8 Assessments to Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats

Recent events have created opportunities for hackers to increase their attacks. Here are eight key assessments that governments can use to understand potential threats and vulnerabilities.

COVID Business Operations

8 Assessments to Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats

  • Jim Kreiser
  • 6/1/2020

Key insights

  • Governments are facing greater IT risks and challenges.
  • To succeed during this time and beyond, you need to have proper data, metrics, and reporting to address current risks and threats.
  • Consider these eight key assessments that can help you tackle these challenging issues and risks.

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Recent events have created opportunities for hackers and bad actors to increase—and adjust—their targeting. Industry professionals report a significant rise in social engineering attacks, ransomware attacks, and other threats. Among the likely targets are local governments and health care organizations. 

Remote workforces bring additional IT challenges

Today, governments are facing critical decisions and impacts related to remote access. Remote work and system access has increased exponentially, and at a time when IT departments are already dealing with security issues, threat management, and other IT-related dilemmas.

With a remote and mobile workforce, organizations face new risks and dynamics. This includes awareness, management, and mitigation of cybersecurity threats, as well as remote connectivity risks, data encryption and security, and more.

The struggle to balance security and confidentiality of data and systems with user functionality and effectiveness may be at an all-time high. With the developing and growing threat of social engineering and email phishing, IT security has become a true business risk.

Take steps to understand your cybersecurity risk

To help protect your organization in this environment, you need proper data, metrics, and reporting. There are several critical assessments that organizations can utilize to better understand current cybersecurity risks and threats and to address their own particular vulnerabilities.

Here are eight key assessments and reports that management and IT can utilize to tackle these challenging issues and risks.

  • Network penetration and wireless testing — Help keep hackers away by knowing your current level of exposure and your monitoring functions, as well as how to recognize and respond to breaches in your network systems.
  • Web and application penetration testing — From business partners requesting access through your firewall to your staff requiring 24/7 mobile connectivity, it is imperative to understand your current risk profile and how to strengthen your defenses.
  • Application and general controls review — How recently have you reviewed your general controls (i.e., your people or policies)? Develop an IT risk assessment and internal audit plan. Identify simple and moderate (low-cost) controls that can be applied to mitigate application and data security risks.
  • Social engineering assessment — Do your employees know and understand how to protect sensitive information and respond to email phishing or pretext calls? Analyze the effectiveness of your administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.
  • GLBA information, HIPAA, and PCI data protection risk assessments—Avoid compliance risks and impacts, loss of funds, or reputation loss due to data breach or stolen credentials, by thoroughly understanding your compliance levels and any gaps in process, tools, and functions.
  • Security policy review and development — The weakest link in a cybersecurity strategy is often the end user. Do you have security policies that help develop the proper culture of awareness and communication among your staff?
  • Security awareness training — Is your team aware of the types of current attacks and trends, and how to respond to or avoid these threats? Teach your staff how to recognize threats and use security controls.
  • Incident response and forensic investigation — Are you confident in your policies and responses? Align your strategy with proven practices when identifying, assessing, and documenting security incidents

How we can help

At CLA, our goal is to help you determine your organization’s level of risk, compliance with cybersecurity protocols, and preparedness to respond to a cybersecurity attack. That way, our team can help you define the specific assessments and reports you need to mitigate IT risks and thwart potential threats. Please reach out to us to learn more about how we can help.

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