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Everything You Need To Know About IT Risk Assessment

Updated: Jan 15

Table of Contents -

  • What Is an IT Risk Assessment?

  • What are the Different Types Of IT Risks?

  • How Is An IT Risk Assessment Done?

  • Benefits Of IT Risk Assessment

  • Taking The Next Step

  • FAQs


What Is an IT Risk Assessment?

A thorough examination of your company's entire data security plan is an IT risk assessment. These evaluations are made to find any issues that might be dangerous to your systems, data, and digital infrastructure.


Key security controls in applications are found, evaluated, and put into place by a security/IT risk assessment. Additionally, it emphasizes avoiding application security flaws and vulnerabilities.


In order to prioritize and communicate the details of the assessment, including any risks to their information technology (IT) infrastructure, businesses can use a risk assessment framework (RAF). The RAF assists an organization in identifying potential risks, any company assets put at risk by these risks, as well as potential consequences should these risks materialize.


The Chief Risk Officer (CRO) or a Chief Risk Manager is typically in charge of conducting the risk assessment process in large businesses.


Information security management programs for all organizations must include the execution of IT risk assessments. Everyone is aware that a company's sensitive and important data, information assets, and facilities are subject to some level of risk.


But how do you estimate this cybersecurity risk and get ready for it? An IT security risk assessment's goal is this. It identifies the security risks that your company's critical assets face so that you can decide how much money and effort should be invested in securing them.


A jenga game with risk assessment written on 2 pieces
It is important to assess the risks in your IT infrastructure before it breaks down!

What Are The Different Types Of IT Risks?

Many businesses believe in the misconception that IT risk assessments are solely concerned with stopping cybercrime. While ensuring business continuity is a primary goal of IT risk assessments, they are actually created to address many distinct issues. The following are the three primary categories of IT risks, let's take a look at them:


Risk Of A Cyber Attack

The biggest risk to your company is from cyber attacks. Millions of consumer records are illegally obtained each year by hackers, who also successfully carry out hundreds of ransomware attacks. They also cripple the business operations of their targets.


Your business could lose thousands of dollars due to a single successful cyberattack. Not to mention, your brand's reputation would be permanently damaged. You can prevent these incidents by actively taking precautions in time, thanks to IT risk assessments.


Your IT auditing team will find areas where operational security can be improved and data can be better protected during an assessment. The IT audit team will assist you in putting more effective employee education protocols into place as well. Employee education is an essential part of cybersecurity and we have spoken about this in almost every blog post about cybersecurity.



Risk Of Non-Compliance

Businesses must take a variety of precautions to make sure their IT systems are compliant. Maintaining best practices for security and firewalls, adhering to industry-specific standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and taking into consideration local and regional government regulations are some of these.


Any area of non-compliance in an IT system can make it vulnerable to a cyber-attack. In recent years, both state and federal governments have made an effort to combat cybercrime while also giving businesses new obligations. The healthcare, financial, and energy sectors are some of the most strictly regulated industries.


You must exercise due diligence when it comes to cybersecurity if your company routinely handles sensitive consumer data. If not, you might be subject to severe civil liability.


Risk Of Loss Of Data

Your assessment team will address both digital vulnerabilities and on-site security issues during a cybersecurity audit. For instance, they might advise switching to a cloud-based solution if you continue to store your backup data on local servers.


Additionally, your IT risk assessors will look over your document control and physical security policies. Employees should not be allowed to leave their desktops unlocked when they are not being used, per your policies. Additionally, the policies should require employees to lock up any physical documents before leaving their designated workspace.


You can reduce the likelihood of a data breach by filling in any gaps in your data management policy with the aid of an IT risk assessment.


How Is An IT Risk Assessment Done?

A successful security risk assessment model follows these 4 steps.

  • Identification - Find out what the infrastructure's most important technological assets are. Next, determine whether these assets are producing, storing, or transmitting sensitive data. For each, create a risk profile.

  • Assessment - Implement a strategy to evaluate the critical assets' identified security risks. Determine how to effectively and efficiently allocate time and resources toward risk mitigation after careful evaluation and assessment. The methodology or assessment approach must examine the relationships among assets, threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigating controls.

  • Mitigation - For each risk, specify a mitigation strategy and implement security controls.

