According to IBM, data breach costs rose from 3.86 million dollars to 4.24 million dollars in 2021. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that businesses are starting to invest in cybersecurity maturity assessments.
But what is a cybersecurity maturity assessment? And does your business really need one? We asked our IT experts to weigh in.
What Is a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment?
A cybersecurity maturity assessment is “an independent, expert evaluation of an organization’s current state of cybersecurity readiness and effectiveness,” according to our experts at AIS. Essentially, it’s a way to gauge how prepared your business is to deal with a cyberattack.
There are a few different ways to conduct a cybersecurity maturity assessment. You can hire an outside firm to come in and evaluate your systems, or you can use a self-assessment tool.
Outsourcing the assessment to a third party has many advantages:
- You’ll get an objective view of your cybersecurity posture.
- The experts conducting the assessment will have a deep understanding of the latest threats and how to protect against them.
- You’ll receive specific recommendations for improvement that you can implement right away.
Outsourcing is generally more expensive than self-assessment tools, but the assessments are more comprehensive.
If you’re not ready to invest in a third-party assessment, you can use a self-assessment tool. Some of these include the CISA Assessment Tool or the NIST Assessment Tool.
- These tools are usually free or low-cost.
- While not comprehensive, they can give you a good idea of your cybersecurity readiness.
- They may work well for businesses who already have an in-house security expert.
Self-assessment tools do have a few limitations. You’ll still want to consult a team member (or outside expert) who is familiar with cybersecurity threats and how to protect against them. Also, the results of the assessment may not be as reliable as a third-party assessment.
Before determining whether to outsource or use a self-assessment tool, weigh the pros and cons based on the resources and expertise you have available in-house.
Why Would My Business Need a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment?
There are a few different reasons you might want to consider a cybersecurity maturity assessment. If you’re planning to implement new security measures, a maturity assessment can help you understand where your current security posture is weak and where you need to focus your efforts.
An assessment can also help you benchmark your progress over time. By conducting regular assessments, you can track your improvement and ensure that your security posture is keeping up with the latest threats.
This next reason is one that many people forget, but it can be the most valuable. A maturity assessment can be a valuable marketing tool. If you’re looking to attract new customers or partners, being able to show them that you’ve had an expert assessment of your security posture can give them the confidence they need to do business with you.
How Do I Get Started?
If you’re interested in conducting a cybersecurity maturity assessment, here are three things you need to do to get started.
- Gather data about your current systems. This data can come from a variety of sources, including audits, user surveys, and interviews with IT staff.
- Choose a method for conducting the assessment. As we mentioned earlier, you can hire an outside firm or use a self-assessment tool.
- Establish goals for the assessment. What would you like to accomplish? Do you want to improve your security posture? Benchmark your progress? Attract new customers?
Once you’ve established your goals, you can start working on your assessment. This would be the time to reach out to a third party or research reliable self-assessment tools.
What Do I Do with the Information from a Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment?
Once you’ve completed your assessment, you’ll have a wealth of information about your current security posture.
The first step is to review the results and identify any areas that need improvement. Once you’ve done that, you can start working on a plan to address those weaknesses.
If the assessment makes you nervous about the state of your cybersecurity, it would be a good idea to take your results to an experienced managed IT service provider who can help you do a security overhaul.
In some cases, you may also want to share the results of your assessment with customers or partners. This can be a great way to build trust and confidence in your business.
Things to Remember
A cybersecurity maturity assessment is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help you understand your current security posture, benchmark your progress, and attract new customers.
If you’re interested in conducting a cybersecurity maturity assessment, reach out to us at AIS! Our technicians have years of experience and can help you make the most of your assessment.