5 Threat and Risk Assessment Approaches for Businesses


All the industries today are heavily reliant on the digitization of their business operations. Where the technology increases efficiency, speed, and business profitability, the emerging cybersecurity threats threaten business sustainability and existence. Digital security risks such as malware, cyberattacks, data breaches, ransomware, DDoS, etc, and skilled cybercriminals are forcing businesses to explore next-generation cybersecurity solutions that are capable of identifying, mitigating, and reporting modern security threats. In their quest to strengthen their cybersecurity infrastructure, companies are leveraging different types of threat and risk assessments. Conducting such types of IT security risk assessments allows organizations to identify and patch security weaknesses in their current business processes, operations, systems, applications, and overall business infrastructure.


Threat and Risk Assessment

IT security assessments, cybersecurity assessments, IT risk assessments, or vulnerability risk assessments are critical for finding security vulnerabilities in your organization. Without a security risk assessment, a security and recovery program is incomplete and ineffective. Conducting regular vulnerability assessments can lower the risks of security disasters and potentially prevent your organization to face the legion of consequences accompanying a security breach. Understanding the importance of security risk assessments and conducting them often can not only improve your organization’s security posture but can also help you maximize your business continuity, profitability, and growth.

Deciding what type of security risk assessment is best suited for your organization can depend on many factors such as the size of your business, the efficiency of deployed security parameters, your end goals, and so on. However, to help you decide, here are 5 different types of IT security risk assessments and when to apply them.


1- Vulnerability Assessment

Your organization does not stand a chance against modern and advanced persistent threats (ATPs) unless you identify security gaps in your security infrastructure and patch them before they are discovered and exploited by cybercriminals. Conducting vulnerability risk assessments allows you to find potential security gaps in your systems, devices, security solutions, operations, applications, and processes – providing you valuable time to patch them.

This assessment type is best suited for your organization if you intend to test and validate the accuracy and efficiency of the deployed security measures within the organization. Timely identification and remediation of vulnerabilities will lower risks of security intrusions and will boost your business’s security and productivity.


2- Penetration Testing

Penetration testing or pen testing is the next step forward to deploying and testing the effectiveness of security parameters to find vulnerabilities. Pen testing enables you to test the defense capabilities of your cybersecurity infrastructure. Pen testing usually includes an authorized security team leveraging modern hacking techniques, tools, and attack vectors to break and bypass the deployed security parameters to determine the protection capabilities of the deployed security measures.

Conducting pen-testing assessments is suitable for organizations that are looking to take their cybersecurity to the next level. If you aim to fortify your organization against traditional and modern security threats – pen testing can help!


3- IT Audit

Conducting an IT audit means analyzing the current organizational security posture to determine if it meets the regulatory security compliance standards. IT audits include analysis of digital assets, technical structure, and documentation to identify lacking areas. IT audit assessments also include analysis of how well the organizational staff understands the security risks and whether they perform their daily basis of work duties while implementing best security practices and making security-conscious decisions.

This assessment is best suited for your organization if you intend to achieve compliance with certain regulatory security standards. The IT audit should allow you to identify and strengthen weak areas in your organization to achieve the required compliance.


4- Red Team Assessment

Red team assessment includes two competing security teams. The red team usually is an external cybersecurity expert hired to compete against the blue team that consists of the internal security team of an organization. The red team leverages modern attack methods to breach the security parameters set by the blue team. The goal of the red team is to identify the weaknesses in the security parameters set by the blue team so the lacking areas can be improved. This assessment is best suited for your organization if you need high-level security for your organizational networks.


5-  IT Risk Assessment

IT risk assessment include preparation against both current and future cybersecurity risks. This risk assessment includes an organization-wide qualitative and quantitative risk assessment that measures the risk of security incidents happening in the near future. The end goal of this risk assessment includes the creation of a priority list with potential threats. Based on the likelihood and impact area of certain threats, security teams work to remedy the most critical threats.

Just like vulnerability assessment, IT risk assessment also includes the identification of the security gaps in your security infrastructure and patch them before they are discovered and exploited by cybercriminals.

You can leverage these different types of security risk assessment to improve your organizational security posture regardless of your business size and industry. The key to remaining, reputed, operational, and sustainable in today’s hostile cyber world is to continuously innovate and improve your defense parameters.