Security Risk Assessment - An Unavoidable Check for Businesses

October 27, 2023

When encountering a natural or man-made disaster, organizations' existing IT security controls play the most crucial part. Businesses focusing less on preventive measures are more vulnerable to phishing, malware, data breaches, and other threats. Hence, regardless of their size or niche, the need for IT networks and tech infrastructure security risk assessment cannot be overlooked.
For organizations, it should not always be a sinister event that forces them to deploy security risk assessments. They must continuously evaluate their information security systems weaknesses, threat prevention controls, and compliance measures. Security Risk Assessment (SRA) enables organizations to identify risks in their overall operational systems and verify the availability of controls to defy them.
This blog provides detailed insights into how SRA helps businesses safeguard their IT systems

Prominent Reasons Leading to Organizations’ Vulnerabilities

The security risk assessment pinpoints the loopholes within organizations' information security and IT systems that attract cyber criminals. By exploiting these weaknesses, fraudsters can easily barge into confidential data storage and businesses’ networks. Carrying security risk assessment periodically allows organizations to overcome vulnerabilities beforehand and make informed decisions.
Following are the weaknesses that SRA identifies to provide an aerial view of IT infrastructures to organizations:

Weak Passwords

Within the USA, around 30% of users encountered data breaches due to weak passwords in 2023. Amongst all types of weaknesses, easy-to-interpret passwords are the most favorite for cyber bad actors. They use different combinations and pass through the log-in stage. However, security risk assessment minimizes this threat by critically identifying repeated and failed attempts

Error-Prone Systems

Outdated security checks, algorithms, and system operations make IT infrastructures susceptible to cyber attacks. Insecure information security systems attract and allow fraudsters to enter by default. Consequently, they inject malware and viruses. However, with efficient SRA strategies in place, organizations can ramp up their IT protection and deter cybercriminals’ malicious intentions.

Insufficient User Access Controls

People are one of the biggest threats to any organization because they serve as the carriers for social engineering attacks. Furthermore, the lack of restrictions on user access potentially allows unauthorized individuals to gain entry into data storage and IT systems. With security risk assessment and self-protection awareness, organizations can ensure the person trying to access any confidential data or overall information system is authorized.

Insecure Networks

Organizations with ineffective firewall falls prey to external network attacks such as spyware. Businesses usually manage a large number of devices connected to their in-house networks. To make sure they are relying on safe networks, SRA is a must-have.

Insecure Data Storage

Information stored within the databases and cloud solutions of organizations demands utmost protection, otherwise, it can not only lead to non-compliance penalties but also reputational downfall. Therefore, data transmission without the added value of firewall or encryption causes identity theft, data breaches, and other fraud. Security risk assessment enables organizations to identify weak points within their information storage and transmission tracks to prevent such instances from jeopardizing businesses' reputations.

Understanding the Capability of SRA in Identifying Potential Threats

The security risk assessment is an unavoidable step in identifying and countering potential threats faced by organizations’ IT infrastructures. It helps information security officers to proactively assess the system’s weaknesses that give way to fraudsters. Furthermore, by conducting SRA, they develop counter strategies to cut down the likelihood of data exploitation, financial loss, and non-compliance penalties.
Security risk assessment is a legal obligation required by industry regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, and SOC II. Because of its enforcement by diverse standards, SRA goes by multiple names like security risk audit, IT system audit, and risk assessment but serves the same purpose of identifying external risks.


SRA empowers organizations to identify the following hazardous risks:

Malware Attack

Also known as a malicious software attack, refers to an intentionally designed program to harm a network, server, or computer. It mainly includes worms, ransomware, trojan horse, and spyware. Security risk assessment enables organizations to identify these viruses before they make it to the core of their IT infrastructures.

Social Engineering and Phishing

The art of deceiving end-users by manipulating their senses through emails, snail mail, direct contact, or phone calls is known as social engineering. Phishing involves sending fraudulent communication requests from legitimate but hacked sources to access sensitive information. SRA identifies and flags these manipulative techniques to not only protect employees but the organization as a whole.

