8 Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Questions Every Business Should Ask

Ask these questions to help you identify risks and know where to bolster defenses.

Conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment has become increasingly important for small and medium-sized businesses. As a part of the process, decision-makers should ask themselves specific sets of questions to help them identify risks, rank them according to the likelihood of occurrence, and then find solutions to mitigate them.

Delving into the following questions will help you better discover any weakness so you can bolster your defenses.

1. Is our team ready for a cyber attack?

Most internal threats are related to human mistakes—either unintentional or intentional—but the majority of them are purely accidental. Has your team been trained to follow smart and strategic protocols? This has the potential of being your biggest weakness.

2. Do we have a formal cybersecurity program in place? 

If not, it’s time to pull together a formal plan. Most small- and medium-size businesses exist without an adequate cyber risk management strategy—if they have one at all. Now is the time to implement a cyber risk management program.

3. How is organizational data currently safeguarded?

Determine which protective measures are in place when data is stored or in transit and if current safeguards are strong or robust enough.

4. What credentials and authentication protocols are in place?

Not every person needs access to every area of a database, network, etc.

5. Can our company benefit from obtaining cybersecurity insurance?

Cyber insurance can help reduce risk because coverage can help if a business experiences disruption, loss of revenue, damage to equipment, public relations/marketing expenses, legal fees, and other costs associated with recovery after a cybersecurity event.

6. What would a hacker do?

Try to get into the mind of a threat actor and establish what areas of your company they’d most likely target and what information they’d seek. Strive to find all weaknesses and then put in protective cybersecurity measures.

7. How do we evaluate third parties?

Third parties include vendors, contractors, etc. Do third parties have strong protective protocols in place or could they put your data at risk? Many significant data breaches have been traced back to third parties.

8. Has our company been compromised in the past by threat actors?

If so, what has been done to prevent this type of incident from happening again? Do these protective measures still work?

Errors can be reduced through cybersecurity risk assessment tools and by implementing policies and procedures to raise awareness throughout the company. Performing a thorough assessment, including using a cybersecurity assessment template, and asking detailed questions will help prevent criminals from exploiting your systems.

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have large IT teams to handle cybersecurity while running the day-to-day tasks associated with technology. Hackers are vigilant—you should be too. Connecting with an expert partner to help protect your business and your customers by handling your cyber risk management can go a long way towards strengthening your cybersecurity.

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