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How To Conduct An IT Security Assessment

How To Conduct An IT Security Assessment

With cyber crime on the rise in recent years it’s no wonder that more emphasis is being placed on cyber security than ever before. Despite this, many companies or businesses don’t really understand how to carry out a proper IT security assessment. This is despite the fact that some companies have issued heavy penalties for cyber security mismanagement. So here at MA Security, we thought it’s about time we put the record straight. In this post we’ll explain how to conduct an IT security assessment and what you should be looking out for.

Firstly when looking to protect your data you’ll need to address three key questions. These are:

  • How confidential is your data and who can view it?

  • Who has permission to alter any data?

  • How do authorised users gain access to this data?

These are important factors because they determine who has the ‘need to know’ Once you have a good understanding of this, you can start to implement correct password control and iron out any deficiencies in this area.

Other problems

Next you need to take a look at other underlying problems or issues that may mean that your cyber security is weak. These might be:

  • Architectural deficiencies in the network

  • Weak passwords

  • Errors in system configurations

  • Security systems not updated

With these in mind you might want to look at adopting one of two security assessments. These are a vulnerability assessment or a penetration test.

A vulnerability assessment involves analysing your IT infrastructure for the problems listed above. Once identified these areas can be dealt with and actions put in place to ensure that they don’t occur again. This might include implementing distinct areas of responsibility.

Conversely a penetration test is for want of a better word – ethical hacking. It tests a system for flaws by mimicking an attacker’s actions. These actions will exploit any vulnerabilities and give you a good indication of how secure your system is against a cyber attack. The idea behind it is that once you know to what extent your IT is vulnerable, you’re better equipped to address it.

Which test should you choose?

Which testing system you choose will depend on a number of factors including the assessment expectations of your company/organisation, the nature of the data your company handles, and any security regulations binding your industry. Remember there’s no one-size fits all security solution and therefore it should be adapted to suit your personal needs.

Hopefully this has given you a better insight into what it takes to carry out an IT assessment, but if you are still unsure or don’t have the manpower to carry out such a task, contact MA Security. We deal with all types of security including Cyber security risk assessments so give us a call on 1300 020 406 and take a step closer towards greater peace of mind.

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