Data Breaches and Loss

With around 49.8 million recorded incidents in Q2 of 2023, the USA has become the largest vulnerable region. Not to miss, data exploitation is a common cyber threat faced by every country mainly due to insufficient IT security controls to pace with technological innovation. However, robust security risk management techniques can aid in elevating organizations’ protection against unauthorized access.

Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

In its simplest sense, DoS means the unavailability of a device, computer, or network to its intended user. Cybercriminals overwhelm the targeted system with bogus requests until it loses normal traffic stability. Security risk assessment flags the weaknesses that can invite DoS attacks and enable organizations to build stronger networks.

Web Application Weaknesses

The flaws in web application security, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection, are another attraction for cybercriminals to breach an organization's systems and data. SRA identifies these vulnerabilities beforehand so the corporation’s officials can take preventive measures before an attack.

Four Additional Steps to Conduct Security Risk Assessment

The IT security risk assessment is a multi-layered technique that starts with analyzing critical assets and ends with implementing strategies to overcome vulnerabilities. It encompasses scrutiny of everything like how user access controls, the transmission of information, third-party affiliated channels, vendors’ vulnerability, and much more. In the end, SRA highlights actions needed to shield IT infrastructure.
The four essential steps of this assessment process include the following:

Asset Identification

In this step, SRA identifies organizations’ critical assets that handle, store, and transmit sensitive information about the company and its employees. It further creates risk profiles for each asset stating both their strength and weaknesses.

Risk Assessment

After risk profiling of organizations’ assets, the next step is to assess the level of threat or vulnerability they possess. After careful evaluation, businesses can determine the time, resources, and strategies needed to prepare for mitigation.

Threat Mitigation

The third step in the SRA model is to implement strategies, protocols, or preventive measures to mitigate unforeseen cybersecurity risks. Later on, organizations can enforce required security controls for every risk profile to ensure the overall security of the IT networks.

Future Prevention

Lastly, organizations must integrate tools and measures to prevent disasters and cybersecurity attacks from occurring again in the future. Furthermore, they can retain the security of their IT infrastructure for a longer time.

Industries that Can not Put Security Ride Assessment Aside

Security risk assessment is an unavoidable liability for industries like healthcare, finance, education, retail, and public companies. Regulatory standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, and CCPA mandate organizations to follow SRA guidelines and keep their IT infrastructure safe from external threats. Following are the major industries that cannot leave security risk assessment unattended.


Finance Sector

The finance sector is among the foremost in the list of industries because it deals with the largest volume of sensitive data, vendors, stakeholders, and intermediaries. Hence, conducting a security risk assessment is a must to shield the information of all concerned individuals and affiliates. This way, they can also ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and other data security regulatory standards.

Healthcare Sector

It comes second, but safeguarding patients' physical and electronic data is equally crucial. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), hospitals, medicare centers, and other healthcare service providers must protect sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from exploitation and unauthorized access.

Education Sector

Throughout the USA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates all academic institutions to run security risk assessments and protect student records. They should identify and report potential threats to regulatory bodies for timely actions.

Public Sector

The public or government sector is inter-connected with other state departments and private organizations, making security risk assessment mandatory. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires all concerned agencies to implement information security strategies and shield their IT systems from potential cyber threats.

Wrapping Up

An IT security risk assessment holds utmost importance within an organization’s overall information security strategy. Business owners and decision-makers should analyze their IT infrastructures periodically to be aware of potential threats and prevent their consequences in time. Ensuring the se­curity of your IT environment from the early stages is not merely a business priority, but it encompasses an ethical responsibility to safeguard customer data.
Regardless of how long it takes, organizations should always set aside sufficient time and resources. Hence, they can strengthen their information security systems, IT infrastructures, and networks against cyber attacks.

Why Choose Ferro Technics?

Ferro Technics offers security risk assessment plans according to the needs of clients. We help to identify, determine, and implement strategies to not only elevate the security of information systems and IT postures but also ensure compliance with stringent regulatory standards. Ferrotechnics is an expert in understanding the importance of sensitive data protection and devising solutions aligned with organizations’ goals. Contact Our Seasonal IT Professionals for Consultation!

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