Cybercrime has experienced explosive growth in recent years. Large organisations are no longer the only victims of this, as small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly seen by hackers as easy(er) targets. Since digital threats are constantly changing, it is important to remain vigilant and to continue protecting yourself against a cyber attack.
As a result, more and more organizations are opting to periodically perform a cyber security scan, for example by using the Cyber Security Assessment Tool (CSAT). This tool, developed by QS solutions and deployed worldwide by Microsoft and others, collects relevant security data from various sources in the hybrid IT environment by scanning:
- endpoints such as laptops, desktops, and servers
- the Azure cloud platform
- the (Azure) Active Directory
- data inMicrosoft 365, SharePoint, and Intune
In addition, CSAT uses a questionnaire to collect data on security policies and other key indicators.
For those who wonder what the advantages are of such a periodic scan, we have listed them below:
1. Insight into vulnerabilities (before hackers find them!)
Since a security scan exposes potential risks and vulnerabilities in the hybrid IT environment, it provides tangible insight into the cyber resilience of the organization. Hackers use similar tools to constantly search for and exploit security gaps. All the more reason to outsmart them!
2. Targeted action instead of a shotgun approach
The recommendations resulting from a security scan will help you to make decisions based on facts instead of a gut feeling. This enables you to tackle your organization’s vulnerabilities in a well-informed and targeted manner. This is not only much more effective, but also ensures that the available cyber security budget is used in the best possible way.
3. Increased cyber resilience
Although conducting periodic security scans does not in itself increase cyber resilience, it is the first step towards protecting data and networks. The insights provided by the scans allow you to easily and quickly create an action plan to increase your organization’s level of security and resilience, making it a lot less attractive to hackers.
4. Trustworthy image
Consumers and organisations are more aware than ever that data security is no longer a given, and they increasingly take this into account when deciding whether or not to enter into business relationships. According to research by PwC1), organizations can regain their trust by including data security and privacy as core values in their business policies. A solid cybersecurity strategy is indispensable for this.
5. Measure the effectiveness of your security strategy
Conducting periodic assessments not only exposes new vulnerabilities, but also provides insight into the effectiveness of the organization’s security strategy. After all, it is not only a matter of “plugging up the holes”, but also (especially!) of preventing vulnerabilities. The results of the scan help you to adjust the organization’s security policy where necessary.
6. Operational efficiency
Hybrid corporate networks are growing in size and complexity. Manually mapping their security is virtually impossible for most organizations. Automatic scans are much faster and therefore a lot more efficient. They screen the entire organization, collect data from various sources, and show exactly where resources should be deployed.
7. Greater involvement at board level
In many organizations, a lack of knowledge at board level hinders the effective approach of cyber security. Where do you even start? The recommendations that follow on from the scan results provide clarity, making it easier to draw up a tangible action plan. This creates awareness and involvement, getting you one step closer to budget and resource allocation.
8. Save money
The direct and indirect financial consequences of a cyber attack are enormous. Taking action on periodic scans reduces the chance of an attack, and in many cases you can use software that you already own! In addition, it goes without saying that significant savings can be made from increased operational efficiency and the targeted use of resources.
Almost every organization has to contend with data privacy laws related to GDPR. In addition, the EU is drawing up more and more specific cyber security regulations, with the aim of better protecting Europe against cyber attacks. An example of this is NIS 22). In order to comply with this type of legislation and regulations, periodic scans are a must.
10. Move with the changing cyber security landscape
To be able to move flexibly and effectively with the ever-evolving cyber risks, organizations must keep constant track of their vulnerabilities. A periodic scan is therefore an essential part of a healthy security strategy. It helps to manage various security risks and stay ahead of new forms of cybercrime.
2) Dutch Chamber of Commerce: European cyber laws: this is what they will mean for your business
A step-by-step plan for better cyber security
In our white paper ‘Security Assessment: the first step in cyber security‘, we take a closer look at the importance of periodic risk assessments. How mature is your organization in the field of cyber security? What are the vulnerabilities and risks? What steps can you take to improve security, and where should your priorities lie? Concrete, useful information that you can apply immediately.