6 things you should know before hiring a risk assessment service provider

6 things you should know before hiring a risk assessment service provider

We all like to prepare for things. Good research and preparation can help us understand what’s coming, making us that much better decision makers. You could even say that this process involves a bit of risk assessment itself, since we need to identify the inherent risks of an unknown situation and reduce the risk by learning more about it. But how do you know what to expect from cybersecurity risk assessment? Well, let us help you minimize the risk of the unknown with these 6 things that will help you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

1. Risk assessment is the first step to protecting you in cyberspace

First of all, what is risk assessment exactly and how does it fit into the framework of a cybersecurity solution? Well, risk assessment is the launch pad – the first square on the board game that will bring smart, efficient security to your cyber presence. Before figuring out how to achieve greater security, you need to draw a map of the current situation.
What security measures are already in place? What are the most important elements of your cyber presence that must be secured no matter what? Where are risks most likely to come from and how high is the risk they pose? These are all questions that risk assessment aims to answer to start you on your journey.

2. Risk assessment is a methodical process

And it’s conducted by experts, who are called experts for a reason. Risk to your business is not assessed on the hunch or whim of someone who knows a bit about computers. Instead, these professionals follow a methodical process of protocols, lists, numbers and diligent consideration based on experience.

3. Risk assessment is guided by well-known standards and practices

Cybersecurity is too important to trust everyone to approach it however they want, and businesses like yours need to have confidence that risk assessment is being conducted in the most responsible manner possible. That’s why it’s best to adhere to industry standards and practices. Not only do these frameworks help guide and define the boundaries of an effective cybersecurity process, they also signal to you that the best practices are being used.

Standards like ISO 31010 and ISO 27005 are a good place to start. To meet these two important standards, cybersecurity organizations must manage their affairs following certain good practice guidelines and follow a series of steps in every risk assessment process.

4. Risk assessment is mostly based on interviews

Cybersecurity isn’t about going out with guns blazing and taking on hackers like you might see in a modern spy flick. Before diving into exciting technical elements like penetration testing, everything starts with risk assessment, and that means interviews. The majority of the risk assessment process is focused on speaking to key individuals in your company, each of whom may have a piece to the puzzle that use your current security status.

Gathering this information is crucial to obtaining an overview of the situation and getting leads on what may have been overlooked.

5. Risk assessment is not a side project

These kinds of interviews may seem somewhat intimidating for some employees, but risk assessment isn’t a passive process to be sidelined. You need to make a conscious effort to get your entire team on board, especially by informing everyone of the project and its purposes so they feel comfortable sharing and collaborating.

And just as you need to make this special effort with your employees, the entire risk assessment process requires that you take it seriously. That may mean investing time, resources and attention, but trust us, it’s worth it.

6. Risk assessment doesn’t protect you on its own

Risk assessment is crucial to your protection in cyberspace, but this process won’t get the job done all on its own. When you embark on a journey, you first need to draw up a map (risk assessment). Without it, you could get lost. But you also have the entire journey to travel! So, it’s time to plan ahead. Now that you have a good idea of what risk assessment can do for you, start thinking about what comes after – like penetration testing.