Does your IT plan have flaws or gaps that could potentially leave your organization vulnerable? Most companies think that simply having an IT plan in place is sufficient, but if your plan possesses flaws, you could still be left vulnerable to all types of risks. The presence of such flaws or gaps does not necessarily mean that your plan was not well-developed. In today’s fast moving technological world, the reality is that malware and other risks develop quickly, which makes it essential for your IT plan to be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure it is completely up to date. Failure to do so could leave your entire organization at risk for a variety of risks, including cyberattacks. Unfortunately, many organizations simply do not have the time nor the resources to properly evaluate their IT plans. The result can be grave risks that may not be exposed until it is too late and the organization already faces loss of data, revenue, and/or reputation.
A proper security assessment can assist in determining both the presence of flaws in your IT plan as well as the degree to which security controls are implemented correctly, whether those controls are operating as they should, and whether they are delivering necessary levels of security. This type of assessment can also be conducted to determine any weaknesses that could be exploited by third-parties which could lead to a breach of your information system.
What Is Included in an IT Security Assessment?
Security assessments should apply to all IT systems and components within your organization, including:
• Servers, mainframes, and other devices offering centralized computing capabilities
• Laptops, desktops, and other devices offering distributed computing capabilities
• NAS, SAN, and other devices delivering centralized storage capabilities
• Switches, routers, and other devices providing network capabilities
• IDP sensors, firewalls, and other devices providing dedicated security capabilities
The result of identified flaws in an IT plan may lead a business to question how data loss could occur. Internal exposure can often occur even unintentionally, yet still present serious risks. Even well-meaning employees who bring work home with them could expose the organization to malware. IT vulnerabilities can cause a business to lose performance, as well as data.
Generally speaking, the most critical IT flaws are those that can cause a business or organization to completely shut down. These flaws could be hardware based, network based, or software based. Regardless of the cause; however, the result is still a loss of data and/or performance.
Once flaws within an IT plan have been identified, the next task is to evaluate how those flaws could impact an organization. The most important question is to determine how the organization will continue performing if those flaws and vulnerabilities are not corrected.
Such assessments should be conducted on all IT systems on a regularly scheduled basis. Although vulnerability and security assessments may be performed by in-house staff on a regular basis, it is still recommended that an experienced third party also be retained to ensure proper levels of oversight and coverage.