IT Risk Assessment

Could An IT Risk Assessment Save Your Organization Getting Hacked & Filing Bankruptcy?

After an organization’s leadership team makes the wise decision to increase its cybersecurity investment, they typically get a good night’s sleep. But after learning that household name corporations such as Facebook, Equifax, Marriot International, LinkedIn, eBay, and many others suffered humiliating data breaches, business executives often develop insomnia.

How could these industry-leading, billion-dollar corporations get hacked with the wealth of resources at their disposal? The answer may not provide comfort for small, mid-sized, and growing corporations. That answer is “unknown vulnerabilities.”

My team at Kraft Technology Group works with business leaders and every day, helping them reduce their IT security risks and helping with the mitigation of security risks.

While top-tier investment into enterprise-level antivirus software, firewalls, zero-trust credentials, and multi-factor login automation are diligent steps toward maximum security, it’s what you don’t know that can hurt you. That’s why an increased number of thought leaders are working with third-party cybersecurity professionals to conduct an impartial IT risk assessment.

An IT Risk Assessment Could Save Your Business

Cybersecurity experts typically explain that the purpose of a thorough IT risk assessment mitigates vulnerabilities and supports seamless regulatory compliance. In no way are those benefits incorrect. But from the perspective of the entrepreneur, CEO, and other business professionals, it might be more critical to indicate an analysis could ultimately save your organization. Consider these data breach statistics against the fact your outfit has not been vetted.

  • More than 60 percent of businesses were the subject of a phishing attack in 2018
  • Upwards of 68 percent of industry leaders believe data breaches are increasing
  • Malicious enterprise infections rose by 12 percent
  • Hackers exposed more than 4.1 billion records during the first half of 2019
  • Password use is expected to exceed 300 billion
  • More than 80 percent of workforce productivity is expected to migrate to the Cloud in 2020
  • An IoT threat has impacted more than 60 percent of organizations

Cybersecurity Ventures online magazine reports that the average cost a data breach hovers around $3.62 million, and 60 percent of small businesses fail within six months after being compromised. The critical takeaway isn’t that an IT risk assessment delivers enhanced security. Rather, a professional cybersecurity vetting can mean the difference between profitability and bankruptcy based on hard data.

How An IT Risk Assessment Works

When a proactive business professional reaches out to a cybersecurity specialist, you can expect a risk intelligence analysis based on three essential measures. A specialist typically reviews the level of damage and financial loss that could occur if your sensitive data were compromised. The second consideration goes to how necessary those digital assets are to ongoing operations. Lastly, cybersecurity experts vet every aspect of a network to determine existing vulnerabilities and risks associated with known and emerging threats. An IT risk evaluation also delivers benefits that include the following.

  • Risk Profile: The process and the following report allows industry leaders to pinpoint vulnerabilities at the source. These may be internal or external threats that present a potential or imminent risk.
  • Remediation: Only by ferreting out the unknown threats can an organization resolve immediate cybersecurity gaps and take preventative measures going forward.
  • Compliance: Many industries already invest resources on privacy and security. An IT risk assessment supports ongoing regulatory compliance. Following through can also reduce civil liability in the event you get hacked.

With an IT risk assessment report in hand, decision-makers can move quickly to shore-up defenses and mitigate vulnerabilities. In many ways, the process is tantamount to conducting due diligence before acquiring an asset.

Protect Your Life’s Work With An IT Risk Assessment

Proactive business professionals can use a third-party evaluation as a pathway to uniting in-house IT personnel behind the banner of long-term success. Third-party cybersecurity firms work with in-house teams on a routine basis as a second set of eyes. Because all of the stakeholders have a single goal, organizations add another defense tool to their cache. Simply put, bringing in a specialist to conduct an IT risk assessment hardens your defenses against data breaches and could keep you out of bankruptcy.

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Don Baham
Don Baham, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, is president of Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. KTG offers a wide range of services, including technology strategic planning, virtual CIO services, network engineering, hardware and software selection and installation, ongoing network support, managed services, IT function outsourcing, and cloud solutions. Within his role, Don is responsible for delivering IT strategic planning and virtual CIO services, the development of client relationships, bringing new solutions to the market, and leading the strategic direction of KTG. Don has more than 17 years of experience in information technology with a blended background in technology consulting and architecture, information security and business development.

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