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The 5 Best Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Tools

David Eichkorn
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Your company is threatened by cybercriminals, whether you realize it or not. That’s just a fact of modern life. But how much of a risk do you face, and what can you do to minimize such risks?

Cybersecurity risk assessment tools help organizations understand, control and mitigate all forms of cyber risk. They stand as critical components of a risk management strategy and data protection. As organizations rely more heavily on connected systems to do business, the digital risk landscape expands — exposing you to new vulnerabilities.

Here are the five best tools and strategies we recommend all organizations embrace to minimize your cybersecurity risks.

1. NIST Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is a process in which defenders continually monitor, assess and react to the threat environment and intelligently respond to threats while keeping data secure with well-established best practices. It was created when forward-thinkers in government and business collaborated to address concerns relating to the protection of critical infrastructure.

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a set of guidelines to help organizations better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk. Additionally, the NIST Framework pushes to improve cyber risk management communication between internal and external stakeholders. 

The framework is divided into five functions, each related to different aspects of risk management:

  • Identify
  • Detect
  • Protect
  • Respond
  • Recover

It’s a proactive view that we believe in and adapted for our own approach to cybersecurity at Elevity. The level of detail helps organizations ensure that they are properly managing cyber risk while enhancing their ability to identify threats.

Further Reading: Top 10 List of Cybersecurity Facts

2. Network Security Assessment

A network security assessment is basically an audit. It’s a review of your network’s security measures meant to identify vulnerabilities in your system. What Elevity does at this stage, for example, includes assessing each device on the network to find gaps in the IT infrastructure, scan for compromised data on the Dark Web, and neutralize threats across email, browsers, files and more.

There are two kinds of network security assessments: a vulnerability assessment, which shows organizations where their weaknesses are, and a penetration test, which mimics an actual attack. The purpose of a network security assessment is to discover any potential entry points for costly cyberattacks — from both inside and outside your organization. It’s also a way of running through possible attack scenarios.

These tests can measure the effectiveness of your network’s defenses and give you answers to some key questions. What happens if certain systems are breached? What data is exposed? How many records are likely to be compromised? What would have to be done to mitigate the attack? A security assessment serves as a dry run.

3. Automated Questionnaires

A key component of cyber risk assessments is the questionnaires you use to evaluate your third-party risk. Creating and sending questionnaires is a resource-intensive task, and validating responses can be difficult. Using an automated questionnaire platform helps address these challenges by creating vendor-specific questionnaires that can be sent and tracked at scale. This creates transparency between you and your vendors since you can track their responses to questions in real-time — streamlining questionnaire management.

4. Staff Assessments

As remote work continues, employees may use their personal devices for work, share their work devices with non-employees, use unsecured Wi-Fi networks or fall prey to phishing emails. Your information system can also be put at risk through poor document retention, the use of unencrypted USB flash drives or the use of unsecured channels to transmit critical information. In essence, information security protection measures may not be there, leaving your network vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Testing an employee’s cybersecurity awareness and responses is important, whether they’re in-office or remote. This can be done using a phishing simulator, which allows you to set up emails that appear to be from management, the IT team or colleagues with the goal of convincing employees to open a link, submit credentials or download an attachment. The information you receive can be used to train employees on cybersecurity best practices and tips to avoid cyberattacks.

If you find your network security is lacking due to remote work, we highly recommend implementing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) — particularly through Microsoft Azure.

Learn More: Top 5 VDI FAQs for Business

5. Third-Party Risk Assessment

Unfortunately, hackers are targeting third-party partners in order to launch data breach efforts. If your organization can conduct a vulnerability assessment, we suggest taking inventory and analyzing your existing security controls to identify vulnerabilities within your IT infrastructure.

Using the assessment report, evaluate vendor performance, which can help bolster third-party business relationships, as well as help you end the use of any technology, services or partnerships that may open your company to hacks.

How Would You Rate Your Risk?

As cyber threats continue to grow in complexity, having access to cyber risk assessment tools has become a necessity. At Elevity, we take cybersecurity very seriously and use our own 4S approach: Strategy, Security, Solutions and Support. With that as our backbone, we’ve developed another tool you can use right now.

We invite you to take our free cybersecurity risk assessment by clicking the link below. Simply answer some key questions to get your risk score and learn the ideal next steps to take to amp up your cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

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