Identifying Vulnerabilities, Ensuring Compliance, and Protecting Your Business Assets
By Dasha Deckwerth, President & CISO, Stealth-ISS Group Inc.
The tremendous advances in technology have created a highly connected world. These days, data breaches are common occurrences. We’ve seen it in the headlines and used to think, “Oh, that will never happen to me.” But as we all know, it can– and probably will. Regardless of your industry or size, cybersecurity has become, or is becoming, a necessity for your company. Yet, it feels like a chore to keep bad actors away from your business and customer data.
Here’s why you need a risk assessment:
The Department of Homeland Security states that identifying critical assets and associated impacts of cyber threats are critical to understanding your company’s specific risk exposure – whether financial, competitive, reputational or regulatory. The results of a risk assessment are key inputs for identifying and prioritizing specific protective measures, allocating resources, informing long-term investments and developing policies and strategies to manage your cyber risks to an acceptable level.
The primary purpose of a risk assessment is to inform decision-makers and support proper risk responses. In other words, a risk assessment provides an executive summary to help your company make informed decisions about security.
A risk assessment identifies:
- What is important to your company
- How a hacker could gain access to your critical data
- What could happen if your data fell into the wrong hands
- How big of a target you have on your back
It’s important to note that some industries may already be subject to mandatory cybersecurity assessments. If not, there are many ways to accomplish one. You can either perform your own comprehensive analysis or hire a company that can guide you through the process.
The Reasons for a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
There are many benefits to performing a cybersecurity risk assessment. To save time, I’ll only list a few.
A data breach can have a huge financial and reputational impact on your business. For instance, you could lose trade secrets or experience significant downtime, resulting in lost money, customers, and business.
A security assessment helps address your compliance concerns. If your customer’s data is vulnerable, you risk non-compliance with regulations like PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, which can lead to hefty fines.
Power of Knowledge
By identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities you can work on mitigating them. Having this knowledge gives you the power to prevent and reduce security incidents, ultimately saving long-term costs.
What Type of Security Assessments are Available?
Enterprise Risk Assessment
An *Enterprise Risk Assessment, aligns your organizations key personnel to identify threats, risks and impacts to your overall mission and objectives.
- Identify key risks hindering achieving your main business objectives
- Establish a communication process to report risk to executives
- Strategic planning and decision making through formalizing risk response
- Achieve legal compliance, creating value from your investments
Cybersecurity Maturity Risk Assessment
A *Cybersecurity Maturity Risk Assessment strengthens your security program by focusing on specific controls that protect critical assets, infrastructure, applications, and data by assessing your organization’s defensive posture.
- Understand how you are managing your risks, including third-party risk.
- Create a more effective risk management activity
- Ensure efficient development and optimization of your cyber program
- Maximize your ROI in cybersecurity.
Third-Party Risk Management Assessment
Plan, develop, and manage your third-party risks with a TPRM Assessment. This type of assessment will significantly reduce your exposure to high-risk relationships.
- Identify gaps and provide recommendations for improvements
- Build or refine TPRM programs
- Discover and classify third-party relationships based on risk
- Determine if you’re meeting current regulations
A penetration test is a special (in-depth) kind of vulnerability assessments. It shows whether your security posture is sufficient.
So why do you need a risk assessment?
Every company needs risk assessment to identify weaknesses, prioritize protective measures, and effectively allocate resources to ensure success in navigating the complex, rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. If you are ready to improve your cybersecurity, Stealth-ISS can conduct risk assessment that can help you avoid massive data breaches caused by some of the newest and most subtle exploits.
For more detailed information and guidance, visit www.stealth-iss.com
About the Author
As the president and founder of Stealth-ISS Group® Inc., Dasha Deckwerth is an expert in cybersecurity operations and delivery, as well as a U.S. Veteran. With over 25 years of experience as a technology professional, Deckwerth has led key cybersecurity initiatives within the government and civilian sectors where she has provided IT Security and Cyber Warfare services to NATO, various US, EU and Asian government agencies as well as multiple global commercial clients. She has designed and implemented security operations centers, incident response teams, delivered security consulting and regulatory compliance/ISO audits across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Deckwerth is a Certified CMMC Practitioner (CCP) for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and she has earned numerous qualifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Confidentiality Officer/Counter Espionage (COO), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO), and NSA IAM/IEM (InfoSec Assessment and Evaluation Methodology), Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Auditor (PCI QSA).