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The Dangers of Not Receiving a Network Assessment

managed IT Services

What risks could you run into if you don’t receive a network assessment? Is it worth the investment?  One of the most valuable reasons for receiving a network assessment is that it is a proactive way to secure your environment. 

 

Cyber attacks are becoming extremely common, and the only way to become less vulnerable is to have strong security measures in place. A network assessment is one of the best ways to ensure your cybersecurity is strong enough to prevent cyber attacks. 

 

The assessment is a thorough analysis of all your equipment and will determine where your security is strong and where there are weak spots that could open the gates to a hacker breaching your network. 

 

As a managed service provider, the network assessment is critical to understanding our client's environment to properly implement the right tools and processes for a secure network. You can not simply look at someone's office and see if there are potential vulnerabilities. It takes a thorough analysis using network monitoring tools that can present a vast amount of data regarding the health and security of your network.

 

So what threats could arise if you don't receive a network assessment? Let’s take a look. 



Not meeting compliance and regulations standards:

Cybersecurity compliance is a set of cybersecurity requirements that organizations must adhere to. Compliance standards are typically industry-specific. For instance, organizations in healthcare should meet all HIPPA compliance requirements. 

 

These requirements are usually imposed by where your business is located or your industry. They are meant to help minimize the risk of a breach. If you are breached, and it is because you did not adhere to compliance regulations, you will likely be fined. 

 

A network assessment will review all your current IT tools and processes. If your business has strict compliance regulations, that will be factored into the network assessment. If you do not receive a network assessment, you could risk not being compliant. 

 

Many companies may think they are meeting the requirements, but at a deeper glance with a network assessment, it is expected that there are flaws that are still leaving you open to a breach. A network assessment will deliver you a full report to see any faults and fix them to ensure you meet all compliance regulations. 



Undetected vulnerabilities that can worsen over time

If you don't receive a network assessment, you may be at risk of physical vulnerabilities that you were not aware of. An IT expert will use advanced tools to look deep into your system for any flaws during a network assessment. 

 

Most of the vulnerabilities found can be easily missed unless you have an intricate understanding of everything happening in your network.

Outdated equipment

It is essential to have equipment that is up to date. Technology is changing at a breakneck pace, which means new equipment models are constantly being released. As new models are released, so are new software updates. 

 

These software updates give your computers and laptops security for any new vulnerabilities. As your equipment becomes older, it becomes more difficult for your computer to keep updated software. Your equipment will start to get slower and could be putting you at security risks. 

 

A network assessment will look into your equipment models and whether or not they are out of warranty. This will help you determine what needs to be refreshed. Refreshing your IT equipment will help keep your environment more secure. The risk of not receiving a network assessment is that you may be using equipment that is not secure and needs to be updated. 

 

A network assessment will also help pinpoint any equipment causing your network to run slow.  For example, if you have old equipment configured in your network that you were unaware of, this could be causing your systems to run much slower. 




Unknown open ports

 

Having a port open that you were unaware of can open your network to many vulnerabilities. A port is used to send and receive data through your network. If a port is left open, this could be a direct gate for hackers to enter your network and access confidential materials. 

 

In a network assessment, you can identify if there have been failed logins detected, which is typically someone trying to break in. 

 

If they discovered an open port, it would be open access and a recipe for disaster. That is just one example, but several vulnerabilities could go undetected if you do not perform a detailed assessment on your network. Some other common vulnerabilities detected are: 

 

Malware/Malicius softwares 

Malware is software that can infect your computer by clicking or downloading a malicious app or file. Hackers commonly use it to extract sensitive data from your network. A network assessment will look for any malware threats hiding in your network. Once detected, you can take the necessary steps to remediate the threat immediately. 

Outdated or unpatched software: 

Software developers constantly create new patches that protect your network from new cyber threats. If you are using old equipment, likely, they have not been updated with the latest software to keep your network safe. 

 

This can cause your business to be at significant risk of cyberattacks. A network assessment can detect any flaws in your software to ensure that everything is secure and report on any necessary changes that must be made.  

 

Credentials exposed to the dark web 

Using special software, hackers can access people's computers to find your employee's credentials, such as login username and passwords. If you are unaware that your credential or your user's credential has been exposed to the dark web, this can be an easy way for hackers to utilize them and access sensitive information in your network.

 

A network assessment will include a dark web scan which determines any information that has been exposed. With this information, your company can change any vulnerable usernames and passwords to keep hackers out. 

 

Poor active directory hygiene: 

Your active directory is where all your user's information, authorization, and permissions are stored. Poor active directory hygiene occurs if you have old user accounts that are no longer being used open within the directory. 

 

The network assessment will look into your active directory and locate any accounts that should be closed. It will also find any accounts that have unnecessary permissions or authorizations. Keeping a clean, active directory is essential, so hackers don't use old credentials to access your network.



Are you looking to receive a network assessment? 

 

A network assessment is a great way to be proactive against cyber threats. By receiving an evaluation, you will have a complete analysis of any potential threats detected. But where can you receive a network assessment?

 

If you want to receive a network assessment, you will want to reach out to a managed service provider. An MSP can perform the network assessment, and they will give you a valuable report on all of their findings. 

 

After receiving the assessment report, you can choose one of two options. One option is to take the deliverable and implement any changes independently. The second is to partner with the MSP that provided the assessment.

 

If you partner with the MSP, they will work with you to develop a strategic plan to fix any vulnerabilities and get your IT environment secured and optimized. When you are looking to get a network assessment you may notice that some are free and some cost money. If you are interested in learning why some network assessments, like Usherwoods, cost money check out this article:  Why Does Usherwoods (Odyssey Discovery) Network Assessment Cost Money?