Quick Info About IT Risk Assessments

Preventing a cyber security breach within your organization requires understanding where your weakness is and what risks are possible. Taking a reactive approach could be a death sentence for a company — typically, at this point, it’s already too late and the damage is done. According to the 2019 State of Cybersecurity Report by Ponemon Institute, 66% of the small- and medium-sized businesses faced one or more cyber attacks in a 12-month period.

Building a risk assessment in your annual IT operating plan is a must for businesses that want more effective, efficient, and proactive procedures to avoid unwanted consequences.

What is an IT Risk Assessment?

An IT risk assessment is a systematic procedure for identifying possible security threats to your network, data, and organization, and the negative impacts they can have on your business. It serves as the basis for uncovering any internal and external business risks and finding ways that can eliminate or control those risks. An IT risk assessment is a key element of all enhanced cyber security policies, and it’s even a legal requirement in some of the compliance acts such as HIPAA, and GLBA. 

Benefits of a Risk Assessment

In today’s technical business environment, having a good cyber security strategy is not enough unless you know the risks. Here’s how an IT risk assessment can help your business:

1. Understanding risk profiles

A detailed security assessment for your business provides valuable information on where a threat is, whether it’s internal or external, the reasons behind it, and who or what will be affected. A risk profile will also tell you the likelihood that a risk will happen. Businesses, especially smaller ones, can use this data to stay alert and take immediate measures to reduce the overall damage.

2. Improving cyber security strategies

It’s common for cyber security strategies to fail because of the gap between the problem and the solution. Here’s what we mean by this:  A security plan without knowledge of the threat is not effective. However, performing a risk assessment allows you to identify problems and threats that are created from those problems. Understanding the big picture enables you to take the best security measures to minimize threats.

3. Reducing unnecessary spend

Knowing what your risks are allows you to balance your costs against benefits. A risk assessment will allow you to see and focus on the greatest risks. This means you can allocate money where it has the most impact. In other words,  put your money toward the risk that will cause the most damage and not waste it elsewhere.

4. Providing a second perspective 

When you engage an expert third-party risk assessment team, you get a second perspective on gaps and hazards in your business network. The perspective from outside your organization helps set your priorities straight when it comes to the detection, estimation, and control of cyber security risks.

How to Perform an IT Risk Assessment  

  • Identify and diagnosis

The first step to solving any problem is to identify the problem. Carefully review all of the IT assets in your digital infrastructure and identify and detect problems. Next, determine any defects and loopholes in your data creation, storage, and transmission methods such as unauthorized access, or system failures.  

  • Estimate and prioritize

Assess the size, nature, and complexity of damage that can occur from the risks you’ve identified. The probability and the severity of each security risk turning into reality can be used to estimate the damages it can cause. Prioritize each risk based on how soon it needs your attention and who it affects.

  • Control and review

Design a mitigation plan for the risk with the highest impact first and then move to those with less impact. Utilize tools and procedures to reduce the vulnerabilities as much as possible. At the end, review your post-assessment strategies and prevention measures.

The best decision for your business is to hire third party experts in cyber security risk assessment and prevention plans.

Common Risk Assessment FAQs

Still have questions? Here are a few of the most common inquiries about risk assessments. 

Does every industry need a risk assessment?

The short answer is YES. A risk assessment is an integral part of every industry. If your business manages customer or client information, or you have a company network that’s accessed by multiple computers, you need a risk assessment. In some industries like healthcare and finance, a risk assessment is not optional because of the severity of the risks. An IT risk assessment can provide life-saving information for small businesses at a high risk of a cyber security attack.

How does a risk assessment plan impacts cyber security?

Without a risk assessment, you’re leaving your business open to multiple threats, and giving hackers the chance to find the vulnerabilities in your systems. You might end up finding those threats on your own, but a professional IT risk assessment helps you optimize your security strategy before any damage has even occurred, saving time and money. Why wait for a cyber security threat to slide through an open door when you can take a proactive, precautionary action with an IT risk assessment?

An IT risk assessment provides a roadmap for a practical and improved cyber security approach for your organization. You might think you’re doing just fine without a risk assessment, but the truth is, it can save money, time, assets, as well as protect the people in your company from many unwanted consequences.


Visual Edge IT, Inc. (VEIT) specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S. including remote office locations. We offer a full line of office technology and services including 24/7 remote monitoring and administration of networks, service desk, and data backup and restore to improve business processes across a variety of industries. Plus, Visual Edge IT™ represents the industry’s leading manufacturers of office technology allowing businesses to get equipment, supplies and service from a single source. Backed by more than 20-years of technology service and a national network of expert engineers, VEIT is uniquely positioned to support business technology needs. The company is headquartered in North Canton, OH, USA. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.