rsz_1computer_component_with_padlockInformation technology security is crucial to all businesses that deal with any sort of personal information or payment information. An article published in Computer World magazine in June, 2011, stated that 90 percent of the 583 companies surveyed had experienced a hack within the last 12 months. Small businesses are more likely to be hacked because they cannot afford to have an IT security assessment team available to detect and fight against a breach. Large cities such as Houston, are susceptible to breaches due to the large population of residents that are skilled enough to infiltrate most business systems.

What is it?

IT security assessment measures the risk of a company’s possible exposure to breaches. The business grants access to the assessment team so that several reports can be generated to measure the flaws and problems within certain networks. The assessment will help the business secure the specific network from vulnerable gaps in their operation software. According to Forbes Magazine, the security breach of Home Depot cost the company at least $194 per affected record; totaling over $560 million for the entire breach, which doesn’t include the loss of reputation. Large scale breaches can cause severe problems for any size company.

Purpose of Assessment

These IT assessments are necessary for businesses to detect and avoid possible issues. Businesses that experience breaches of their networks have a responsibility of notifying their customers, which can cost the company thousands, if not millions of dollars depending on the size of the particular business. The notification process is only part of the expenses that can arise from a breach. And the reputation of the company may be on the line as it can lead to a decrease in the number of customers and in branding influence.

Selecting the Best Assessor

Deciding on a security assessment team is important, because the process is important for a business’ operations and reputation. The best way to select an assessor is to review the companies that the assessor has helped in the past few years. In addition, technology adapts so quickly in computer software and hardware so the team selected should be familiar with all the systems used by the company to provide the most accurate assessment. The cost of the assessment will vary depending on the size of the business and the experience of the assessment team. Thoroughly evaluating the assessment team’s experience and clients will help ensure satisfaction with the service. The cost of the service should be compared on a level standard and on what the possible costs could incur from a large breach.

Advantages for Businesses

One of the largest advantages of an IT security assessment for a business is the ability to correct any vulnerable parts of the computer software and hardware. The human factor that is involved with writing and designing the systems can have unforeseen issues, which can cause major problems in the future. Once the software is implemented, various vulnerabilities can arise – which should be evaluated and changed quickly to avoid complications. Smaller companies do not have a large IT support staff that can quickly adapt to problems, which is why the assessment should be completed on a regular basis. So, how safe is your IT infrastructure? Ask the experts of MCORE Inc. to find out about cost-effective solutions that can protect your business.