Businesses face network security risk every single day, and the severity of risks are getting worse.

Mitigating risk in a digital world is critical to the success of your business and it starts with risk assessments. Network security risk analysis is a key part to any IT initiative. If you don’t assess the risks you are facing, they cannot be properly managed or eliminated. 

A successful, and informative, network security risk assessment should align with your business goals and help you cost-effectively reduce risks in your systems. You can run a network risk analysis on any system that your company utilizes. If you are not sure where to start, it is good practice to identify all internal and external systems that are utilized for mission-critical operations. Prioritize these systems by business use, and determine which handle and store any sensitive information, such as financial, health, or credit card. These areas are the best place to start because they have highly sought after information. 

Network security risks of all types can pose a problem for businesses – especially Compliance Risk

There are several different kinds of risk that your business could face – reputational, operational, transactional, and compliance. Compliance risk is related to the violation of laws and regulations. Compliance risk effects many organizations, especially when they deal with personal identifiable information (PII), like health records, credit card, and social security numbers. If you don’t comply with regulations, like HIPPA, NERC, ISO, and GDPR, your organization can be fined until you are able to. 

Below are a few ways that you can easily identify network risk and start to analyze the risks your organization faces.

Gain Visibility

If you don’t have a clear picture of your risk – or even your network – you will have trouble developing effective strategies to mitigate vulnerabilities. The key to obtaining a clear vision is having the right tools and the right experts in place. Network and security monitoring tools have impeccable benefits for organizations, but if you don’t have experts that can analyze and act upon the data given you will end up losing money in the long run. Many organizations turn to Managed Service Providers, like Magna5, because of their next-generation technology and tenured experts. They can be your eyes and ears, eliminating risk in your environment, and ensuring you are operating at optimum efficiency. 

Vulnerability scans

New vulnerabilities surface daily due to defects, misconfigurations, and human error. Eliminating these potential issues is a must to avoid threat actors exploiting your critical systems. Vulnerability scans can deliver internal and external scan audits of network devices, servers, applications, databases and more – on-premise or in the cloud. Vulnerability scans can give you access into where IT systems might be vulnerable to the latest threats and what actions are necessary to protect them. 

Penetration tests

Penetration tests, or pen-tests, are another great option to discover where your infrastructure and security is weak. A penetration test is a simulated cyberattack that checks for exploitable vulnerabilities. Ethical hackers will legally attempt to hack into your systems to test an organization’s defenses. Many times, these tests will discover flaws in operating systems, services and applications, improper configurations and risky end-user behavior. 

Evaluate access control

Eliminating critical-system access for employees that do not require it to finish normal duties seems like a small task, but it can greatly decrease risk. By creating data information policies that streamline access, you can eliminate areas for threat actors to breach, and insider threats. 

Understand current threats

Lastly, it is imperative to understand the current threats that your organization is facing. If you don’t know about current threats, understanding where you have risks and holes in your security will be impossible. Also, it is imperative to educate employees on what threats they are facing – how to pick out a phishing email, what does spam look like, and what links not to click on.

Keeping your business data safe and secure is one of the most important tasks for an IT department. Knowing the risks you face by completing a network security risk analysis is the first step to a safer environment. A managed service provider can help every step of the way – from risk analysis, to security monitoring and incident response. Need help with your security initiatives? Contact Magna5 today!