your business into a proactive security state. Book a cybersecurity assessment with the 848 Group to reduce your cyber risk today. We have a highly specialised team of cyber security experts to deliver your assessment and help you protect your business from data breaches and attacks.