In a time when the cyber threat landscape is rapidly evolving, are you concerned about your organization’s cybersecurity defense? If so, Varsity has the perfect resource for you. What’s even better? It’s free! Thanks to our partners, we are able to offer a complimentary cybersecurity self-assessment to assess your organization’s security strength. The resource is a high-level evaluation that will help determine the cybersecurity preparedness level of your organization based on the widely adopted National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.
In this blog, we will discuss what you can expect from the assessment, as well as how important it is to regularly assess your cybersecurity defense.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework
As previously mentioned, the assessment is based off the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The Framework consists of standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk. The Framework defines cybersecurity preparedness in a clear step-by-step process.
Businesses and organizations should:
- Have the capability to identify cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
- Protect themselves accordingly with security controls and defenses.
- Have the capability to detect if security controls have been compromised.
- Respond to cyberattacks, incidents and breaches.
- Recover from cyberattacks, incidents and breaches.
According to NIST, “the Framework not only helps organizations understand their cybersecurity risks (threats, vulnerabilities and impacts), but how to reduce these risks with customized measures. The Framework also helps them respond to and recover from cybersecurity incidents, prompting them to analyze root causes and consider how they can make improvements.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we use this Framework to guide our cybersecurity self-assessment.
The Cybersecurity Self-Assessment
The assessment is divided into five sections based on the Framework outlined above: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. There will be a variety of questions for each section that you will rate on a numeric scale based on whether you disagree (1) or agree (4). After assigning a numeric value to all statements for a section, you can add all numeric values for a section total and refer to the results recommendation section for further insight.
You will be asked questions about your systems, devices, software platforms, applications, cybersecurity awareness training programs, protocols, plans, and more. It’s a very robust report that will provide you with key recommendations to improve your cybersecurity defense. As always, if you have questions or would like to discuss any results, our trusted team of IT experts is here for you.
Importance of Cybersecurity Assessments
Assessing your cybersecurity defense regularly will keep you ahead of the hackers. One of the major benefits to completing a cybersecurity awareness assessment is being able to identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your infrastructure. This will allow you to note any blind spots and act accordingly. For example, Pro Circular notes that “a weak corporate password policy invites the risk of unauthorized network access and sensitive data exposure. An organization might implement a longer character requirement or blacklist commonly used passwords to mitigate the risk associated with this vulnerability.”
Regular cybersecurity assessments can also help uphold certain compliance regulations, depending on your industry. For example, education organizations must abide by FERPA, and healthcare organizations are subject to HIPAA. There is also lots of important, private data that most organizations and businesses must keep secure. Hartman Advisors notes that “with quantified data from a cyber risk assessment, companies can develop better security policies to protect their data and network.”
Another benefit to cybersecurity awareness assessments allows organizations to better prepare for the future. The assessment allows organizations to learn about their unique threats and take steps to mitigate their occurrence. An organization that stays static will not grow and survive, whereas adaptable organizations will thrive.
Work With Varsity
We hope you find value in this cybersecurity assessment. Based on your results, we would be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. We offer a variety of managed security services for your unique needs. Contact us today to see how we can customize a security solution for you.