Cyber Security Risk Assessment

Effective cybersecurity comes from understanding where your security is most vulnerable to attack.

Effective cybersecurity comes from understanding where your security is most vulnerable to attack. The cyber landscape is constantly evolving. Hackers and security companies go back and forth finding holes in security and patching those holes respectively. Conducting a cyber security risk assessment on your organization’s security can help identify what you need to best protect your network. 

A cybersecurity risk assessment is often a key component in security certification regulations. Security certifications can help open an organization up to new business by building up their reputation in the eyes of both customers and businesses. Proving that your company is committed to securing its data can open a lot of doors. To meet many of these regulations, there are many times multiple risk assessments that you may need to run. 

Types of Security Risk Assessments

Risk assessment is not a simple one off test that you can run. Depending on the cyber risk assessment framework you decide to utilize, there can be any number of assessments you will need to run in order to gather the information you need. Some of these assessments include: 

Finding and implementing the appropriate cybersecurity risk assessment template depends both on your business and the type or types of certification you might be pursuing. Regardless, you will have to become familiar with the types of risk assessments you may need. This article will cover the application and importance of risk assessment tools as well as the overall importance of staying up to date with cyber risk assessments.

Cyber Risk Assessment Tools

Staying on top of your cyber security involves a lot of moving parts. It can be helpful to find ways to organize the information you receive when it comes to running tests and assessments on your current security. Utilizing the correct risk assessment tools can help pinpoint the key weaknesses that hackers are likely to exploit. 

There are many free security assessment tools available for companies to use. These tools are good for getting a general understanding of vulnerabilities and potential risks, but they might not give you the same detail as paid tools will. Even the best free cyber security assessment tool may not offer as much insight as some of the more inexpensive tools available. Even still, free tools can be a great way to start gathering info on what you need to protect your systems against the most. 

One good way to visualize the risks uncovered by a risk assessment is by building what is known as a cyber security risk assessment matrix. A risk assessment matrix is a table that ranks found risks from low (risks that are acceptable) to extreme (risks that are intolerable). These risks are ordered based on the two axes of Severity and Probability. 

Using a matrix like this can help you visualize which risks are in need of immediate attention and which can fall to the back burner. Even with a clear visual aid to reference, risks can change quickly. The rate at which the cyber security landscape is evolving by the day. Staying on top of the changing trends can mean the difference between losing millions of dollars and protecting your most sensitive data. 

NIST Cyber Risk Assessment

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, is a government organization that provides security standards for the tech industry. This applies heavily to the realm of cyber security. They offer many frameworks and resources that can help organizations manage risk and assess their security to uncover other risks and vulnerabilities.

When it comes to the NIST and their approach to risk management, one would likely start with their PRAM model. PRAM stands for Privacy Risk Assessment Methodology. It is a tool that is updated regularly to keep up with the rate at which hackers are able to craft new attack methods. The PRAM covers everything from assessing risks to selecting controls for mitigating that risk. 

Another common tool is the NIST FAIR privacy framework. FAIR stands for Factors Analysis in Information Risk. It is a powerful tool, but unfortunately is not recommended for organizational use, only personal. It is important to read the fine print of all of the tools offered for risk assessment to ensure you are using the right tools for your needs.

The NIST cyber risk assessment follows specific risk models to help them understand and analyze risk and prioritize how these risks should be dealt with. NIST assessment guides are easily found on their website and offer assistance for many different types of risk management. There is even a NIST cybersecurity framework assessment tool XLS (Excel Spreadsheet) file available for download that is a great foundation for implementing a new cyber security risk management strategy. 

Utilizing an NIST cybersecurity risk assessment template can be helpful because they function under industry compliance regulations that can help prove to customers and partnering businesses that your organization is taking its risk management seriously. Many paid risk assessment tools, like Trava Security’s Risk Assessment take NIST guidelines above and beyond to help your company comply with many industry-leading security compliance standards.

Cyber Security Risk Assessment Checklist

In the information technology industry, there are a number of checklists out there to help professionals dot their I’s and cross their T’s. Cyber security is no different. There are a number of sites that offer a cyber security risk assessment checklist, and they all cover roughly the same information. To keep you from scouring the internet for a viable cyber security risk assessment PDF download, here is a risk assessment checklist.

  1. Identify valuable assets. There are multiple targets that hackers will consider when determining which businesses are worth their time to attack. Some of these assets include:

- Customer credit card information

- Servers

- Websites and web applications

- Client contact information

- Cloud storage

  1. Determine potential consequences. Understanding what your company stands to lose in the event of an attack can help ensure that security is at the forefront of the organization’s priorities. Attacks are expensive, and things like data loss and a damaged public reputation are difficult to bounce back from. 
  2. Understand threats and the dangers they pose. Every organization faces their own specific threats and different levels of danger posed by those threats. While we often focus on hackers and the dangers they pose, cybersecurity includes detrimental possibilities of natural disasters and accidental human error. It is important to remember that hackers are not the only security threat out there. 
  3. Identify and address vulnerabilities. It is one thing to understand what your organization is up against, and another to identify exactly what your security is lacking.
  4. Risk Assessment. This is where a risk assessment tool will likely be the most useful. Once you have identified vulnerabilities, assessing the risk will tell you how much of a problem each of the aforementioned vulnerabilities could actually be. Utilizing a cyber security risk assessment template will give you a clear path on how to proceed.
  5. Create a plan. A risk management plan will keep your security team on track with clear goals on how to go about protecting the most vital assets to your company.
  6. Build a strategy for mitigation. With all of the information gathered, your team can build a strategy to monitor and handle risks as they arise to minimize the damage and keep information safe.

You can use the above to create a cyber security assessment checklist pdf.

Risk Identification In Cyber Security

Risk identification in cyber security is one of the only places to start when building a viable security strategy. This is why utilizing a powerful tool like Trava’s risk assessment tool can be so important. All cyber security strategies have holes. Without identifying and assessing the risks, you leave your business open to potentially fatal attacks. It is not uncommon for small businesses that have been victims to attacks to find that the damage was so severe they had to close their doors for good. 

Utilizing a security risk matrix along with an effective assessment tool can help identify risks and prioritize their severity. Following the risk assessment steps in cyber security listed above will give your organization a leg up on hackers and natural risks. It can be especially useful to create or download an IT risk assessment PDF that fits your company’s strategy to keep the whole team on the same page as the new strategy is put in place. 

Without an understanding of the risks you face on a daily basis, it can be nearly impossible to protect the most valuable assets in your company. The most effective form of security in 2022 is diligence. Maintaining a security minded culture in your organization that extends to every department is growing more and more vital to the cybersecurity landscape each day. 

Trava Security offers a range of essential security tools to help your company identify risks and build effective strategies around them. The Trava risk assessment and vulnerability scanner should be mainstays for any company looking to take their cyber security to the next level. Contact our security experts today to schedule a demo with Trava Security today.

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