Ryan Stickel

By: Ryan Stickel on April 26th, 2024

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How to Conduct a Simple Cybersecurity Risk Assessment


Every business’s path to good cybersecurity starts somewhere. To know what you need, you need to know what you already have. A good way to begin that process is with a cybersecurity risk assessment. While that might sound daunting, a simple assessment can help start the conversation and bring general awareness to your current situation.

Today, we’ll examine cybersecurity risk assessments: what they are, why they’re important, and who needs them.

Before we get into the article, we will note that we are an MSP that offers managed cybersecurity services. So, while we may have a certain bias on the subject, this article is intended to be an educational tool for anyone trying to get their cybersecurity situation in order. If you like what you see and want to chat with us, that’s great, but we also know we’re not for everyone.

We’ll also note that the downloadable questionnaire discussed in the article is very high-level and is not a thorough deep dive into your business’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

Now, let’s get into it!

What is a cybersecurity risk assessment?

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a cybersecurity risk assessment assists organizations in “understanding the cyber risks to their operations, organizational assets and individuals.”

Why is it important to your business?

This process is important because it’s the first step toward making your business more technologically secure. Proper cybersecurity measures are necessary in today’s age, and threats are only becoming stronger.

Even if you feel like you’ve taken the proper steps or your MSP has implemented its full stack of cybersecurity tools, there’s never any downside to stepping back and reassessing what you have. As threats continue to grow, so does our need to stay vigilant in our defense against them.

Who should complete the assessment?

Anyone in an organization who is accountable for the organization's risk should an IT incident occur, whether they’re an IT leader or not, can perform a simple self-assessment (like the one available below).

You’ll want to work with an IT partner with more expertise if you’re conducting a more thorough assessment or test. Cybersecurity is a crucial piece of the IT puzzle, and we’d never recommend handling it without professional help, whether that’s an internal IT person/team or an MSP.

What you might need to know

What infrastructure do you have?

We’ve mentioned this question before on our blog, and the more detailed your answers, the better. If there is any confusion or unknown with your IT infrastructure, a trusted IT partner should be able to help you get answers.

What tools do you use?

Similar to the first question, the answers here may not be as cut-and-dried as you think. You should know what tools you have and that they are turned on and properly implemented. This question may ultimately come down to who manages the tools.

Who manages those tools?

Whether you have an internal team or work with an MSP, the people managing your tools are as important as the tools themselves. Your IT people should be willing to provide you with whatever information is needed to ensure your cybersecurity stack is managed correctly.

What can you do if there are known security gaps?

For starters, if you’re looking at this assessment, it might be because you already had a gut feeling that your business has some cybersecurity gaps. If you feel pretty confident in your cybersecurity services but just wanted to take the simple assessment anyway, that’s great! There’s nothing wrong with being thorough.

Download our Simple Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

We’ll note once again that this particular questionnaire is high-level. It’s composed of general questions about cybersecurity measures your organization should have in place and does not qualify as legal or technical advice. That being said, it should be the ultimate conversation starter with an MSP.

Cybersecurity Network Scan

If this questionnaire yields some results you don’t love, or if you want to dive deeper into the conversation, do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with us.

Schedule your free cybersecurity network scan

We can discuss the results of your simple risk assessment and run our own test. It’s as simple as clicking on a link we send you that scans a sample area of your environment for vulnerabilities. Our scan can uncover potential risks like compromised passwords, missing security patches and unencrypted sensitive data (among many other things).

From there, we can provide you with a report of the findings, highlighting areas of potential risk within your environment, along with suggested remediation ideas.

Ready to Protect Your Business?

Now that you have what you need to start the conversation, there are no more excuses. The best day to begin securing your environment is today!

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