Since the start of the pandemic, companies have seen more and more devices added to their networks as employees switched to working remotely where possible. This increased demand for remote access has also led to companies investing in new applications and software to facilitate the change. With more devices and more applications, cybersecurity risks also increase. 

Routine network security assessments can save your company thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, by identifying vulnerabilities before they are exploited. If the identified vulnerabilities are fixed promptly, this preventative action can protect not only your valuable data but your reputation with your customers as well. In 2020 alone, most security breaches reported by Canadian companies could have been prevented.

What Is a Network Security Vulnerability Assessment?

Think of a network security vulnerability assessment like a dental health check-up. When you visit your dentist, he or she examines your entire mouth and assesses for signs of health issues. A dental exam is about the overall health of your entire mouth, not just the surface of your teeth. Similarly, when evaluating network security, your goal is to systematically examine your entire network, including all devices, hardware, software, and applications for vulnerabilities.

An effective assessment will rank the vulnerabilities by priority to help shape a plan of action. For example, if your assessment identifies a software vulnerability that puts confidential customer information at risk, we will prioritize that over a lesser secondary vulnerability, such as loose password protocols. This will provide you with a clear list of objectives and a full plan for putting them into place.

Why Should You Perform an Assessment?

Prevention is the key to maintaining network security. The failure to identify and respond effectively to vulnerabilities leads to the vast majority of cyber intrusions. Cybercrime grows more sophisticated every year. Companies are not just at risk from targeted attacks but also from advanced ones. More advanced attacks continuously scan networks for holes in the security system and automatically start the attack process as soon as a way in is found.

The best defence is to complete routine vulnerability assessments and take preventative measures. If you’re unsure how your security stacks up, you can take our cybersecurity quiz to find out.

How to Perform an Assessment

There are five basic steps our team of IT professionals takes in a network security vulnerability assessment:

Create an inventory of all network assets and resources.

Assign a rank of importance to your assets and data. Which is more important, trade secrets, client information, or internal communication?
Identify the vulnerabilities and potential threats in the network.
Create a prioritized plan of action based on your ranking system. 
Mitigate or eliminate the vulnerabilities in the order of priority. 

Following these steps provides you with a strong defence against cyber intrusions of virtually any kind. Employee education and awareness are also crucial to protecting your network. When employees know the value of protocol and the risks involved in non-compliance, the entire network will be more secure. 

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Managed IT Services

Even if you have a skilled IT team, they might already have their hands full with the ongoing day-to-day maintenance of your network and not have the time to complete a thorough vulnerability assessment. In this scenario, you might want to consider hiring an external team to work in partnership with your staff. Here at Alt-Tech, we offer various IT services to meet all of your business needs. 

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash