Why You Need a Cyber Risk Assessment

Are you really at risk?

In 2020, Cybercrime was up 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the threat of being hacked, having data hijacked, or even worse, being held for ransom is not going away. But many businesses don’t see a need to stay up-to-date on protecting their assets. Especially if they are one of the 30.7 million small businesses in the United States. Most people however assume that they are too small or too under-the-radar to attract the attention of would-be cyber terrorists. They would be dead wrong. While it’s true that big corporations are responsible for more data, it’s the smaller entities, usually those with with less than 1,000 employees, that are often least equipped to handle an attack and make them tempting targets. So let’s look at what exactly an assessment entails, as well as a few reasons why it makes complete sense to have a cyber risk assessment done and why it’s actually very foolish not to.

What is a Cyber Risk Assessment?

Simply put, a cyber risk assessment is a service offered by a cybersecurity company to help you evaluate areas where you are susceptible to an attack in the near future. Buzz Cybersecurity offers a comprehensive assessment at no charge. This is a proactive approach that will give you valuable information on how your business is doing: if you’re in good shape, then you gain peace of mind; if not, we will suggest a targeted approach to give you steps to lessen your vulnerability.

But don’t just leave it up to chance. Here are some reasons why you need a yearly assessment.

  1. Your staff is not tech-savvy. No need to be embarrassed about this one—most companies are in the same boat. And to be fair, it’s not really your employees’ job to be cybersecurity. And most are not trying to be sloppy, they’re just preoccupied with the day-to-day demands of the business. And even long-time employees who have been through compliance training may still fall victim to security scams. Hackers get more clever every year, so don’t leave it up to your employees to wear a security hat on top of everything else they’re doing.
  2. You have employees using their own devices. This is of course more common in the aftermath of COVID-19, but you may have employees using their own devices that you may not have considered. Do you use any freelance services like graphic design or copywriters? They are most likely sitting in a coffee shop on their mobile device or laptop, and quite possibly using the free WiFi.
  3. You’re uncertain about meeting regulatory compliance requirements. Some businesses are required to meet certain regulations, especially in the areas of educational settings, finance, healthcare, or energy. One of the benefits of having a security risk assessment is that it will uncover any areas where your business is not in compliance. Once an assessment is done, recommendations can be made to make sure you stay in compliance.
  4. You might have made a few enemies along the way. Nobody wants to imagine that a former employee would do anything deliberate to sabotage you company. We’ve covered this topic at length in our August blog Mitigating the Risks of Insider Data Theft so we won’t go into a lot of discussion here but you’ll want to have a professional risk assessor go over any possible situations that could be leaving you vulnerable to data theft after an employee has moved on.
  5. Outdated technology. All of those updates and patches you’ve been ignoring? It could cost you significantly down the road. And as technology gets older, it often stops supporting even those. At the time this blog is being written, updates to Windows 7 are currently being phased out for good. And make no mistake, hackers know better than anyone.
  6. Overlooking the establishment of data control policies. Many companies don’t even have any policy in place when it comes to controlling their data. This is a big miss. As mentioned earlier, employees may be using unprotected WiFi, but it goes beyond that. Personal devices can be stole or lost, and USB drives are easily misplaced. It leaves not just one, but potentially several holes in the armor protecting your data. Having a cyber risk assessment will help you to determine your vulnerabilities and close the gaps.
  7. Peace of mind. This last one might seem obvious, but oftentimes business owners or executives put little value on having the ability to focus 100% of their attention on the tasks right in front of them. They instead assume they will simply put out fires as they go, if and when they happen. This approach to operations is, in our opinion, short-sighted at best. It’s no different than skipping a regular visit to the dentist or the eye doctor. The pro-active approach to cybersecurity always leaves a business in a position of empowerment and preparedness.

One final thought concerning cyber risk assessments: don’t cut corners. You may be tempted to take stock of your situation and tally the results yourself, but this can actually cost you in the end since most business owners don’t know all the places to look for possible entry points where hackers can get in. With Buzz Cybersecurity, we’ll generate a report that will list any vulnerabilities we find in your notwork, as well as realistic solutions that will make it more difficult for cyber criminals to make you the victim of one of their attacks. So if you found yourself nodding your head at any of the key points listed above, don’t put off a cyber risk assessment any longer. It’s free and it’s the right thing to do to protect your assets. You’ve worked hard to make your company what it is today—don’t leave the door open for someone to come in and help themselves to it all.

Dear Reader: It’s not too late to schedule a free risk assessment before 2020 is over! Start 2021 with peace of mind by contacting us today!

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash