Risk assessment is a process that helps identify internal and external vulnerabilities and threats to business data, systems, software, clouds, and networks. It also helps us identify and understand consequences if threat actors exploit vulnerabilities, and know the possibility of harm that may eventually unfold. Failure to conduct regular risk assessments can be costly!
Knowing Your Security Risk Environment
Did you know that only about 40% of owners believe there is sufficient risk assessment conducted in their company? Additionally, cybercrime has shot up by 40% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don’t know your risk, you can’t fix it, and not being alert to threats can make you the next target.
About 70% of organizations faced a cloud data breach in 2020 and it is also predicted that ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021. These threats leave no room for complacency when it comes to data security and risk assessment.
The Consequences of Undetected Risks
If any business risk goes undetected, it can snowball into a severe breach and cause a variety of problems for your organization. Some of these consequences can include a loss of productivity, where average downtime of employees is close to two hours, or financial loss. The average total cost of data breaches in 2020 is estimated at $3.86 million. Other major consequences can include reputational damage and legal liability. According to the IDC report, one-third of customers will be their association with a business following a major breach. And in 2020, the OCC fined Morgan Stanley $60 million citing failure to comply with standards and secure sensitive data.
Regular risk assessments are a positive and preventative investment in protecting your business.
Maintaining Regulatory Compliance
To stay ready and compliant with security requirements of most regulatory bodies, regular risk assessments are essential to identifying and measuring potential business impacts. You can classify risks as high, medium, and low.
High impact risks, if unchecked could lead to a major breach and have significant impact on the operations of your business or even result in external monitoring and enforcement. Medium impact risks, if unchecked could adversely affect your business’ cybersecurity posture and lead to demand for operational changes by the external enforcement agency. Low impact risks, if unchecked, might contribute to failure in accomplishing some of your business objectives.
Benefits of Regular Assessments
There are many benefits to including regular risk assessments into your business plan.
- Identifying your risk profile: Detecting threats and sorting risks bases on their potential for harm helps you to focus your efforts on urgent pain points.
- Asset discovery and protection: With an up-to-date inventory from your risk assessment, you can determine ways to protect your critical assets and vital data.
- Reduce security spending: Regular risk assessments help you reduce security spending because you know where you need to put money to ramp up security.
- Actionable analytics: Availability of information that gives enough insight into the future helps you take adequate actions that can improve your business’ security.
- Keeps you compliant: When you handle your business assets and data securely through regular assessments, your business can avoid regulatory violations.
Though it sounds a bit complex, with the right partner by your side, you can run regular risk assessments for your business and prevent a risk from escalating into a full-blown data breach. Contact us now!