Why Should You Conduct a Security Risk Assessment?

When it comes to their security, organizations do not always give it the full necessary consideration. And when they do, it’s usually after their security system has already been breached leading to more problems, lost business, and numerous other issues down the line. Security breaches can sometimes happen because an employee forgot to adhere to the company's policies or even because the company forgot to set the right policies, in the first place.

It's details like these and many others that can put an organization at risk. It is for this reason why a security risk assessment is necessary. Many are under the impression that such a procedure is overkill. But with today's many technological advancements, there is no such thing as being too safe, particularly when it comes to the digital environment.

All experts agree that with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) cyber security solutions, also come advanced cyber criminals. It is an arms race that makes it all that much more difficult to detect, track, or mitigate breaches and hacks whenever they happen. While these technologies can help streamline processes and increase security, they can also raise the threat of cybercrime.

Some industries, like those in healthcare, have a legal obligation to perform such assessments Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Besides, there are also other PCI-DSS requirements and federal requirements that certain businesses need to endure.

How Does a Security Risk Assessment Work?

Such an evaluation should be a central component of every company's security plan. A security risk assessment could identify potential threats and vulnerabilities in your system, predict the impact of these threats, as well as provide you with threat recovery options if they were to happen.

Financial and healthcare organizations need to take extra precautions, as they are generally in charge of safeguarding their customers' sensitive information. But besides helping keep this data safe, security risk assessments also have some added benefits.

 

Improves Communications - A security risk assessment will help improve the way an organization communicates internally. The main reason for this is that numerous stakeholders, departments, and employees will need to come together and provide their input to improve the effectiveness of the overall evaluation. By extension, this will increase organizational visibility and improve communication.

Better Awareness - A significant benefit of a security risk assessment is that it can help educate your employees about the threats they can encounter and which can impact their role. It will help teach them about the importance of cybersecurity as well as how to incorporate some best practices in their day-to-day operations. It's important to remember that among the most prominent security vulnerabilities of any system is the end-users that utilize it daily.

Reduce Long-Term Costs and Mitigate Future Risks - Identifying future threats and risks will not only spare your company from the hassle of having to deal with them in the future but they will also save money and resources. By mitigating these threats, your company will be better prepared for the worst or even prevent them from happening in the first place.

The IT department is the one responsible for undertaking this task since they are the one with the knowledge and know-how on how to deliver it. Organizations that do not have an in-house IT team should consider outsourcing it to someone who can provide the service.

Do, however, keep in mind that a security risk assessment shouldn't be a one-time thing. As cybercrime is continually evolving, organizations need to make sure that their risk assessment is up-to-date on all developments and that it maintains compliance with all regulations. If you need any help with your security risk assessment, Managed Solution is at your service. Contact us today for more information!

Announcing Office 365 customer security considerations preview

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Office 365 provides customers with a continuous stream of innovative features that provide significant productivity improvements while keeping information highly secure. We are working on resources and tools to help you leverage Office 365 information security features and controls, so you can manage security in your Office 365 tenant. The Office 365 Service Trust Portal (STP), launched earlier this year, is an example of a feature that provides deep insights into how Office 365 services are operated and independently audited.
Now we are pleased to present the customer security considerations (CSC) workbook that can be used to facilitate a quick review and implementation of the security controls available in Office 365. The CSC workbook is designed to provide you with information on key security and compliance features to consider when adopting, deploying and managing Office 365.
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The CSC workbook, which currently is implemented as a Microsoft Excel workbook, is in preview. Your feedback will allow us to improve the CSC workbook for your business needs, and we hope to receive your feedback. Over time, the number of pivots will increase and additional compliance scenarios will be incorporated.
The CSC workbook contains two security-based pivots on the same set of features and information. One pivot is the Office 365 Customer Control Considerations section. Information in this section is organized into five scenarios listing the features that can be used to manage information security risks:
•Data Resiliency—Considerations for protecting and recovering information from potential data corruption.
•Access Control—Things to consider around managing identity and access control using Office 365 and Azure features.
•Data Leakage—Considerations around using encryption and controlling forwarding.
•Security and Compliance Investigations—Considerations for conducting compliance searches and forensics investigations, as well as logging and hold actions in Office 365.
•Incident Response and Recovery—Things to consider around security incident response and recovery.
In addition to these five scenarios, an all-up list of considerations is provided.
The second pivot is the Office 365 Risk Assessment Scenarios section. Information in this section is organized by risks/threats and how you will implement various controls to manage these risks:
•Malicious Customer Administrator
•Former Employee
•Credential Theft
•Malware
•Trusted Device Compromised
•Attacker Foothold
•Microsoft Operator
We hope that the CSC workbook provides you with quick information on how to help secure your Office 365 service with features/configurations that you manage. Based on the usage of this tool and your valuable feedback, we hope to expand the scope of considerations as appropriate and make it even more user friendly in the future.

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