How to Assess Your Organization for Cyber Vulnerabilities

Every organization is at risk for an untimely data breach, unauthorized access, or other cyber threat. It is critical that every business have a plan in place to assess their organization’s vulnerabilities and work towards minimizing them as much as possible.

If you think your operation is too small to be impacted, think again. Some estimates show that more than half of breaches are targeted at small businesses. The most likely reason is that bad actors see these small organizations as easy targets, or aim to attack a larger business by going through smaller affiliated companies.

As most business owners are aware, the cheapest and most effective way to resolve issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Where to Begin

First, a risk assessment of your organization should be conducted by professionals with the proper experience and expertise. Usually, this will be your IT department, third-party managed IT provider or a business that specializes in and provides risk assessments as a service.

How the risk assessment takes place depends on the specific details of your operations and IT infrastructure, but both small and large businesses will focus on three key areas:

  • Your Employees
  • Your Connected Devices
  • Your Website

These three sources are the most common ways cybercriminals will target your organization.

Employees

The unfortunate truth is that those inside your organization are the most likely to commit a breach, whether maliciously or inadvertently.

It’s essential that every organization – no matter the size – have education and training programs available to their employees. These programs help familiarize every member of your organization to be on the lookout for potential threats.

Team members with malicious intent are more challenging to prevent. Limiting employees’ access to information that is not essential to their job and shoring up your physical security are two ways to reduce risks from insiders.

Hardware and Devices

Any connected device, even a Wi-Fi enabled printer, can be exploited to give an attacker access to your network. Keep these devices’ firmware up to date and coordinate with your IT provider to ensure they remain protected at all times.

Your Website

The most common vulnerability on a business’ website is a lack of SSL/TSL certificates or HTTPS. Beyond these basics, how you assess your site for vulnerabilities will largely depend on the nature of your website, how your customers interact with it, and they kind of data it stores.

Websites that store customers’ personal or financial information will have different vulnerability assessments than a website which only stores information about your company’s products and services.

Lower Your Organization’s Security Risk

By taking a look at these three critical areas of your organization, you can help prevent inadvertent or intentional breaches and protect yourself from a costly and potentially devastating event.

Of course, a full risk assessment of your entire organization conducted by cybersecurity professionals is the number one way to ensure your valuable data is protected. If you have any questions about cybersecurity or risk assessment practices, get in touch with SADOS today.

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