Ask the Expert: Key Benefits of a Cyber Security Risk Assessment

Alliance News, Ask the Expert |

This was originally published in the Union Leader on November 27, 2023 

Authors: Dave Hodgdon, Founder & CEO PCGit, Joann Hodgdon, VP Marketing PCGit

Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities are risks that are completely invisible until you receive a ransom demand or learn that your data is for sale on the DarkWeb. A tailored Risk Assessment will give you the insights you need to understand the threats you face and how you can overcome them with the right security measures that are relevant to your business and industry.

With no limit to how much you can spend on cyber security, a security risk assessment is the essential tool and service to help you make the best decisions for your business.

 There are many benefits of a Security Risk Assessment including: 

  • Keep your business running– Cyberattacks can happen anytime. It can bring your business to a halt, and many never recover. A risk assessment is a proactive tool to help you prevent malicious attacks before they occur.
  • Privacy for your employees and partners– Protect your confidential data and information. Your team and customers depend on you.
  • Protect your reputation– When your security is breached and data is leaked, the public finds out. Once you lose their trust, it’s practically impossible to regain.
  • Prioritize your investment– You know you need to invest in cyber security, but you also need to know which investments have the biggest payoff.
  • Build a plan of action– Good security takes time, not just money. Prioritize your time investments with a proactive, long-term plan.
  • Better understanding of risks– You can’t prepare for business risks if you don’t understand them. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest business risks there is!
  • Identify your vulnerabilities– If a malicious third-party attack, where would they start? Find your weaknesses and close the gaps so that you’re always one step ahead.
  • Prepare for compliance requirements– For a growing number of industries, cybersecurity is no longer a choice but a requirement. Compliance may be a prerequisite to qualify for contracts and to do business with certain verticals.
  • Comply with legal requirements– Failing to protect private information doesn’t just harm your reputation but may put you in legal jeopardy too.
  • Understand IT jargon and acronyms– Cybersecurity is laced with technical terminology that is difficult for non-specialists to navigate.
  • Reduce cyber insurance premiums– Every business should carry insurance. A risk assessment can help you qualify for lower premiums.

 A proper Risk Assessment is thorough and comprehensive, looking at every area of your business and how it can be improved including the following:

  • IT System Review– Assessment of your internal/external IT environment to determine and rank the technical and business risks that you are exposed to.
  • Best Practice Evaluation– Full audit of your compliance with security best practices for a business of your profile.
  • Vulnerability Scan– In-depth scans of your IT infrastructure to examine your level of vulnerability and detect any potential weaknesses.
  • Gap Analysis– Analyzation of the strengths and weaknesses in your IT systems with a plan to close the gaps and achieve an ideal state of total security.
  • Remediation Recommendations– Prioritized recommendations to address vulnerabilities in your systems and practices, and to implement appropriate tools and policies.
  • Policies and Procedures– Assist with policies such as your “WISP” Written Information Security Plan, Remote workforce, web content, and email usage.
  • Customized Report– This should include your current compliance and security standing and a roadmap/budget to guide you in remediating your security risks.

You need a Security Partner with a deep knowledge of IT and an understanding of the realities of running a business like yours. You need a Managed Service Provider that offers a wide variety of cybersecurity solutions for businesses with the skills and competencies to keep you safe, while clearly communicating the threats and risks you face.

PCG has the expertise needed for IT planning, budgeting, and security risk minimization and can adapt and change as IT requirements do. Find and fix security weaknesses in your IT setup before your business is exploited by cyber-criminals!

Free Resources for New Hampshire Businesses:

NH Small Business Development Center is very excited to announce the next iteration of our Cybersecurity Program. With Senator Shaheen’s support, we received federal funding to continue our cyber consulting program, and we are excited to continue to partner with the NH Tech Alliance.

Starting in the new year, we will offer three tracks of Cybersecurity Reviews that will be provided at no cost to new or current SBDC clients:

  1. We are bringing back the no-cost cyber assessment program. All participants meet with a cyber consultant and receive a written evaluation about what they should do next to improve their cybersecurity.
  2. For those 68 businesses that participated in last year’s cyber assessment program, we are offering them an opportunity to do a follow on cyber check in to discuss what’s next for their business.
  3. We will also offer a new category of services for small businesses interested in government contracting to help them better understand what levels of cybersecurity are required. First, a new series of videos will introduce businesses to what cyber protections are necessary for government contracting, resources available for help, and expected costs. You can then meet with a cyber expert who can help you make a plan for moving forward with your cybersecurity requirements.

Applications and more information will be available in January.