- March 28, 2022
The evolving cyber threat landscape and the emergence of sophisticated attack vectors demand global security teams maintain a shields-up posture, especially during international conflicts. Unfortunately, despite warnings and high-profile breaches, organizations often fail to meet the mark. Enterprises must be ready to act when any cyberattack or security incidents occur. Cyber incidents can extend beyond any fiscal consequences: they can disrupt healthcare, food manufacturing, utility providers, and even critical infrastructure, causing chaos and unrest. A cybersecurity readiness assessment is an excellent way to implement necessary policies and strategies to determine cybersecurity resilience and threat level.
Cybersecurity experts predict the complex cyberattacks to grow with the continuation of remote work and increasing use of cloud-hosted services. Therefore, organizations must take the necessary steps to ensure cybersecurity readiness. In addition, however, organizations should consider cybersecurity assessment partners when well-staffed teams struggle to respond to new and emerging cyber threats.
As per survey reports, 78% of respondents lack confidence in their organization’s IT security posture. A reliable cybersecurity readiness partner can provide the expertise necessary to secure infrastructure without a dedicated full-time security team. In addition, they offer solutions unique to the organization’s requirements and help strengthen cybersecurity strategies.
What is Readiness Assessment?
A cybersecurity readiness assessment evaluates an organization’s cybersecurity measures to identify the gaps, preparedness to manage cyber risks, and compliance with laws and regulations. The best way to assess cybersecurity readiness is through regular monitoring of the digital ecosystem, audits, and assessments. The reports informed by these assessments help non-technical stakeholders of an organization understand its cybersecurity readiness.
This assessment also contributes to developing a realistic incident response plan covering the evolving cyber threat landscape. However, as it is challenging to perform cybersecurity readiness assessments without proper knowledge of information assets, systems, network operations, etc., it is best to seek the guidance of a reliable cybersecurity partner to achieve compliance and excel at audits.
Understanding the Readiness Assessment Requirements for HITRUST, SOC 2, CMMC & ISO 27001
HITRUST certification requires a set of security controls for organizations handling personal health information and financial, insurance, and government industries. Therefore, conducting a readiness assessment is the first step in the HITRUST certification process. The assessment phase aims to give organizations a clear idea of their security weaknesses and overall posture. Organizations can perform the HITRUST analysis independently or with the guidance of a HITRUST Authorized External Assessor. This process includes gathering information on the current state of an organization’s network and data security posture. After data collection, posture is analyzed and supported with data utilizing the HITRUST MyCSF tool.
Secondly, SOC issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is an audit to ensure security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and data privacy. As per a recent report, the global average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million. The SOC 2 readiness assessment helps an organization prepare and assess itself before the SOC 2 audit. With this, the organization identifies the procedure and processes necessary to ensure data safety and security. After determining the areas essential for the audit, the next step is to evaluate the control environment using SOC 2 criteria.
Thirdly, the U.S Department of Defense issued the CMMC framework, which measures an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure to protect sensitive government information on the contractor’s information system. For CMMC readiness assessment, an organization’s cybersecurity posture is analyzed by testing the security systems against controls mentioned in the CMMC framework. Actions are taken as per the evaluation results. A qualified third-party provider must validate each CMMC audit and compliance certification level. Selecting an outsourced provider simplifies the process.
A standard for information security management, the ISO 27001 provides a framework to reduce the threats to information and communication technology assets and the concerned organization. Although many organizations have various information security policies, they are often fragmented and outdated, making it difficult to deal with recent threats. Although not mandatory, ISO 27001 readiness assessment can identify the Information Security Management System’s gaps and assist the organization in preparing for the certification.
Advantages of Leveraging a Trusted Readiness Partner
Preparedness is vital for any organization’s cybersecurity posture. Failure to evaluate every element related to cybersecurity in an organization’s security framework can increase vulnerabilities and cause financial and reputational loss and legal complications.
Here are the advantages of leveraging a trusted readiness partner:
- Cost and time efficacy – readiness assessments are often time-consuming, especially for smaller organizations. In addition, maintaining a permanent, in-house security team equipped with governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) capabilities is expensive. However, SMBs can save time and money by collaborating with specialists who handle readiness assessments with a reliable cybersecurity partner. Thus, allowing SMBs to focus on other revenue-generating business operations.
- Industry expertise – opting for a trusted cybersecurity partner lets you access the industry experts. When a skilled security professional performs the assessment, they conduct a thorough evaluation and uncover all the vulnerabilities to minimize damage.
- Unbiased evaluation – internal assessments are often complicated by a reluctance to inform the higher-ups about security vulnerabilities and shortcomings. However, a third-party cybersecurity partner will not hesitate to report any serious concerns.
- Ensure compliance – achieving compliance is about following the standard protocols, reducing risk, and keeping data safe. Experienced cybersecurity firms can identify compliance issues more efficiently than in-house staff due to their diverse experience. Their job is to know the laws, regulations, and penalties thoroughly and to help organizations achieve compliance efficiently.
A readiness assessment is essential for every organization to evaluate and step up its cybersecurity measures. These assessments perform detailed analyses, implement robust security measures, and create a solid plan to address security gaps. Unbiased third-party assessments conducted by trusted cybersecurity partners are the independent evaluations that help organizations make informed decisions.
Knowledgeable about current compliance requirements and recommendations and how they apply to organizations, GoldSky Security offers customized solutions depending on the scale, risks, and your organization’s business goals. GoldSky works towards achieving operational security and compliance—from recognizing vulnerabilities to implementing improvements. In addition, GoldSky Security can offer you the best expert guidance if you are looking for a reliable cybersecurity partner.