What’s the recommended frequency for a cyber security assessment?

We regularly publish blogs and articles about carrying out security assessments. About how important that is in order to gain insight into the status of the organization’s cyber security, and to proactively address its security policy. In addition, we keep insisting that conducting an assessment is not a one-off, but must be repeated periodically in order to keep a close watch, and to always stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

For the better informed you are – and remain! – about the vulnerabilities, the better you are able to continuously optimize the cyber resilience of the organization. It’s the best way to manage various security risks and stay ahead of new forms of cybercrime.

Our customers regularly ask us how often they should carry out such an assessment. What is the optimal frequency, without it becoming overkill? That of course depends on a number of aspects, which we’ll briefly explain below.

  • Size and complexity of the organization

Not only large multinationals become victims of cybercrime. Hackers are increasingly seeing small and medium-sized businesses as easy(er) targets. Cyber security is therefore indispensable for any organization with an online presence.

But security assessments vary in complexity and methodology, and can be tailored to the needs of any organization, regardless of its size or IT infrastructure.

  • Budget

It is often thought that security assessments are only affordable for organizations that have a lot of money to spend, but nothing could be further from the truth. Cyber security doesn’t have to cost a lot to be effective. Did you know that it’s often possible to use software that you already have at hand? And any extras required for optimal data security can usually be adapted to your organization’s financial means.

But whatever your budget, remember that proactively tackling cyber security is always cheaper than recovering from the direct and indirect financial consequences of a cyber-attack.

  • Compliance

Almost every organization has to deal with data privacy regulations as laid down by GDPR. In addition, more and more specific cyber security regulations are introduced by the EU, with the aim of better protecting Europe against cyber-attacks. An example of this is NIS 21).

In order to comply with this type of legislation and regulations, a periodic scan is a must. Documenting the security and privacy policy is essential here, as it can then be used as a reference during audits.

1) Think Tank European Parliament: The NIS2 Directive: A high common level of cybersecurity in the EU


At QS solutions, we use the Cyber Security Assessment Tool (CSAT), developed in-house and also used worldwide by Microsoft. This tool scans the hybrid IT environment and collects relevant security data from various sources. In addition, CSAT uses a questionnaire to collect data on security policies and other key indicators.

In general, depending on the size and complexity of the organization, our advice is to carry out a security assessment two to four times a year, one or two of which should be a full assessment, including data collection, questionnaire and a comprehensive report. This is necessary to be able to continuously refine and stay on track with the roadmap and planning of action points.

In addition, we recommend that you use the scans to perform one or two data checks in the meantime. This will help you to remain constantly informed of the vulnerabilities and risks, and allows you to take timely action.

Even though no cyber security method offers a 100% guarantee to prevent an attack, performing periodic assessments and proactively following up on them does ensure that your organization remains protected to the best possible extent.

A step-by-step plan for better cyber security

mockup whitepaper Security Assessment CSAT

In our white paper “Security Assessment: the first step in cyber security”, we take a closer look at the Cyber Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) and we discuss the importance of periodic risk analyzes in more detail. How mature is your organization when it comes to 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.

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