  • Prevention - Implement procedures and tools to reduce the likelihood of threats and vulnerabilities affecting the resources of your company.

Benefits Of It Risk Assessment


1. Being Aware Of Your Risk Profile

To properly prioritize risk management tasks and allocate resources, it is essential to identify threats and rank risks according to their potential for harm. Potential risks are thoroughly described in a risk profile, including:

  • The threat's origin (internal or external)

  • The danger's cause (uncontrolled access permissions, trade secrets, etc.)

  • The possibility that the threat will come to pass

  • Impact evaluations of every threat

Using this information, you can start by addressing the high-impact, high-probability risks before moving on to the threats that are less likely to occur and that would do less harm.


2. Getting A Clear Picture Of Your Vulnerabilities

Your vulnerabilities will become clearer to you after a professional audit. A comprehensive report on the outcomes of your audit will be given to you by your assessment partner.


This report will prioritize these issues in addition to providing an item-by-item breakdown of their findings, so you will know where to start when it comes time to start making changes.


The report will specify whether each threat is internal or external when addressing it. The auditor will also describe how this asset became a risk (e.g., no permissions restrictions).


Using this knowledge, you can systematically address each vulnerability, beginning with the risks with the highest likelihood. Your IT infrastructure's performance during these assessments can be compared to your goals and risk profile to help you decide the best next steps for enhancing your information security.


3. Keeping Track Of It And Data Assets

Making strategic decisions for IT security is nearly impossible unless you are aware of the information assets you have and their importance to your company. Your IT risk assessment's comprehensive, current inventory will help you decide how to safeguard your most important software and data assets.


4. Minimizing Expenditure

Regular IT risk assessments have the additional benefit of lowering the expense of maintaining your digital assets, which is a huge benefit. You can identify wasteful spending and work out which resources aren't being used to their full potential.


When it's time to put new data protection technologies into place, a thorough cybersecurity audit will be an invaluable resource. By concentrating the majority of your efforts on safeguarding important assets, you can save money that would otherwise be wasted on less important concerns.


5. Adhering To Legal Requirements

The majority of businesses must abide by the various regulations' requirements for data security and privacy. For instance, any business that transacts with citizens of Europe is required to periodically assess their risk in order to abide by the GDPR. HIPAA compliance mandates that healthcare organizations document their administrative and technical safeguards for patient data and carry out periodic risk assessments to make sure those safeguards are working properly.


For businesses that must adhere to financial disclosure laws like SOX or consumer privacy standards like PCI DSS, regular risk assessment is crucial. Such regulations can be very expensive for an organization to violate.


Taking The Next Step

A thorough IT risk assessment can show you where your security procedures are lacking and assist you in preventing cyberattacks. You can improve your security policy and practices to better defend against cyberattacks and safeguard your crucial assets with a clear assessment of your IT vulnerabilities and the value of your data assets. Although you can conduct a risk assessment on your own, it is more sensible to collaborate with an experienced IT company.


At iBovi Cybersecurity & Managed IT Services, we provide a wide range of cybersecurity services, such as audits, risk analyses, and more. Your digital infrastructure's vulnerabilities can be found and fixed, and we can also offer a full range of managed services. Our services include Security Assessment. Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Management, Incident Response, Cybersecurity Monitoring & Training, and more. We offer a 95% guarantee for anything protected by our plans. Call iBovi right away.



FAQs


Q. What is the purpose of getting an IT risk assessment?

The process of analyzing potential threats and weaknesses to your IT systems is known as IT risk assessment. The goal is to determine what loss you might anticipate if specific events take place. Its goal is to enable you to get the best security at a fair price.


Q. What are the risks in the IT department?

In addition to natural disasters like fires, cyclones, or floods, IT risks also include human error, spam, viruses, and malicious attacks. By completing a business risk assessment, you can manage IT risks. A business continuity plan can aid in the recovery of your company following an IT incident.


Q. What is the difference between IT risk and cyber risk?

Cybersecurity can be seen as a part of IT security. While IT security is the overarching procedure that addresses how company data is handled on a daily basis, cybersecurity deals with securing data from internet hacks. Your company will need to create reliable cybersecurity and IT risk management plans.


Q. What is a risk profile for IT?

Instead of a comprehensive list of risks, it is a prioritized inventory of the most important risks that have been discovered and evaluated through the risk assessment process.


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