WHAT IS AN IT SECURITY ASSESSMENT?
A security assessment is a personalised review of your IT security to ensure that your systems and data are protected from threats. This is often undertaken by an external company or by a qualified in-house employee. The review typically includes an assessment of your current security infrastructure, an assessment of your current risk exposure and an action plan based on the risk profiles generated as part of the assessment.
An IT security assessment can prove beneficial to the client as they benefit from the identification of vulnerabilities in their existing IT infrastructure and better understand how to mitigate against the risks identified. In addition to this, the assessment can also be used as an educational resource to educate employees about the latest threats and make them aware of importance of ensuring compliance with security protocols. If you have not conducted an IT security assessment we recommend that you carry out one so as soon as possible.
The sooner you identify and eliminate vulnerabilities from your information technology infrastructure, the less likely your company is to fall victim to a successful cyberattack.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARRY OUT AN IT ASSESSMENT NOW
As previously mentioned, the number of cyberattacks has increased sharply during the last year and this trend is set to continue throughout 2022. It is worth noting that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and more professional in their attacks; phishing emails are often deceptive and appear genuine to those without the knowledge to spot phishing emails.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most affected by such attacks due to their size. The level of IT security is comparatively low due to the limited resources available and as such SMEs are often targeted by cybercriminals.
The consequences of such an attack can be devastating: business-critical data is encrypted and only released to the SME once a large ransom has been paid; patents and inventions are stolen and misused for criminal activities, or critical IT systems related to production or logistics are paralysed for an indefinite period of time. It is not uncommon for SMEs to find themselves in existence-threatening situations as a result of such cyberattacks.
WHAT DOES AN IT SECURITY ASSESSMENT INVOLVE?
Typically, a security review is carried out as part of a series of penetration tests. During such testing the performance of each relevant IT system is critically examined within the framework of an attack simulation in order to clearly identify security vulnerabilities in the chosen infrastructure. In principle, every penetration test is preceded by a face-to-face meeting, during which as discussion is held to determine the type of penetration test (black box, white box, grey box, etc.) and the corresponding simulation parameters.
The execution of controlled attacks during a specific scenario or simulation is an incredibly effective testing methodology. Penetration testing is used as a means to verify the security level of the client's IT and network systems, as well as identify technical and/or organisational vulnerabilities using a practical real-life attack scenario.
However, comprehensive penetration testing is also costly which means that only a small number of SMEs actually commit to such testing protocols. Instead, many SMEs rely on free online services provided on the basis of their responses to self-assessment questionnaires or automated vulnerability scans.
HOW DOES OUR SME IT SECURITY ASSESSMENT DIFFER FROM OTHER IT SECURITY ASSESSMENTS?
Unlike many other free services available online, we do not encourage the use of automated vulnerability scans or self-assessments questionnaires as these have little intrinsic value. Our approach is built on our understanding of your system; we speak directly with you and explain what we will assess to ensure you receive the correct service – and all this at a very attractive price! Our bespoke approach is founded on years of experience and our understanding of what each SME requires from us.
The SME IT Security Assessment includes the following key elements:
- We conduct a review of your public websites and services (external penetration testing);
- We conduct tests on your internal IT systems as well as your local network to identify vulnerabilities (internal penetration testing);
- We determine the scope of your IT security management by holding meetings with your IT managers and general management;
- Once our testing is complete we will provide you with a report that summarises the results from the penetration tests carried out as well our overall assessment of the system. The report also includes detailed recommended actions that you can use to immediately and effectively improve your IT security.
SME IT SECURITY ASSESSMENT WORKFLOW
- Provision of a free non-binding consultation: Meeting with our Certified Security Analysts; joint assessment with client to determine the current security infrastructure;
- Provision of a fixed-price quote to carry out the required safety assessment: A binding fixed-price quotation is provided for the SME IT Security Assessment required by your company;
- Execution of the SME IT Security Assessment: Our Certified Security Analysts carry out the security assessment of your company infrastructure. The entire assessment is carried out remotely;
- Presentation and discussion of the results obtained: Once the IT security assessment has been completed, we proceed to prepare a detailed report and present our results to you in a face-to-face meeting;
- Implementation of recommended actions: Should you have any questions following the safety assessment or require further support in relation to the recommended actions please do not hesitate to contact us.
In short, every company should perform a security assessment. The ever-increasing number of successful cyberattacks means that it is no longer a question of "if" you will be a victim of such an attack, but rather "when" you will be a victim. A successful cyberattack has the capability to threaten the existence of many SMEs if the necessary security measures to prevent such an attack are not implemented beforehand.
Although many companies already recognise the threat posed by cyberattacks and have invested in specific security measures many organisations lack the manpower and know-how required to accurately assess whether the security measures implemented are sufficient to provide the company with adequate and effective protection.
We do not recommend that you rely on any automated vulnerability scans or obscure self-assessment questionnaires as these lack the detail required to ensure you receive the protection you require.