The rise of business technology has resulted in a shift to digital assets. As a business executive in an ever-changing landscape, you have a lot of responsibilities, including ensuring the safety and security of your organization in all of your technology and data use.
Network security has to be a top priority to protect the sensitive information of your staff and clients. Being proactive and stopping hackers and other threats before they can get anywhere is much better than picking up the pieces after a major cyber attack or data breach.
Time is money and taking a few extra steps now to evaluate your current IT setup can save you from unanticipated expenses and damage control in the future.
Identifying Network Strengths and Weaknesses
The first step to better network security is engaging a reputable provider of managed IT services who understands the biggest threats and the latest risk management methods. The more data your organization has, the more information that’s at risk of being stolen, and therefore the higher the costs would be of remediating the situation after a cyberattack. A data breach is a PR nightmare and expensive incident to clean up, as the exposure of sensitive client information costs businesses an average $3.8 million in losses, according to a joint IBM-Ponemon study from 2018.
Deciding what safeguards to put in place to prevent these attacks is made easier with a SOC 2 Readiness Assessment. This assessment helps your business by identifying weak points and gaps in protection within your business network, which you can then work with your IT provider to improve. Not only may these weaknesses lead to a failed compliance audit, but they could also open your systems up for a crushing cyberattack. Targeting the areas where protection is needed the most is a smart use of your company’s IT resources.
Establishing Assessment Criteria
A SOC 2 Readiness Assessment examines your security position and begins by selecting the relevant criteria that the audit needs to address. The assessment report will give IT decision-makers valuable insights into data controls that may impact user availability, privacy, confidentiality, processing, and overall security.
To achieve a vigorous assessment that provides the right results and accurate analysis, you need to understand how company procedures and policies may present certain risks. Specific risk factors can have an impact on internal controls, including:
- The operating environment at your organization
- What kind of data you collect, store and use from customers
- Any obligations or commitments made to customers and third-parties
- Your system processing requirements
- The delivery methods and technology methods used by your team
Creating an Action Plan
With a thorough knowledge of your company’s IT arrangements, you can be prepared to analyze the findings from the SOC 2 readiness assessment and make changes accordingly. This assessment reveals the controls’ readiness levels by reviewing which would pass and which would fail in the event of a security threat. This information allows your managed IT service provider to implement proactive measures right away instead of after a cyberattack. You can follow-up on the assessment with an action plan to remediate issues as soon as possible.
Although a SOC 2 readiness assessment costs money, it’s a worthwhile investment that can save considerable financial resources later on, especially if your business is prepared for the assessment and ready to make changes as required. Managed IT services can remediate any gaps to confirm your organization is ready to pass a SOC 2 audit with flying colors.