When to Use Different Types of Security Assessments

Types of Security Assessments

The best cyber security plan incorporates several types of security assessments that make sure your business is always protected against threats. However, it’s not enough to know what security assessment you should use. You need to know how and when to use them to get the most out of your cyber defense.

In this guide, we’re going to break down four different types of security assessments we recommend at Elevated Technologies. We’ll also go over when to use each one so that you can save time and energy. Let’s dive in.

What are Security Assessments?

Security assessments are routine tests that evaluate how well your company’s security infrastructure works. The purpose of running security assessments is to identify weaknesses where your company’s IT system is more vulnerable to outside attacks. 

One cyber attack can threaten your entire business. Using periodic assessments makes sure that all of your security system’s weaknesses are found and solved before they become serious issues. 

Types of Security Assessments and When to Use Them

Every business is unique, which is why they need customized security plans. At Elevated Technologies, we create personalized cyber attack prevention plans using firewalls, data management, dark web monitoring, and more. 

When you take a multi-pronged approach to cyber security, you also need multiple types of security assessments to test all of your efforts. Let’s explore four types of security risk assessments that our IT experts recommend at Elevated Technologies.

Vulnerability Assessments

Vulnerability assessments search for flaws and bugs in applications, software, data, and other infrastructure. They conduct an automated scan of your network that identifies risks and categorizes them by their threat level. They find flaws by searching through codes and configurations.

There are several vulnerability assessment types, including:

  • Wireless scans
  • Network scans
  • Application scans
  • Database scans
  • Host-based scans

When to Use Vulnerability Assessments:

You should automate running vulnerability assessments on your server on a regular basis. Since they evaluate both web-based programs and infrastructure, they are effective for identifying a wide array of security weaknesses. However, vulnerability assessments have a limited scope, which is why they are only the first step. They are a valuable part of your assessment plan, but you should also employ other types of security assessments.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing takes a more targeted approach than vulnerability testing. Instead of evaluating your entire system at once, this type of security assessment tests a specified unit. For example, you can use penetration testing to check the security of your website, mobile apps, local network security, and more. 

Think of penetration testing as a planned attack on a certain part of your system. There are automated and manual penetration tests. With manual testing, IT experts, such as our team at Elevated Technologies, attempt to hack your specified target to identify its weaknesses. 

The most common type of penetration testing is blackbox testing, which is when an IT expert attempts an external hack without any prior access to the company’s network. You can also perform a whitebox test, which is when an IT expert is given some access to the network before they hack it.

The planned hack provides you with valuable data about the strengths and weaknesses of your target. From there, you can improve your security measures based on the results of the penetration test.

When to use penetration testing:

Penetration testing is done on demand and offers a more in-depth analysis of your cyber security measures than vulnerability testing. With that in mind, you should perform penetration tests when you want targeted data about a specific part of your business. 
Penetration testing is one of the top types of security assessments that can help with information security. One of the most threatening cyber breaches a business can face is when its customer’s sensitive information is hacked, leaked, and sold. The company not only faces legal consequences, but they also lose customer trust and loyalty. A penetration test can evaluate how easy it is for an outsider to hack your customer’s data.  

Cloud Security Assessment

This type of security assessment exploits weaknesses in your company’s cloud-computing system. The test identifies access points that unwanted intruders could use to access the data that your company stores in the cloud. Once the access points are identified, our IT team at Elevated Technologies can patch them and minimize security threats to your business. 

When to use cloud security assessments:

Out of all the different types of security assessments, this one is mandatory for the following business models:

  • Software as a service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

If you utilize a cloud-computing service as part of your business’s daily operations, performing regular cloud security assessments is crucial. 

Security Audits

Security audits ensure that your security measures meet the current standards of the security industry. Unlike other types of security assessments, security audits are less about identifying your system’s weaknesses and more about making sure your company is compliant. 

A security audits checks for compliance with the following regulatory bodies:

When to use security audits:

Scheduling regular security audits ensure that your business stays out of legal trouble. We recommend that all companies conduct security audits at least twice a year. However, some companies should conduct them more often depending on their size, IT system, and amount of stored data. To learn how often you should conduct a security audit, contact us today to schedule a free cyber security briefing for your business.

Contact Us Today to Conduct Various Types of Security Assessments For Your Business

Hopefully, this guide to our most recommended types of security assessments gives you a clearer idea of what your company needs. At Elevated Technologies, we recommend using more than one security risk assessment for a well-rounded and thorough approach. 

The right security assessments for your business depend on a variety of factors, which is why our IT team creates customized cyber security plans for each client. Contact us today to get started with your own personal security plan for your business. 

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