Complying with data privacy and protection regulations wouldn’t give several business owners sleepless nights if it only meant installing a predefined list of security solutions. Compliance goes way beyond this, and for a good reason. In principle, regulators, local or international, want businesses to:
- assess the type of data they store and manage
- gauge the potential risks the data is exposed to
- list down the remediation efforts needed to mitigate the risks
- undertake necessary remediation efforts regularly
- and most importantly, document every single step of this seemingly arduous process as evidence
Each of the above steps is mandatory and non-negotiable. A closer look will tell you that installing a list of expensive security solutions comes only after the first three steps in the process have been followed. Skipping past these initial steps and acting merely on presumptuous knowledge is tantamount to leaving your business’ future to sheer chance. It’s anyone’s guess what that would lead to.
That’s why we’ll explain why a thorough and accurate risk assessment is the first step toward achieving compliance. Moreover, repeated regular risk assessments can help you demonstrate continuous compliance while keeping cyber threats at bay.
Security Risk Assessments Unearth Crucial Insights
A thorough and accurate risk assessment can unearth crucial insights from even the deepest and darkest alleys of your IT environment to empower your decision-making ultimately. Having actionable insights at your disposal can help you build strategies to reduce risk levels practically instead of shooting in the dark by testing various tools.
Here are some essential details that become more apparent and unambiguous with every risk assessment.
A Baseline of the System
A risk assessment helps you chart the lifecycle of all data collected, stored, and managed in your entire network.
Identification of Threats
A detailed risk assessment identifies all the possible threats, such as intentional, unintentional, technical, non-technical, and structural, that your business data is exposed to.
Identification of Vulnerabilities
With each assessment, you get the latest list of vulnerabilities in your network concerning patches, policies, procedures, software, equipment, and more.
Current Status of Existing Controls
You can also understand the security and privacy controls protecting your business against vulnerabilities from the assessment report.
Probability of Impact
An accurate assessment report can fully anticipate the probability of a threat that might exploit one of your network’s existing vulnerabilities.
Strength of Impact
Risk assessment also helps you gauge the possible impact of any threat hitting your business.
Imagine how easy it would be to build and implement a strategy to fix the security loopholes in your business while maintaining a well-documented record of your efforts.
Why Risk Assessment Is Needed for Compliance
While assessing whether you did everything in your capacity to ensure full compliance with the regulations, you also need to keep in mind that a regulator seeks evidence of compliance – documented reports. Besides helping you chart a successful path to compliance, a thorough risk assessment adds significant weight to demonstrating evidence of compliance. When you present the risk assessment reports and other documentation, you demonstrate how your business carried out due diligence in upholding data privacy and protection principles.
Please remember that no regulator expects you to have a fail-safe strategy. What matters is uncompromising intent, informed action, and undeterred consistency. If you can demonstrate all this, you will most likely avoid any punitive measures and a long list of problems that could surface afterward.
Help Is Just a Conversation Away
Contrary to what is often claimed, there are no shortcuts to compliance or any of the steps leading to it. At the outset, achieving compliance might seem grueling. However, it isn’t as bad as it looks when due process and expert guidance is followed.
A conversation with us is all you need so we can help you walk through the complexities of risk assessment with diligent and customized guidance.
Article curated and used by permission.