You’d think that in an era of increasing cybersecurity risks, disaster recovery and other such business-critical initiatives would be well-funded.
Sadly, they’re not.
(In fact, according to CIO Insight, 40 percent of companies still don’t have a documented disaster recovery plan in place.)
How do you solve this problem? Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
The first step in solving your IT and technology issues is to audit and assess what the problem actually is. An IT assessment, especially one that focuses on security, is the first step in creating a sustainable disaster recovery strategy and protecting your critical assets.
Here’s what to expect when you hire an IT support company to perform an IT assessment for your company.
What is an IT assessment?
An IT assessment is used to identify and prioritize risks that threaten your business operations.
The best IT assessments identify four things:
- On-site hardware evaluation. You’ll have your technology hardware inventory and your infrastructure components evaluated, including your business applications, integrations, network storage, cabling, video systems, automation tools, WAN, internet, routers, firewalls, workstations, security appliances, backup and recovery components, remote locations, and more.
- Technical network evaluation. Our staff will use today’s best, most innovative tools to gather and analyze all technical aspects of your current IT network environment. The recommendations you’ll get will come from using these best-in-class tools and your network will remain unaffected during our evaluations.
- Deliverables from your assessment. From our assessment, you’ll receive five deliverables: A full network report, including a technical summary of your entire IT environment, a risk report that evaluates your current technology environment, an asset report with a complete listing of all hardware on your domain, a network diagram as a visual representation of your current network, and an executive summary complete with an explanation of our findings that you can understand.
- Recommendations and plan. This last step is a customized strategy outlining the details of your current environment paired with our recommendations based on your business goals.
With an assessment like this one, you’ll get an accurate picture of your most pressing issues and IT priorities.
An assessment has many other benefits like:
- Reducing long-term costs. Helps identify potential flaws in your infrastructure by identifying and addressing weaknesses proactively to save your business from future costs associated with failed technology.
- Improving future assessments. Having a technology assessment completed by an IT company typically makes future assessments easier because they are documented.
- Avoiding cybersecurity incidents. An IT assessment, specifically one thats cybersecurity focused, will identify weaknesses within your technology and reveal ways to strengthen this.
4 other things an assessment will reveal.
Your most valuable assets
A security risk assessment will identify your company’s most valuable technology and IT assets.
You’ll want to document, outline and communicate which assets are most critical to the business so all employees develop a shared understanding and exercise caution when handling them.
Assets include things like:
- Client information
- Trade secrets
- Partner documents
- Customer data (credit card data, etc.)
There are many ways to collect information for an IT assessment. When you hire a professional IT company to perform this, they will interview management and employees, analyze your systems and infrastructure and review documentation to classify your most important assets.
The most critical threats to your business
A strategic IT and technology assessment will also highlight threats that can exploit your weak points.
Common types of threats include:
- Natural disasters, i.e. geographical location of your office and servers directly impacts your threat level from disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fires.
- System failures, as a risk assessment will highlight the age and durability of your technology.
- Accidental human interference or error, i.e. anyone who accidentally delete files, click on malware links or damage a piece of equipment.
- Deliberate malicious mistakes from users, i.e. a malicious human attack based on the strength of your anti-virus, monitoring software and other security protocols or the misuse of someone else’s credentials through social engineering or brute-force attacks, purchased on the dark web.
Where vulnerabilities exist
Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that allow some kind of threat to breach your security and do damage to your IT and technology assets.
Common vulnerabilities include:
- Physical vulnerabilities, such as old equipment.
- Human factors including untrained or careless staff members
- Software vulnerabilities, including excessive access permissions or unpatched workstations
How to improve your security
Cybersecurity is a fundamental aspect of the IT and technology inside your business.
Many organizations don’t have the in-house resources and expertise to assess their cybersecurity infrastructure and create a game plan to strengthen it. When you hire an outside IT support company for your risk assessment, they should be looking at your critical assets and threats/vulnerabilities to create policies that strengthen your security posture.
The best outsourced IT companies will outline:
- The process that needs to occur to prevent disasters, such as backups or employee training.
- How risks should be addressed and mitigated when incidents occur.
- The costs and benefits associated with risk mitigation activities.
- The relative priority of each security measure.
An IT assessment helps you establish processes and guidelines needed to understand, manage, control your business’s critical resources.
Looking for an experienced IT support company to perform a security risk assessment for your business?
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