IT risk assessment

Performing an IT Risk Assessment

When was your last IT Risk Assessment? 

Possible online risks or threats are now a concern for all organizations. As a consequence, risk assessments should be a fundamental part of your business processes. These assessments will reveal any potential threats that might cause problems for your organization. By detecting them before they happen, you can better prevent them from ever causing harm. 

This is especially critical for IT departments and IT security professionals. It’s paramount that you conduct IT risk assessments in your organization as regularly as possible. You will know what network security threats may be lurking around the corner. 

If you would like help in performing an IT Risk Assessment we offer please Request a Free Assessment with BitLyft.

How do you perform an IT risk assessment? 

The process is relatively simple, but it’s crucial that you follow the right steps and do everything correctly. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about IT risk assessments and how to carry them out. 

When should you perform an IT risk assessment?

The first step to a successful risk assessment is learning when you need to perform it. Before you conduct your IT risk assessment, you need to carry out a business impact analysis (BIA). To learn more about BIAs you can read What is Security Information and Event Management Software?

Step 1 – Gather information

All IT risk assessments begin by gathering information that will help you follow through with your analysis. 

Understandably, this covers a range of things. Almost anything could be a potential threat, but the easiest way to collect the most relevant info is to categorize it. Here are three different types of information you should focus on: 

  • System-related information: This covers all kinds of info relating to hardware, software, and any data that lives on your system. 
  • Business-related information: This covers all the different sources of information relating to your business. So, you will include things like business records, vendor contracts, and so on. 
  • Natural-related information: Lastly, this type of information covers things like geological survey maps or weather data that could affect connectivity and data loss. 

Step 2: Identify Threats

The second step is to look at all the information you’ve gathered and identify the key threats. For example, the information you collect about your system may indicate that you need to update your software or have outdated programs. Knowing this allows you to put practices in place to fix your current situation and create a protocol for the future. 

Another common threat is malware or viruses. If you can identify the threat of where and how someone might plant these in your system you have a much better chance of preventing it from happening. 

Another typical example of a threat stems from your data storage solutions. You may see that all of your data is stored on hardware, which presents the risk that this hardware can be damaged and erase all your data. 

You get the point; look at the data you’ve collected, and identify all the critical threats. 

Step 3: Find the weaknesses

After all the main threats have been identified, the next step is to establish what might cause them. So, this means looking at your IT system and figuring out what may let your potential threats turn into real problems.

This could be firewall issues, data collection problems, system administration faults – the list goes on and on. By identifying the threats, it will soon be easy to find the key weak points in your IT network. 

Step 4: Risk analysis

The final step is risk analysis. Here, you carry out an analysis that tells you how likely it is that these threats will occur. Not only that, but it also tells you how bad they will be, and how much your business will suffer. 

With IT risk analysis, you will soon see which threats are the biggest concerns for your company. The flip side of this is that you also get clarification on the types of threats that are least likely to happen and won’t hurt your company. This way you can prioritize and make a plan on what to handle first. 

What do you do after an IT risk assessment?

Generally speaking, the best approach is to take your findings and use them to determine your next steps in implementing security measures.  If you’ve identified a series of risks with a high likelihood of happening – and severe consequences – then tackle those first. Thankfully, you’ve also found the weaknesses in your system that may cause these threats, so you can work on strengthening them. 

After you’ve strengthened all your weak points in your IT security, we suggest running another risk assessment to compare the results. Ideally, things should be improved.

To summarize; every organization needs to carry out IT risk assessments. It’s crucial to figure out what might be threatening your organization and how you’ll be affected by it. Risk assessments help you improve and create an IT system that’s more secure and can prevent common threats from happening. 

BitLyft aims to provide you with a simple no-nonsense solution to keep your business safe from online threats. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to speak to one of our friendly representatives.  

You can also Request a Free Assessment.

We’ll help explain the services we offer and how they can be customized to your exact needs.

About the Author

Jason Miller

Jason Miller

Jason is a Chief Executive Officer of BitLyft Cyber Security. He has spent the last 19 years of his career focusing on network, system administration, and cloud technologies. He is passionate about helping businesses embrace the next generation of technology including cloud adoption and high performance scaling software.

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