Global cyber-attacks serve as a stern reminder for Executives and their organizations to better understand their cyber risk. Complex IT infrastructures often lead to a lack of transparency in many organizations, which leaves them susceptible to a data breach. So ask yourself, how transparent is my cyber risk landscape? Liberty has compiled a simple 10-Box cybersecurity health checklist that enables executives to self-evaluate their exposure.
What Is a Cybersecurity Health Check?
Cybersecurity health checks enable companies to determine where the weaknesses of their data and IT infrastructure lie. Given that the average cost per data breach is around $4.35 million and there are tens of millions of cyber attacks each year, one of the top priorities for any company looking to scale should be to assess vulnerabilities.
What Is Included in a Cybersecurity Health Check?
The areas covered within a cyber health check largely depends on who conducts it and how the business’s IT infrastructure is constructed. Nevertheless, there are some key areas that are evergreen, including but not limited to:
- Policies, procedures, and other operations that leave the organization vulnerable
- Overall vulnerabilities assessment
- Plans on how to address vulnerabilities in a quick and cost-effective way
- Evaluating whether business systems comply with regulatory bodies
- Evaluating the potential financial impact a breach could have
Cybersecurity Health Checklist
When preparing to conduct a cybersecurity health check, it is imperative that each of the key stakeholders involved are on the same page. Together, answer the following ten questions and their sub-questions and be ready to take it to the board. Take detailed notes on everybody’s input:
1. Do you have every server and application configuration documented and know if or when they change?
- Do you know who changes data? Is this auditable?
2. Do you control external media devices like USB drives, CD/DVDs and external hard drives?
- If a computer plugs into your network or accesses your internal network via wireless is it automatically granted access?
3. How comprehensive is your overall asset inventory?
- Do you have a finite list of the hardware, software, and networking equipment for both managed and unmanaged assets?
4. If a device needs to be removed from accessing your network, what is the process?
- Which controls are needed to execute and how long does it take?
5. How quickly can you determine where specific data is physically held and who the affected stakeholders would be should the configuration need to be changed in an incident response scenario?
6. Do you have your critical intellectual property categorized and accessible within your environments?
- Do you know who is accessing it, when and if changes are being made?
- Do you track data leaving your company?
7. Are you certain that even an unsophisticated social engineering attack would not succeed?
8. Are you confident that sensitive information or data is not for sale on the public market?
9. Do you know who comprises your critical supplier/vendor community?
- Are they required to meet a prescribed security standard with risk profiles actively managed?
10. In the event of a compromise, do you have an active response plan?
- Is it cross-functional and does it quickly predict the overall financial impact of the threat?
- Do you hold quarterly response drills?
The answers to these questions will help you understand not only what’s at stake, but overall preparedness in the event of a data breach. Keep in mind that cybersecurity health checks should be conducted on a quarterly basis, but more frequently if new technology was recently implemented within the organization.
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