Most businesses today fear the word cyberattack. Given the consequences of a data breach, it does not come as a surprise. Hence, several companies are planning to increase their cybersecurity expenditure. With the remote workforce gaining importance due to the recent pandemic, today’s businesses have entered a perimeter-less world. However, despite knowing the importance of robust cybersecurity, several organizations neglect it. They often install a few defenses and then forget about them. But as businesses grow their IT infrastructure changes. While these changes help accelerate growth, it also leads to cyberattacks, especially as cybercriminals develop innovative ways to penetrate a network. This is why periodic security assessment becomes a must.
Why do a Periodic Security Assessment?
Periodic security assessment regularly examines your IT posture to identify vulnerabilities and gaps in it. Just because your business was secure in the past doesn’t mean it is safe today. When you scale your IT systems and digital resources, the security infrastructure undergoes several changes, leading to the increased network perimeter, and hence, the loopholes. This is where periodic security assessment plays a vital role in determining and mitigating these loopholes.
Besides, it also ensures that you comply with governmental regulations. All enterprises holding sensitive data are bound to have periodic assessments for data regulations such as GDPR, HIPPA, FISMA, etc. Moreover, you also get the opportunity to dig into your cybersecurity defenses and determine any existing risks or potential areas generating the most risks.
Types of Security Assessments You Should be Performing
Security assessment is an umbrella term that comprises different types of assessments. Although the best assessment for your business depends on your requirements, a few standard assessments are a must and should always be on your list.
Vulnerability assessment is the process of finding all the potential vulnerabilities in your systems. During this assessment, testers will use multiple tools to identify any loopholes that the attackers can use to exploit your network. They will also try to find possible recovery options and mitigate as many risks as possible.
These tests are most relevant at the initial stages when you have not done much about your cybersecurity. The core focus of testers is to find and fix most vulnerabilities depending on the priority list.
As the name gives out, penetration testing is the process of identifying to what extent an attack can penetrate. Suppose an attacker hacks your business application. The penetration testing can help determine if the attacker can get into your database through the compromised app. It aims to find the severity of an attack as the testers will find flaws and use them to identify the potential damage if an actual attacker would have penetrated your network.
Penetration tests are the go-to option to determine if the current IT infrastructure can withstand any attacks. They will help verify the security level of software and the code behind it. Penetration testing can be further classified into three categories: white, grey, and black box depending on the information available with the tester to penetrate the system.
Risk assessment is carried out to determine the biggest threats facing an organization. It will assess the actual and acceptable level of potential risks. This is usually done in two dimensions: probability and impact, using qualitative and quantitative models. Once the analysis is complete, the IT teams initiate necessary actions to bring down the risk levels to acceptable levels.
It is a broad term that includes thoroughly assessing risks to any assets of your organization. Hence, it is best to delve deeper and understand the tester’s approach and artifacts before going ahead in risk assessment. You can also define your goals and priority assessment list and ask the tester to approach accordingly.
Almost all organizations holding sensitive data are legally bound to comply with specific data regulation rules. You need tools like SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) and FIM (File Integrity and Management) for logging and reporting faulty events. If you fail to do so, then your organization is exposed to both security and compliance risks. However, since every business holds diverse data, it is challenging to understand what regulations you are bound to. Compliance assessments help you know what controls you need to apply based on your organization’s size and complexity.
Baseline Security Assessment
Baseline security assessment refers to assessing the security infrastructure against a set of minimum security controls and measures defined for low, moderate, and high-impact systems. Baseline security acts as standard benchmarks to ensure security. The best time to perform a baseline security assessment is when you want to determine how strong your first-line or base defense system is.
You can set your baseline security controls based on your requirements or follow the standard benchmarks set by organizations like CIS and CSA. The tester will then evaluate the systems against the recommended policies. This will help strengthen your IT posture based on globally recognized benchmarks.
Importance of Security Assessment
With covid-19 becoming the new bait for attackers, cybercrime is skyrocketing in 2021. Whether you are a startup or an enterprise, sell products or offer services, you are a potential target for cyber attackers if you hold data. As always, it is beneficial to be proactive and have preventive plans in place. Hence, security assessments become vital.
Periodic security assessments are essential as they help you proactively identify gaps and mitigate them to reduce risks. Additionally, they also ensure you comply with standard data protection regulations. Besides, security assessments are also important to:
- Make informed security decisions based on outcomes
- Enhance trust and reliability among customers, vendors, and stakeholders
- Identify robustness of the current IT infrastructure
- Determine and address the weakest spots in your defense mechanism
- Formulate new security approaches and policies to strengthen IT posture
How SharkStriker Can Help
The average global cost of a data breach ranges from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million. Besides, it also brings in other challenges like lost trust, brand reputation, customers, etc. Hence, it is essential to select a Managed Security Service (MSS) provider, like SharkStriker that can deliver robust security assessments.
SharkStirker offers comprehensive periodic security assessments and world-class cybersecurity solutions. We offer end-to-end MSS through our one-in-all XDR solution. While traditional XDRs are limited to protection, detection, and response, our solution follows the ORCA approach to go beyond and address even compliance and awareness. Furthermore, we also provide SIEM as a Service solution that ensures complete assessments through our all-embracing SIEM services and features, including effective compliance management, incisive FIM, comprehensive vulnerability management, and preventative security.