Risk assessments in cyber security are defined by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) as a method to identify, estimate, and prioritize the risks to organizational operations, assets, data, and individuals. Cyber security is an umbrella term for all types of protection from cyber-attacks. You can consider risk assessment as the starting point and key factor in cyber security. Here are 10 reasons why risk assessments in cyber security are important:
#1. Risk assessment lowers the threat of security breaches
Doesn’t matter how secure you think your system is, it can never be 100% safe from cyber-attacks. According to the global risk report of the World Economic Forum, over the next ten years, the second biggest issue for businesses globally will be cyber-attacks. By doing risk assessments you can figure out the weaknesses and loopholes in your cyber security to lower the threat of security breaches.
#2. It helps identify cyber security vulnerabilities
Vulnerability can be any sort of weakness or flaw in your computer system, network, and server that can be exploited to breach and gain access to your system. Cybercriminals prey on these vulnerabilities to take advantage. Vulnerability can be outdated software versions, poor passwords, or using public Wi-Fi. By conducting risk assessments, you can identify these cyber security vulnerabilities and fix them before anyone can take advantage of them.
#3. Helps prioritize impact and allocate resources efficiently
Whenever thieves break into your house, they would only focus on stealing the valuables from your house. Similarly, every cyber security attack has the purpose to steal some valuable information rather than copying routine documents. By performing risk assessments, you can prioritize the impact and allocate your cyber security resources efficiently to defend. This will also help you understand what is more prone to attacks so that you can protect yourself.
#4. Protects your company’s reputation
If you don’t perform risk assessments in cyber security regularly, then there is a high chance that you can face a cyber-attack. It can put your company’s reputation at stake because current and potential clients won’t take this as a good sign. Without proper cyber security assurance, your business doesn’t seem to be reliable and trustworthy. According to ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), every organization should conduct a risk assessment at least once in two years. However, if you have mission-critical systems then you must do risk assessment more frequently to be safe.
#5. Stay compliant with privacy and data laws
Companies that store sensitive data of the clients such as Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) are required to adhere to data privacy regulations. HIPAA and GDPR are the two most widely used regulations that must be followed to operate legally. Performing risk assessment in terms of cyber security regularly helps your organization ensure that they are compliant.
#6. Get insights that help minimize future threats
One of the key reasons for the importance of risk assessment in cyber security is that it provides you with useful insights. These insights help you identify what cybercriminals are targeting when they are targeting, and using which type of threat would they would target the organization. By knowing the answers to these questions, you can identify what countermeasures can be taken to minimize the threats.
#7. Risk assessment is less expensive than the cost of recovery
Risk assessment in cyber security is a proactive approach that helps stop a cyber attack before it even happens. This depicts that risk assessment is cost-effective because it will save a lot of money that would be spent in case of any breach. According to the stats of IBM, in 2022 the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. Risk assessment is a preventive measure in cyber security, and it can save 82% of the cost that will be spent on detection and recovery if an attack happens.
#8. It helps increase the productivity of your company
The productivity of your company can be affected when your employees have to work in the fear of any security breach. Most of the time an attack can be initiated if users not following the best practices of cyber security. The report shows that 95% of security breaches happen due to human error. So, if you perform risk assessment in cyber security your company’s productivity will be increased.
#9. Understand what’s at risk and have a better approach
When you perform risk assessments then you exactly know what is most vulnerable in your cyber security system. This will help you devise a better approach to fix that security gap and save from potential attacks. It gives you a better understanding of what needs to be protected.
#10. See visible improvements in terms of cyber security
Risk assessment is the first and key step for achieving a security posture that is safe and secure. When a company performs risk assessments regularly then they are less likely to face any threats to its system. They will observe visible improvements in the annual reports of cyber security performance.