How Security Assessments Help Businesses Conquer Cyber Threats

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Net Friends

Securing your digital infrastructure is a bit like planning a mountain climb while juggling flaming torches (do not do that!)—both require careful preparation, terrain savviness, and a flair for handling surprises! Even more important, do not try to tackle this all on your own or figure things out as you go along. Expert guidance will keep your security posture in the best possible position. While preventing breaches is not always possible, being well-equipped for them is. So, grab your digital climbing gear, and let's begin our ascent!

How Security Assessments Help Businesses Conquer Cyber Threats  thumbnail graphics - Net Friends
How Security Assessments Help Businesses Conquer Cyber Threats

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Understanding Security Assessments

Building your security toolkit is essential for a successful ascent. First, let us tackle some towering numbers. Did you know that the global average cost of data breaches is reaching a staggering peak of $4.45 million in 2023? That is enough to outfit every aspiring climber with top-notch gear and still host an extravagant après-climb celebration.

3 Types of Security Assessments Micrographic
3 Types of Security Assessments

Security Assessments act as a "check-up" for your digital infrastructure, identifying and evaluating risks and weaknesses.

These security assessments involve distinct areas of focus, such as:

1. Risk Assessments

  • What They Are: Risk Assessments focus on understanding what is at stake and what you need to protect. It is an analysis that looks at what could go wrong, how likely it is, and how bad it would be if it did.
  • Why They Matter: Like assessing the weather and potential hazards before a mountain climb, a Risk Assessment helps you prioritize where to put your efforts to protect your system.
Sample Risk Assessment with Net Friends IT Security Services
Sample Risk Assessment

2. Vulnerability Scans

  • What They Are: Think of Vulnerability Scans as a quick check-up of your computer systems, looking for any weaknesses or "holes" that a hacker might exploit.
  • Why They Matter: Just like how you would avoid climbing a mountain with faulty equipment, you do not want your computer system to have weaknesses that could be exploited. Vulnerability Scans identify these weaknesses so you can fix them.

3. Penetration Tests

  • What They Are: Penetration Tests are like staging a mock break-in on your computer systems, critical applications, and internal network. It is a simulated attack where professional, ethical hackers try to get into your system the way a real attacker would.
  • Why They Matter: This helps you understand how strong your defenses are. If ethical hackers can break in, real hackers might too, so you need to know where to improve.

In short, these methods give you a climbing route, helping you prepare and secure your ascent (or in this case, your computer, and other IT infrastructure) against unexpected challenges and potential dangers. Route planning is essential to getting to where you want to go safely and successfully.

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The Landscape of Cyber Threats

In 2022 alone, ethical hackers discovered over 65,000 vulnerabilities, and global cyberattacks increased by 38%. Ransomware breaches climbed 13% more than the last five years combined. These rising figures make taking proper precautions—like a seasoned climber analyzing weather patterns—a necessity for businesses.

The seven most targeted industries are finance, professional and legal services, manufacturing, healthcare, high tech, wholesale, and retail.

— Palo Alto Networks (2022 Unit 42 Incident Response Report)

Net Friends Pro-Tip micrographic
Net Friends Pro-Tip

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Why Security Assessments are Crucial

Security assessments provide valuable insights into your current cybersecurity posture and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and PCI DSS. Like preparing the right gear for a mountain climb, understanding your organization's landscape helps in figuring out the right tools and strategies to ensure safety.

After the Security Assessment: What's Next?

Once your assessment is complete, understanding how to interpret and act on the results is vital. A high-quality assessment will prioritize your most urgent and significantly impactful areas of concern and provide you with guidance on how to mitigate the concerns. Strategies to prioritize vulnerabilities and "plug the holes" are your essential gear.

Net Friends recommends performing a follow-up assessment after you have completed your mitigations, thus ensuring your risks and vulnerabilities have been addressed. You also want to make sure that the changes you made did not have unintended consequences, creating new issues.

Continuous monitoring is key, ensuring you do not let your guard down. Adapting to changing conditions is essential for success, both in cybersecurity and mountain climbing.

One thing that is hard to include in most assessments is how entrenched your security awareness culture is, and how prepared your staff is to recognize and prevent threats aimed at them. Conducting monthly security training for your team can significantly enhance your organization's cybersecurity awareness skills.

SOC 2 Compliance Micrographic - Net Friends

Security Assessments with Net Friends

Comprehensive security measures include regular scans, staff training, following industry trends, and investing in recent technologies.

For more information about how Net Friends delivers customized Managed IT Services, or for help with conducting a security assessment to outpace threats and dramatically improve your security posture, schedule a call with our team!

Download our FREE Ultimate IT Security Checklist for Business

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