A Step by Step Guide on how a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment is Performed


Risk assessment needs to be done frequently for any organization to be safe from cybersecurity threats that are happening every day.  It is an important and crucial activity of the organization that needs to be done carefully following steps that will be used as a guiding tool to the end. Almost every organization relies on information technology and information systems to do transactions and daily business, and there are many risks that come by so doing. This risks that are involved when using information systems to do business, need to be checked every now and then to make sure everything is okay and is running smoothly.

The cyber risk assessment will be used to identify, estimate and prioritize the risk to institutions operations. By providing the organization with an executive summary, cyber risk assessment helps in making an informed decision in an organization and supporting proper risk responses.

We are going to look at all step that needs to guide us when performing cybersecurity risk assessment:

Identifying the size, scope of assessment, and complexity of your organization assets

It is important to know exactly what you are dealing with. The first thing to do is identifying exactly what you are going to assess, it helps because you will get to know the scope of your assessment and will help you plan your time wisely and you will not leave any component or forget anything at all. Make a list of everything that needs to be assessed from data, partners, vendors, identify data exchanges, both physical and logical containers such as removal devices, data centers, code, and scripts. Doing this, it will be a determinant of how your cybersecurity risk assessment will be successful. Make sure you do not leave behind assets that are important, as this can be devastating to your findings.

Determining assets value

Knowing the asset value of everything that needs to be assessed will help you know the importance of it. This is the hardest thing to do because it is affected by many factors. You can accomplish this by asking yourselfquestions like if the company loses the data, how time or money will it cost to start again from the ground. Secondly, you can ask yourself the far in which competitors will go to obtaining such data or information so as to be close to you.  If there may be a compromise, what revenue can be lost and the damage that an organization can get.  These questions will help you in knowing how valuable your assets are.

Vulnerability and threat identification

Whether accidental or intentional, make a list of potential and relevant threats to your systems to help you do your cybersecurity assessment at ease.  Common threats would be unauthorized access by either hacker, malware infections or internal attacks, misuse of privileges leading to misuse of information by authorized personnel, data leakage or unintentional exposure of information. Data loss can be another threat that is caused by poor replication and back-up processes that are not secure.

Internal auditing can assist you in knowing the vulnerable areas of the system. Doing a vulnerability scan will also give you information regarding areas that need to be taken care of.

Weighing the cost of prevention

You need to make the decision of if it is worthy to protect the assets or doing everything afresh. Calculations should be done at this stage to determine if it is worthy to invest in protecting the data or doing everything again.

Implementation stage

Your decision will determine what you are going to implement. The solution that has been identified will be implemented and put into action at this stage. The decision should always be cost effective and should help in countering the issues that were identified. You need to closely monitor if what has been implemented is performing to the expectations of the organization.


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