Prep Now or Pay Later: 3 Reasons to get a Security Assessment

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Overseeing a technology environment can be pretty scary. Not only do you have to keep the lights on and the cogs churning, but you have to stop hackers from getting in and your valuable business data from getting out. Mobile devices, BYOD, the Internet of Things (IoT), and a demand for Digital Transformation (DX), has increased difficultly when it comes to managing information security, as you have to contend with an ever-growing security footprint that you need to monitor and protect. While the concept can seem daunting if not impossible, there are a few steps your business can take towards improving security, and a security assessment is generally the first move.

A Security Assessment is a complete, technical review of your technology systems, physical security, and policies where a security expert looks for holes and weakness that could lead to a data leak, ransomware or malware breach, and other malicious attacks. Security Assessments can differ depending on who is conducting it, but an overarching security assessment will often contain the following elements:

  • Vulnerability Assessment: A Vulnerability Assessment (VA) is a security review that utilizes assessment tools to scan your public facing systems for weaknesses or security gaps. A Vulnerability assessment should include an assessment document that outlines issues by priority and includes a plan for improving your overall security posture.

 

  • Penetration Test: A Penetration Test (Pen Test) is often used simultaneously with a Vulnerability Assessment, however, they are two distinct aspects of a security assessment. A Pen Test is when a security expert will try to exploit any discovered vulnerabilities to show you and your organization what vulnerabilities are likely to lead to a security breach.

 

  • Security Posture Review: A Posture review is a non-invasive and low impact security review when a security expert reviews your policies and procedures to assess the current level of your overall security posture. One key benefit of a posture review is that it provides you valuable time with a security expert to discuss your overall state of security and make a plan to get better in the future.

Every organization should conduct regular security assessments to locate any new or dangerous gaps in your security posture. Below are three of the primary reasons organization engage in a security assessment:

  1. A Client Asked You to Get One

If your business houses or deals with sensitive date such as financial records, personal details (Driver’s license numbers, social insurance numbers, etc.) then your clients probably want to know how secure their data is. The best way to appease there needs is to engage in regular (quarterly or yearly) Vulnerability Assessments and create a client facing versions that you can share.

  1. You are Required to Get One

Many businesses, such as government agencies and other critical entities are required by law or through audits to conduct a security assessment. Make sure you have found an organization that you trust ahead of time so that you are not scrambling to complete a security assessment just to satisfy the needs of an audit.

  1. You Are Scared

Trust your instincts. If security concerns are keeping you up at night, don’t be a defeatist. Find out where your weaknesses might be and put a plan in place to fix them. Many security weaknesses are simple fixes, such as strengthening your password policy or limiting administrative access to systems.

It is important to not wait until you experience an issue. Find out what your problems may be ahead of time and take care of them before your issues become public, which can ruin your reputation and your finances.

 

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