Business cybersecurity is a constantly evolving challenge that requires outpacing hackers and other malicious actors seeking to access your systems and cause disruption and loss. One of the key lines of defence in securing a business is plugging any weak spots in the network, and finding those vulnerabilities is best done through an IT security assessment report.
Done right, security assessment reports mitigate risk and allow a company to make informed decisions about where to bolster its cyber defenses. Here is a simple step-by-step guide for creating a robust security assessment report (SAR) and understanding its key components.
|What Is a Security Assessment Report?
According to NIST, a security assessment report documents findings and recommendations regarding vulnerabilities in an IT environment. The evaluator performing the security assessment must provide the methodologies employed and detail the findings in a structured manner.
See below for a sample security assessment report.
1. Perform an Initial IT Assessment
Create a comprehensive rundown of all your IT assets and make note of who has access to each device so that you can begin to understand where threats might emerge and which assets are most critical to your business operations.
You also need to decide which tools will be used for the security assessment, as well as considering scenarios and their potential business impact, countermeasures, risk mitigation policies, and risk tolerance levels.
2. Gather System Information
Review your business devices to determine their configurations, driver versions and other system information. You also need to find out things such as which information is publicly accessible, whether logs are saved in a central repository, and if your devices send logs to a SIEM (security information and event management) platform to build a full picture of your security profile.
3. Scan Security and Vulnerabilities for the Assessment Report
First, explore your compliance requirements to determine the necessary security policy, then use an automated vulnerability scanning plug-in or tool to perform a full check for exploits, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and other threats.
|Assess and Improve Your IT Security:|
4. Prepare the Security Assessment Report
Once the information gathering and scan is complete, you should have the necessary data to begin compiling a security vulnerability assessment report that provides a breakdown of each threat identified. The report should cover the following details:
- Name and date of the threat
- A vulnerability score from a CVE (common vulnerabilities and exposures) databases
- A detailed description of the threat and affected systems
- A plan to correct the threat
Essentials for a Security Assessment Report
A security assessment report should include an executive summary, an assessment overview, and a section with results and risk management recommendations.
- The executive summary provides an overview of the findings and a snapshot of how the company’s systems security held up against scrutiny. Its main aim is to provide executives with a ‘big picture’ idea of where cybersecurity efforts should be focused.
- The assessment overview provides detail on the methods and tools used, allowing companies to understand how the IT experts went about exposing the threats.
- The results and recommendations section is the meat of the report, offering a detailed description of each vulnerability, any problems it has caused, and actionable steps to fix it.
You might consider finding a sample security assessment report, an assessment report template or a security assessment report example from another organization to guide you.
Download Your Security Assessment Report*
5. Distribute the Security Assessment Report to Decision Makers
Once the report is complete, it’s time to get it in the hands of both technical and business decision-makers. They are the influencers who can ensure that the necessary steps will be taken to mitigate risk, whether it’s funding a new security investment or reallocating resources.
As one of Toronto’s most renowned managed IT service providers, Fusion Computing has been trusted to help businesses across the GTA conduct effective security assessment reports. Contact us today to learn more about the best ways to secure your business’s assets and data.
* The SAR is for illustration purposes only and may not be used without permission from Fusion Computing. All rights reserved.