Much like your personal health, our day-to-day technology requires routine check-ups. With many businesses slowly reopening across the country with new health and safety guidelines, company’s have neglected the health of their IT services over the last six months. We have seen an increase in cyber-attacks and email phishing scams during this vulnerable time, and hackers have had the chance to compromise your IT infrastructure while you were away.
While some companies may have robust internal IT departments that can constantly monitor your IT infrastructure, others may need some support to ramp up these efforts as they welcome employees back into the office.
Risk is a frequently used business concept that assesses the implications or loss of any particular action/decision on a scale of zero, low, medium or high.
Simply put, Risk = Threat x Vulnerability x Asset.
While this can’t really be evaluated numerically, it can be determined very logically, if you understand what you are evaluating.
Here is an 8-step risk assessment that may help you determine the health and safety of your IT infrastructure.
- Determine and rank assets
Assets are not just physical hardware, like computers and servers–assets include the data that is housed in the hardware, including different software like financial software, sensitive client, and personnel data- just about anything that may have any level of value to your business. Identifying each asset, and prioritizing its criticality is the right place to start when taking a risk assessment.
- Identify Threats
Some companies may not recognize it, but this global pandemic has presented a major threat to just about every industry in the country. Not just the economic threats that are often talked about, but also a threat to data security. A threat is basically anything that could potentially allow for a security breach and harm your business. Common threats usually come from hackers or unintentional employee errors, but natural disasters and other system failures have been known to exploit IT vulnerabilities.
- Pinpoint Vulnerabilities and Likelihood of an Incident
Weakness in your security systems can be spotted through back-end tests, audits, and analyses. Things like updating software and keeping hardware away from potential environmental threats can greatly reduce your vulnerabilities and risk.
- Evaluate the Security Measures/Controls
What kinds of security controls do you already have in place? Most technology, both hardware, and software have the ability to implement controls within them. There are also controls, like computer-use policies, that can help to minimize risk. Evaluate both the technical and non-technical measures you have in place for your business.
- Assess Threat Impact
Understanding what the impact a potential threat may have on your business is important. Whether it be financial by accessing sensitive banking information or reducing productivity by way of hardware damage, evaluate what the impact of threats may be across your organization.
- Prioritize Threat Risk
Using the zero to high scale, rank the risks based on likelihood, impact, and existing security controls. If you find that you have a number of medium to high threat risks to prioritize, you may want to consider additional measures, like a certified IT professional, to assist with mitigating these risks.
- Establish Solutions
Simple technical control updates, password security, and implementing stricter technology policies with your personnel, may help reduce the risks for your company. If you find that you have a number of medium to high threat risks to prioritize, you may want to consider additional measures, like a certified IT professional, to assist with mitigating these risks.
- Record Results
Chart everything that you can. By writing down all your findings, you can refer back to this information as you grow your controls, and/or share them with a trusted IT servicer if you need to.
These are 8 steps you can use to assess the health of your IT systems and determine the risk to your business and employees. A Managed IT service provider, like 1R Technologies, can run an even more thorough assessment and offer uniquely curated solutions for your company. For a free consultation about our service offerings as a premier Managed Service Provider, contact us at 1RTech.com.