Network security has become a critical issue for businesses of all sizes. As digital threats continue to increase in complexity and persistence, organizations are driven to become more vigilant in identifying vulnerabilities within their network infrastructure to avoid different types of data breaches. One way companies can proactively mitigate network security gaps is by conducting a network security assessment against their systems.
Network security assessments provide companies with an in-depth systematic evaluation of their IT infrastructure, policies, and procedures. Security assessments aim to determine the effectiveness of an organization’s existing security measures while recommending improvements to strengthen its overall security posture. Here are a few key reasons to prioritize a network security assessment for your organization.
1. Identify Vulnerabilities
It’s widely known that security weaknesses in an organization’s network can cause threat actors to have an easier pathway into systems to steal data and exploit it for their own gain. For this reason, effectively identifying and resolving network vulnerabilities is critical. These vulnerabilities range from outdated software and unpatched systems to weak passwords and insecure network configurations. Network security assessments can help organizations identify these vulnerabilities in internal software, hardware, and networks.
One example of a data breach that could have been avoided was the Equifax data breach in 2017. This incident was attributed to an unpatched vulnerability within a web application used within their internal network. Thus, this vulnerability allowed hackers to create a backdoor to access the network and steal private consumer data. If Equifax had conducted a comprehensive network security assessment against the network, it would have identified this vulnerability and prompted them to apply the necessary patches to remedy it.
By conducting regular network security assessments, organizations can effectively manage network security and cyber risk by discovering vulnerabilities before cybercriminals exploit them. Regular assessments can enable companies to take the appropriate corrective action and strengthen their overall network security more successfully.
2. Improve Security Posture
Another important benefit of conducting regular network security assessments against your system is that it improves your overall security posture and threat landscape. Your network security is only one piece of your organization’s overall security posture. If not effectively protected and tested by employing a network security test, the network can create a greater risk to your other cybersecurity measures and controls. Conducting a network security assessment allows you to gain valuable insights into an important part of your security posture and take necessary actions to strengthen it effectively.
For instance, fortifying your network security as part of your overall security testing can protect your organization against complex attacks. Cyberattacks, which include distributed denial of service (DDoS), search query language (SQL) injection, and phishing attacks, can often be sophisticated and cause significant damage once successfully executed by hackers. The type of damage these attacks can do disrupts operations, causes a loss of revenue, and costs companies legal fines and penalties if the attackers compromise consumer data.
3. Ensure Regulatory Compliance
In addition to identifying vulnerabilities and improving your overall security, network security assessments help achieve greater regulatory compliance. Regular network security assessments are vital for ensuring compliance for businesses that adhere to various industry regulations and standards.
Many industries have strict security requirements established to ensure the security of individual data. For example, health and wellness organizations must adhere to HIPAA regulations. This legislation was created to govern the security and privacy of a person’s protected health information (PHI). Similarly, businesses that process credit or debit card payments are required to comply with PCI DSS requirements. These requirements aim to protect cardholder data and prevent fraud.
Nowadays, businesses must comply with these regulations to avoid costly fines, legal penalties, and potential damage to their reputation. Network security assessments can enable companies to better identify gaps in their compliance efforts and take corrective action to address them to avoid the associated penalties and fines. Regular network testing allows organizations to ensure they meet security requirements and show their commitment to safeguarding sensitive data by utilizing the right network security assessment tools.
Safeguard Your Network with Security Assessments
The importance of a strong security posture and regular network security assessments in today’s digital landscape can protect your network more effectively against threats. Cybercriminals are constantly seeking more sophisticated ways to exploit vulnerabilities and infiltrate networks.
By regularly assessing your current network security measures and implementing recommended improvements, you can stay one step ahead of attackers and maintain high levels of protection. Request a proposal with The Purple Guys today to get started on better protecting your network from attack.