Every day, malicious actors seek to exploit weak points in a business’ security posture to carry out an attack. Finding the weaknesses inside your business and closing them tightly is crucial if you want to shield it from a potentially disastrous breach.
So, is your business in danger of an unknown security gap?
What is a Security Gap Analysis?
A security gap analysis is a fundamental tool for identifying cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It is a thorough examination of a company’s security measures, policies, and procedures to see if they adhere to best practices.
Each organization is unique. Companies handle sensitive data in a unique way. Depending on the industry and geographies that your company operates in, different security standards may be applicable. Measures to protect a small business are insufficient to secure a large financial business.
How Security Gap Analysis Helps with Vulnerability Management
A cybersecurity gap analysis can help companies of any size with their vulnerability management. Work on patching up these vulnerabilities can start as soon as security holes are identified in policies, procedures, and safeguards.
Without a security audit, these flaws can continue to go unnoticed, giving malicious actors more time and opportunities to exploit them.
By detecting vulnerabilities sooner, businesses can avoid cyber threats before they strike. This can save enormous amounts of time, money, and difficulty on data breaches.
Why You Should Check for Security Gaps in Your Business
There are many reasons your business should run a security gap analysis as soon as possible:
- To Close Potential Avenues of Attack. Many cyberattack strategies target old vulnerabilities. Businesses can avoid data breaches and their repercussions by identifying and removing these vulnerabilities.
- To Identify Compliance Issues. Another major reason to check up on your security measures, policies, and procedures is to identify areas where compliance with industry regulations might be lacking. This in turn can assist you in making changes and remediations—hopefully before they lead to a formal reprimand.
- To baseline your security against industry best practices. Using authoritative guidelines to establish a robust baseline security for your organization demonstrates your commitment to security and willingness to adopt industry best practices, sending a strong message to your stakeholders and customers.
- To ensure your migration to the cloud is maintaining a strong security posture. Cloud environments require more advanced security measures. With employees working from homes, the organization’s attack surface inadvertently expands, increasing risks to your business. A gap assessment can identify weaknesses and potential entry points within your cloud infrastructure and analyze networks for evidence of exploitation.
- To address new and emerging attacks and risks. The cyber threat landscape is always evolving. Conducting a gap assessment on a regular basis can help you overcome organizational complacency and ensure that your security controls are effective.
- To assess the strengths and weaknesses of your outsourced IT Managed Service Provider (MSP). To fully leverage where your outsourced IT MSP excels, so that your internal IT staff can focus on larger, long-term initiatives, it is crucial to identify their strengths and weaknesses. A gap assessment can provide insights into what actionable remediation you can take to fill the gaps.
- To establish a roadmap for effective security budgeting. An effective way to adequately articulate your security investment is to build your budget with a view into the risks your organization faces. Developing a comprehensive gap assessment will identify critical security issues you should address.
- To Help Raise Cybersecurity Awareness. A thorough assessment of your company’s cybersecurity policies and procedures can have the benefit of getting employees thinking about security practices—and how well they are adhering to them. When paired with a training session or reminder about the importance of following cybersecurity best practices, a security gap analysis can increase cybersecurity awareness throughout the organization.
- Because You’ve Rolled out New Processes. For many organizations, rapidly implementing work-from-home initiatives necessitated deploying new technologies. Some might not have adequate attention to Information Security standards at the time of deployment.
Or perhaps you have been seeing all the news coverage of ransomware attacks and are unsure of how prepared your organization is. These indicate that it’s time for a security gap assessment.
What is involved in a security gap assessment?
To make sure that the assessment is focused on the proper context, an assessment starts with a discussion of the company and essential priorities. The assessor will ask questions about important business processes like governance, data management, configuration management, access control, and supplier management that either directly affect security or have the potential to do so. The assessor can examine how well the firm has addressed each security control through an in-depth discussion. A report detailing the findings and providing suggestions for improvement is delivered at the end of the assessment.
A security gap assessment can be performed against specific security standards such as the ones found here, and many more. Organizations that structure their security programs around recognized standards benefit from the work of many companies, teams, and individuals who have refined and codified a collection of best practices as a broad set of security controls against which one can evaluate, measure, and track progress.
One can also obtain certification for SOC2, ISO 27001 and certain other compliance standards, which may be beneficial depending on corporate needs. Possessing certifications can cut down on time spent addressing clients’ concerns, as certifications demonstrate a higher level of seriousness about securing critical assets, personal data, and intellectual property. Many companies also advertise certifications to win additional business and reach a broader target market. If you are not sure which compliance standards to pursue, here is an article on ISO 27001 Or SOC 2? How To Decide Which Audit To Pursue First
Time for a Gap Assessment?
A security gap analysis not only highlights the problems that must be fixed in your information security programme, but an assessment by a third-party expert can provide an unbiased opinion that can validate or provide a counterpoint that aids critical decision-making. A thorough assessment will also create a baseline for your environment’s current level of security . The assessor can then offer thorough, prioritized, and actionable recommendations and create a roadmap on how to get to the desired future state so you can meet your business goals more effectively.
Over the past year, many companies have been forced to find quick solutions to urgent security incidents, but the best way to approach security is to do it proactively. Working with an expert third-party on a security gap assessment can provide the big-picture view necessary to move forward with confidence. Wherever your organization is in its security journey, the more visibility and situational awareness you have, the better you can make decisions that are right for your business.
Need a security gap analysis to identify vulnerabilities in your own organization? Check out our 90 Days To Better Security Approach.