Cyber security has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for companies worldwide. Discussions about how to prevent and mitigate cyber threats are a hot topic for MSPs and IT teams.
Therefore, they should invest in the right tools and take preventative measures to prevent a major breach or incident. With the help of an IT risk analysis, companies find out which cyber threats they are most exposed to.
Not all risks are immediate or detrimental to ongoing operations. There are some risks that are more likely to occur than others, and to identify, mitigate and manage them, organizations need risk analysis. Risks and threats are identified and mitigated to protect the IT infrastructure, network and database. This not only ensures cyber security, but also takes into account hardware or software failures, problems with data backup and recovery, and physical damage to devices.
Benefits of regular IT risk analysis
Companies need to know what risks they are exposed to. Only then can an emergency action plan be drawn up that minimizes the effects of even serious threats. As part of this analysis, the effectiveness of the currently used security strategy and the tools used can be evaluated with regard to their highest risk factors and adjusted accordingly. The health and functionality of devices can also be monitored, regularly updated and upgraded. This is necessary because productivity is impacted by server and application downtime.
Regular risk analyzes also show where costs should be saved and resources should be concentrated. With the right IT solutions, companies can optimize the IT budget, achieve a higher return on investment and ensure better security. Every business has data security laws to comply with, and these regulations change frequently, which can make it difficult to stay current. With IT risk analyses, companies ensure that their infrastructure and processes always comply with the law.
How is an IT risk assessment carried out?
IT risk assessments are often very tedious due to their scope and the complexity of the work. Here are some steps to help conduct proper IT risk assessment:
1. Identify threats and vulnerabilities
The first step should be to identify and fix the vulnerabilities of the critical assets. Creating a risk profile for each individual IT asset may be feasible for a small business, but for organizations with hundreds of thousands of assets, the task is nearly impossible. In such cases, companies should rank assets according to their relevance to business continuity. In addition, it is important to assess the threats that each asset is most likely to face.
2. Assess impact and likelihood of occurrence
In addition to assessing potential threats to business information, data and devices, organizations must also determine what financial impact an incident could have. When assessing the various risks and ranking them according to their severity, the cost of containing this threat must also be taken into account. It is also important to rank the threats according to their likelihood of occurrence. Understanding these factors is critical to an effective risk mitigation plan.
3. Determine the priority level of the risk
Prioritizing risks means addressing larger risks before smaller risks. After completing the previous steps, companies will know what kind of threats their critical IT systems are exposed to. The loss of data, including personally identifiable information about customers, patents, or critical business expansion plans, is more detrimental to many organizations than a few hours of server downtime. However, for financial or customer-facing businesses, a few minutes of downtime can be catastrophic.
4. Define countermeasures
After the risks have been identified, the next step is to decide what security controls are required to prevent these threats. In today’s world, cyber security, or lack thereof, poses the greatest risk for organizations. Knowing the threats facing an organization helps to develop the most effective security setup possible. This phase also needs to determine if the organization has the internal capabilities to protect against the identified risks or if they are working with an external security organization such as a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). have to.
Sometimes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack the resources or expertise to conduct a comprehensive risk analysis. Therefore, they hire external experts such as MSPs or MSSPs to assess IT risks and provide comprehensive cyber security tools to mitigate cyber threats.