5 Reasons Why You Need an Annual Risk Assessment

5 Reasons for Annual Risk Assessment

Have you conducted your annual risk assessment? If not, you’re not alone. Many small businesses fail to perform an IT security risk assessment. Some business owners do not even know an annual risk assessment is actually required in their industry. A security risk assessment provides the framework for keeping your company at a desired security level by assessing the risks you face, deciding how you will mitigate them, and planning for how to keep your security practices up-to-date. Given that most small businesses cannot operate without technology, an IT risk assessment is critical. Here are 5 reasons for annual risk assessment.

Data Protection

If you retain confidential information from clients or customers, you’re often contractually obliged to protect that data as if it were your own. If you fail to protect it, you could face a loss of goodwill, and even legal consequences.

Regulatory Requirements

It’s critical that small businesses understand all of the privacy and security laws related to the data they store. These include state breach notification laws, FTC Red Flags Rule, and the HIPAA-HITECH data breach requirements.

PCI Compliance

Small businesses should pay close attention to Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations associated to credit card transactions, especially as more small businesses use mobile devices to swipe credit cards. Failure to comply with these regulations could have a significant financial impact on your business.

Physical Security

Often times physical security is overlooked in small business. It is important for company servers and networking equipment to be located in a secure, locked area of your building with only authorized access. Old equipment needs to be properly disposed. A building alarm system and surveillance system is helpful for physical security as well.

Administrative Safeguards

Your annual risk assessment also takes a deep look into administrative procedures as it relates to data protection. Often times threats come from within. Meaning employees getting viruses that corrupts company information or a disgruntled staff member that deletes important company files. The security assessment will provide valuable information and recommended risk mitigation.

Today it’s vital that every small business conduct an IT risk assessment to ensure that its security is keeping its businesses network and data safe, preventing cyber threats, and meeting regulatory guidelines. Ensuring your businesses is meeting these security essentials will help prevent your business from being impacted by today’s most common security risks.

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