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Inside the ProServ Process

Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats with a Risk Assessment

You are not a tech expert. Your business most likely has nothing to do with cutting-edge information technology. Despite that, you work in a world that forces you to engage with that technology daily. If your company can’t operate digitally, it can’t function. That means you have to participate in things that you don’t deeply understand, and it all comes with risks you would rather avoid. You see the stories of data breaches and cyber-attacks in the news regularly. Could that happen to you? Can you do anything to prevent it?

These are valid concerns, but thankfully they’re easier to address than you might imagine. While every business faces security risks, you can have those risks mitigated with the help of cybersecurity professionals. They can provide you with a risk assessment to see exactly how well your business is protected and what you can do to improve that protection.

A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

As more facets of business have moved online, cybersecurity threats have grown to match the evolution. Then, 2020 saw the most explosive migration to remote work the world has yet seen, presenting a whole new set of risks and vulnerabilities. That shift is largely permanent, which means cybersecurity continues to increase in pertinence for all businesses.

According to Forbes, 2020 shattered records in terms of the number of cyberattacks on companies and the amount of data that was lost in breaches. These records are reflected in plenty of other eye-popping statistics. In just the first half of 2020, there were more than 36 billion records exposed as a result of data breaches. Considering there are fewer than 8 billion people in the world, that’s a lot of records.

Forbes also found that only five percent of companies have digital folders that are adequately protected from attacks. In healthcare, more than 90 percent of all organizations have been breached at least once in the last three years. Meanwhile, identify theft reports to the US Federal Trade Commission more than doubled from 2019 to 2020.

The simple truth is that no one is safe. Only persistent defensive efforts can defend a business against the rate of attacks the world now sees.

HOW A RISK ASSESSMENT CAN HELP

The numbers don’t lie. A proactive attempt at cybersecurity is necessary, but you aren’t a technology expert. How are you supposed to even begin the process? A risk assessment is a perfect place to start. This is where a cybersecurity expert looks at your business, its resources, and how it operates, then figures out where your vulnerabilities lie. They can then make recommendations based on their findings that will help you dramatically lower your risks of suffering from a cyberattack.

A typical risk assessment will break the analysis and findings into three groups. One group is your hardware. If your systems are out of date or organized half haphazardly, your risk easily goes up. There are plenty of actions that can be taken to shore up these problems without having to replace all of your technology, but hardware is its own class of risk, and the way your business deploys and uses hardware needs to be scrutinized.

To the surprise of no one, software is another essential category. Software can also be out of date and unduly vulnerable to attack. In many cases, simply catching up on free updates makes a world of difference, but a quality risk assessment will dig deeper.

Consolidating software to do the same work with fewer accounts and less fragmentation will also improve cybersecurity.

The third category catches many business owners and operators by surprise. A good risk assessment will also look at the employees. It turns out that 95 percent of digital security breaches are caused by human error. This can be from an employee falling for a phishing scam, ignoring a software update, or accidentally sending private information to someone who shouldn’t have it. Employee practices and behavior are arguably the most critical component of the assessment.

CONDUCTING A RISK ASSESSMENT

A risk assessment can help you minimize risks and protect you from cyberattacks. In the end, it should lead to valuable recommendations for your company’s hardware, software, training, and personnel management. But how exactly does it work? Does someone in a suit walk around with a clipboard and make notes while peering over the shoulders of employees on the job?

A risk assessment is performed by seasoned cybersecurity experts. They will take a close look at your IT infrastructure, which will require an on-site analysis of your systems. They will need to be able to see how your technology is physically arranged and deployed. They will also examine your software and how it is set up and utilized. Your IT practices, such as how upgrades are performed across the business, will also be analyzed.

Your cybersecurity partner will meet with management and employees to gain an understanding of how they go about their daily tasks. Activity logs will be reviewed to explore employee behavior. With all of this data scrutinized, they will provide you with specific points of vulnerability that need to be addressed. Armed with a well-defined analysis of your cybersecurity landscape, you can create a prioritized action plan to improve security, one clear step at a time.

The need for digital security is easy enough to understand, but few St Joseph companies possess the knowledge or resources to gain a crystal-clear picture of the risks created by the way they’re doing business. That’s where a risk assessment can help—our in-depth cybersecurity analysis will identify your vulnerabilities and provide you with ways to shore them up. If you think your business would benefit from a risk assessment, contact ProServ Business Systems today to learn more.

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