Do you think that just because an organization is small, it won’t be a target of cybercriminals?
If so, it’s time to tear down that perception because the reality is the opposite. Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are now the prime targets of cybercriminals. Reports show that compared to large corporations, SMBs are thrice more likely to be victims of such crimes.
After all, larger companies invest more in security measures like cybersecurity maturity assessment. As a result, they now have more robust security protocols. These make them harder to breach, so criminals have turned their attention to SMBs.
To that end, we created this guide discussing why businesses of all sizes need such assessments. So read on, as what you learn here can help make yours digitally safer and secure.
Satisfy Regulatory Requirements
In some sectors, assessments are more than cybersecurity best practices; they’re legal requirements.
An example is the healthcare industry’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law aims to protect patient health information from unauthorized disclosure. Entities covered include the following:
- Healthcare organizations and providers
- Insurance companies
- Healthcare clearing houses
The business associates of those covered entities may also have to follow HIPAA.
For example, say your company provides accountancy services for a clinic. As a result, you gain access to their patient’s health information.
That means you must adhere to HIPAA requirements. One of these is to conduct risk assessments to become cyberlaw compliant.
Businesses that provide consumer, energy, financial, and trading services also require risk assessments. These help them satisfy regulatory requirements set by their respective industries.
Identify Cyber Risks
A cybersecurity maturity assessment helps determine where your organization’s security strategy stands. It objectively reviews your existing policies, methods, and risks. It aims to pinpoint which strategies work and those that leave you at risk of threats instead.
Improve Your Organization’s Security Posture
Once you know what your company is at risk of, you can develop strategies to combat such threats.
Let’s use bring-your-own-device programs, which 82% of organizations have, as an example. These policies let employees use personal computers and mobile devices for work. Companies that implement them report to have more productive workers.
Unfortunately, BYOD programs without stringent rules can be sources of compromised digital technologies. For instance, poor monitoring and maintenance can lead to malware infections.
Suppose an employee brings their laptop to the office. Unaware that malware has infected it, they link it to the company network. This can allow the threat to spread not just to the network but to other corporate devices, too.
A cybersecurity maturity assessment can help counter that by analyzing your BYOD policies. It can help determine if you have robust security measures. If not, then you can fix the issue by implementing better protocols.
Determine Which Areas to Prioritize
While you must address all cybersecurity flaws, it may not be feasible to do so all at once. Depending on the issues, fixing them all in one go can be costly and time-consuming.
Say your organization has a lax BYOD policy and lacks secure customer data management. It may also be reliant on a break/fix IT approach.
Those are all pressing issues, but you should prioritize the first two.
You already know why secure BYOD policies are crucial, but what about securing customer data?
It’s just as vital to secure your customer’s digital data, even if no cyber regulation applies to you. One reason is that you can become the subject of a lawsuit if your clients’ data gets stolen. They may have the right to sue you if the theft causes financial harm (e.g., they lose money due to fraud).
While a break/fix IT approach is no longer ideal today, it’s not as severe an issue as BYOD or data threats. However, you should still consider replacing this with proactive IT maintenance. You can do so once you’ve addressed your top cybersecurity priorities.
In any case, an assessment can help you identify all your organization’s cybersecurity flaws. The service provider can then help you rank them based on priority. They’ll also explain the logic behind their hierarchy and recommendations.
Improve Company Morale
Frustration over workplace tech is now a common reason U.S. workers quit their jobs. This is especially true for younger employees.
That may happen to your organization if it considers cybersecurity the least of its priorities.
Employees may worry that their information can get leaked if your company suffers a data breach. And they have every right to do so, as such incidents have become more prevalent.
For example, Apple found that data breaches exposed 2.6 billion personal records in the past two years. It also noted that these crimes have continued to worsen in 2023.
So, invest in a cybersecurity assessment before you lose employees or suffer a breach. The sooner you do, the sooner you can enhance your organization’s cybersecurity position. This can then boost company morale, which can help cut the risks of your talents quitting.
Unless you know your organization’s security posture, you’re at risk of cybercrime. And if it gets hit by a data breach, you may have to cease business operations temporarily. After all, these incidents often lead to downtimes.
Even worse, the hit may be so bad that your organization can close down permanently. Indeed, experts say six in ten companies victimized by a data breach went bankrupt in six months.
That’s all the more reason to invest in a cybersecurity maturity assessment.
Protect Your Organization With a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment
A cybersecurity maturity assessment is the first critical step in protecting information assets. It can help improve your organization’s readiness to prevent, detect, and contain cyber threats.
So, if you haven’t had this assessment yet, it’s time to schedule one ASAP. Every second counts, especially since a single data breach can be enough to make a business go bankrupt.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on tech and cybersecurity, we’ve got you covered. Check out our other articles to help you stay on top of digital safety and security!