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What’s Involved in an Information Technology Risk Analysis & Assessment?

The threats that today’s businesses face are much more sophisticated than they were even a decade ago. New malware variants are being registered at a rate of 350,000 per day and new threats like Cryptojacking and fileless attacks are changing the landscape of cybersecurity. A risk assessment is an important tool to help identify existing and potential issues within a business’s technology.

The network security strategy that you put in place just a few years ago in your Chesapeake or Norfolk area office, could very well be outdated today thanks to how fast cyberthreats are evolving.

The best way to keep up with the new and evolving threats facing your company is by doing a regular information technology risk analysis and assessment.

This type of assessment is laser-focused on the defenses you have in place to protect your devices, network, and data from unauthorized access, breaches, and data loss. Any of those things can cause a company to go under if they’re not properly prepared.

60% of small businesses close down within 6 months of a data breach incident.

Some businesses wait too long before having their technology infrastructure analyzed for any new risk because they’re unsure of exactly what the process entails. ZZ Servers is an expert in this area and we’ve put together the common steps that are taken in an IT risk analysis and assessment to help you better understand the process and how it helps your network stay secure.

Steps for Assessing Your Technology Infrastructure for Risk

While a technology infrastructure of 1999, might have encompassed a few computer workstations and an ethernet connection, today, technology is infused into just about every single business process. 

From emails to online payment processing to customer support services, you rely on multiple technology processes to run your business on a daily basis, which makes ongoing risk assessment all the more important.

Here are the typical steps taken when doing an information technology risk analysis and assessment.

Inventory Technology Assets

Each device that connects to your network is a risk when it comes to a data breach. Every application that you rely on to store your data or in your daily workflow is a risk to your business continuity if there’s an outage.

Before a risk assessment can begin, there needs to be a full list of all the assets in your technology infrastructure along with a notation of how critical they are to your daily functions. 

For example, your wireless router that connects your office to the internet would be considered critical to your operations, while a shared printer might be considered as only having a moderate impact if it was down.

When creating an inventory of your IT infrastructure, consider things like:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Network connections
  • Mobile devices
  • Service providers
  • Cloud services/online assets

Identify Threats to Your IT Infrastructure

Your next step involves going through any scenario that could cause an outage in your IT infrastructure. It could be anything from a malware attack to a lost laptop computer. 

Matching the threats to the inventory and impact list will help you to prioritize which areas of your IT infrastructure put your business at most risk if something happens to disrupt their operation.

Some threats to your technology infrastructure to consider include:

  • Natural or manmade disasters (hurricane, flood, fire, etc.)
  • System failures (hard drive crash, software conflict, etc.)
  • Human error (accidental deletion, lost computer, etc.)
  • Cyberattack (data breach, ransomware, virus, etc.)
  • Service outage (of a cloud service, ISP, power company, etc.)
  • Data privacy compliance violations (PCI, HIPAA, etc.)

Identify Network/Device Vulnerabilities

Next, you’ll want to assess your current cybersecurity strategies being used and any areas where there may be weak spots in your safeguards. The best ways to identify network or device vulnerabilities are through vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.

Vulnerability scanning involves using a tool, such as SecureScan (which is the one we use) to completely scan your network for any vulnerabilities. It uses a signature database of over 3,500 classified vulnerabilities that are updated in real-time and includes a detailed audit trail.

Penetration testing goes a step farther and simulates real cyberattacks to rigorously test your network defenses, both internet, and private network applications. Multiple areas are covered, including configuration errors, application loopholes, and known vulnerabilities.

Recommendations for Security Fixes

Once vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity apparatus are identified, you will typically receive a detailed list of recommendations for implementing fixes for vulnerabilities that your current IT security plan isn’t addressing.

These recommendations will be prioritized, noting the ones that are leaving you most at risk and that need to be addressed first and others that are recommended to increase network security but that aren’t as critical.

Implementing Risk Assessment Recommendations

The last step is to create a rollout schedule for the security recommendations identified in the IT risk analysis and assessment. Some companies will have all of them done at once, while others will space them out according to their budget and workflow and priority of risk. 

Get Started with a Free Risk Assessment from ZZ Servers 

How long has it been since your IT security has been assessed for vulnerabilities? Sign up for a complimentary risk assessment, to let you know where your cybersecurity stands and where it may be lacking.

Contact us today to schedule your free assessment. Call 800-796-3574 or reach out online.

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