5 Steps Guide to Perform a Security Assessment for Small Business

Security Assessment

Cybersecurity is more relevant than ever in this age of information. Where threats are continually evolving, so are the defenses against them. Regular risk assessment can save an organization from a colossal failure to protect its interests. For better preparation, and mitigation of risks, risk assessments should be conducted regularly as a pre-emptive measure to deal with any potential security hazard.

Risk assessment works on the PDCA approach (planning, doing, checking, and acting). Below is a framework that every organization should follow for effective risk management.

1. Defining Requirements

First, you have to define the requirements about business, regulations, and contracts. You should be able to identify the essential requirements for information security. A good example would be the GDPR that applies to any organization that controls information for example social media like Facebook or Google. Then establish a scale to identify the likelihood of risks.

This can be done through qualitative or quantitative methods. This enables you to assess the severity of the risk and how you should respond to such threats. It also helps in being more efficient in assessing the risks because you can then calculate what risks you can tolerate as acceptable and which ones need immediate action.

2. Identifying Risks

Risk identification means identifying the threats, the vulnerabilities in the system, and the asset that is likely to be in danger. It essentially allows you to narrow down your options of how to respond to them. Assets are your values that need to be protected while threats are security attacks that pose danger to your assets.

Vulnerabilities can be any loopholes in the system that allows the threats to exploit your assets. The vulnerabilities and threats may vary at different points in time and in different situations. The key is to identify those risks which can compromise the integrity of your organization, specifically with regards to information data. While you do that, do remember to not overdo it and narrow down the controls you have put in place to mitigate such risks.

3. Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is a phase where you understand the ways a threat can occur. This step requires you to assess the vulnerabilities and threats that have the potential to exploit those vulnerabilities. When you can collect data on such small security events, you have to assess whether or not there is a likelihood of a threat exploiting the vulnerabilities. Score them accordingly. When you compare the scores of different security events, you can determine the size of the security threats and vulnerabilities. This also helps in evaluating different attack groups.

4. Risk Evaluation

Risk evaluation helps in calculating and prioritizing your actions against specific threats. With all the data collected, you can now scale your risks based on the level of assets under threats and vulnerabilities that expose them to threats. This is also called risk scaling. You can narrow down your options by evaluating which risks are acceptable and which ones require you to act. You can then identify the highest risk and act on them first.

5. Listing down Solutions

The final step is to list down the measures you are willing to take after prioritizing the risks. A good plan of action would be to accept that there is a risk and then look for security controls that can mitigate it. In mitigating the risk you can see whether it falls under the acceptable risks or not. If it requires immediate attention then you can activate your security controls if your infrastructure is capable of doing this otherwise you can transfer the risk to some other organization that is better at mitigating such risks.

Bottom Line

Risk assessment enables your business to strengthen its security. It enables you to identify potential threats, threats, and vulnerabilities. The above-mentioned framework is easy to follow risk assessment guide to mitigating any risks. Check these Home CCTV systems for securing your business.


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