No construction company would undertake a building without first evaluating and then understanding how it will handle the project’s risks. But that is how a lot of Information Technology is executed. Does that make sense? Think for a moment how much of your employees’ livelihoods and the services and products your organization provides depend on networked computing. Isn’t that how you store and access your intellectual property, client information and business processes?
And do you keep building higher, putting more strain on the network? For instance does an Internet-of-Things machine need to be granted access to your network? Or does someone’s personal device need to log-in to your system?
Every component and line of software code represent a potentially vulnerable surface. Threats to your assets can come by intent like from a criminal cyberattack or an unhappy employee, or by negligence like by a careless employee. These may end up a minor inconvenience or lead to serious service disruptions. They may result in compliance-violation monetary fines, loss of trust, loss of sales and damage to your organization’s reputation.
A risk assessment is designed to highlight the areas of vulnerability in the existing network. The final report will serve as a roadmap for reducing your organization’s vulnerabilities going forward.
Through a risk assessment you will achieve these goals:
• identify areas of vulnerability within the organization’s administrative, physical and technical environment
• develop a roadmap for reducing risk for the upcoming year
• aid in compliance with a regulatory framework
• document sensitive data, systems, third-parties, business processes and controls that these may be secured from threats
Identifying an organization’s risks is one of the foundational elements of protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of critical information assets, and therefore of a business’ continuity. A risk assessment is also a component of regulatory, commercial and organizational compliance.
Maybe businesses hesitate to do risk assessments because the number of possible vulnerabilities is intimidating. And the likelihood of many risks is tough to quantify (how likely is an interfering weather event?), and therefore difficult to think about and so mitigate. But not looking solves nothing, and leaves holes that by looking might be remedied. Also a properly executed risk assessment is weighted, revealing the areas of greatest concern along with a plan to move forward.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bryley Risk Assessments for your system so you can set a firm foundation for your organization’s computer network, email ITExperts@Bryley.com or call 978.562.6077.
Lawrence writes about networking and security. He’s written for Bryley since 2015.