What exactly is involved in a security assessment?

Security assessments are often conducted by individuals who do not have the expertise to properly evaluate a company's security measures. These assessments can be highly beneficial for companies, as they give an outsider’s opinion of their security controls and can highlight areas that need improvement before any actual attack is made.

What is it?

Security assessments are usually done on a monthly or even weekly basis in some cases. These are usually run across your entire cybersecurity network from end-points, infrastructure and cloud environments.

To conduct security assessments on IT systems and networks, companies follow a fairly standard pattern. They must first observe the system and all of its components to identify what needs to be done with it. After the scope of the assessment has been framed up, often companies will engage with an external consultancy to run the assessment or manage it themselves. Following that, vulnerability scans, penetration tests, and a few other common methods of testing the security level of a system are conducted.

When the scans and tests have been completed, generally the outsourced company will evaluate the findings and propose a plan for making the system more secure. The report will likely address the original state of the system or network, what methods were used to identify potential problems, weaknesses, and holes in the security features of the system, and company recommendations for rectifying issues.

Types of security assessment

Security assessments can be undertaken for a myriad of reasons, and while the approach taken will depend on the particular needs of the company ordering it, there are several common types.

One of the many reasons companies may want to track their passwords is that they want to know who can access their systems and at what permission level.This type of assessment is common among companies that take credit card payment details, run membership sites or perhaps hold critical health data. If the wrong person is able to access the system, they can often do a lot of harm. As more and more business rely on online information, it is essential to take the appropriate precautions.

Many network-related issues that must be taken into consideration. From web content filtering to firewall and intrusion detection to remote access controls, there are a multitude of settings and configurations that need to be taken into consideration if a company wishes to remain secure, both externally and internally.

Conclusion

Given the gravity of the topic and potential risks involved, it should be clear that the assessment practices employed by an external cybersecurity consultancy are of high-pedigree and may offer better coverage than internal testing.

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