Hand building blocks that spell 'risk'

What is a risk assessment and why do you need one?

There’s no question that risk management is an important aspect of running and sustaining a business.

And whether expanding to a competitive market, creating a new business infrastructure, or even developing leading-edge technology, there are risks associated with every business decision you make.

That’s the way you should approach your cybersecurity too. After all, the total cost of a data breach ranges from $2.2 million for incidents with fewer than 10,000 compromised records, and $6.9 million for incidents with more than 50,000 compromised records.

So how can you mitigate your security risk?

The best way to start is to undergo a cybersecurity risk assessment.

Defining the cybersecurity risk assessment

With the growing threat of cyber attacks, many companies are prioritizing their create a safe and digitally secure business environment.

Cybersecurity risk assessments are a way for companies to: –

  • Analyze current business systems and processes
  • Identify potential vulnerabilities and compliance issues
  • Create an actionable plan to address risks

Risk assessments can be by an internal resource or through a third-party managed services. Regardless of who manages the process, the result is a practical and cost-effective way to protect against devastating data breaches and significantly improve operational effectiveness.

Here are 3 reasons you need one.

1. You need them to shore up any compliance gaps

Regulatory compliance laws are designed to protect the personal information of clients, customers, and employees.

Cybersecurity risk assessments are designed to work in a highly regulated business environment. When it comes to identifying gaps in existing security infrastructure, they’re invaluable.

With data storage procedures, transactional processes, and application usage, risk assessments provide companies valuable insights to make better-informed decisions about how to structure their business security.

In turn, that allows you to focus on areas that are lacking in security rather than spending valuable time and energy in securing everything at once. It’s similar to creating a security priority list.

2. You need them to prevent data loss and downtime

A key benefit to a risk assessment is that it allows a business to protect its network and devices from data loss and downtime, both of which can be costly and time-consuming. 

Getting ahead of any attacks on your network is critical. You should also be sure to keep your software updated on a regular basis to avoid security vulnerabilities in applications and services.

Risk assessments key you in to the status of your network, ensuring the latest firmware and security patches are installed and fully operational on everything that needs to be updated.

Related content: How to protect your business from insider threats

In the event of unexpected downtime or data breaches, a thorough assessment will help pinpoint any gaps in the company’s disaster recovery plan.

That helps you get back to operational status as quickly as possible if it happens again.

3. You need them to discover any vulnerabilities

In today’s digital landscape, protecting your business against security vulnerabilities is necessary for survival.

Without secure networks and strict administrative protocols, a business exposes themselves to external and internal threats to their data. Keeping these threats at bay requires a proactive approach to cybersecurity planning and execution.

Risk assessments help businesses remain agile when combating current and future threats to data security. The earlier a business can recognize flaws in their system, the sooner they can devote the time, money, and resources to resolve their issues.

Want to know more about how you can improve your security? Check out how to protect your business from phishing attacks.