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By: Marketing Team on February 15th, 2024

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What Comes After a Network Security Assessment?


You’ve just been informed that your requested security assessment has been completed. The assessor hands you a document, reports their findings, and tells you to reach out regarding additional inquiries. Now you wonder, "What next? 

What's next is a series of actions that will convert data into an actionable plan. A security assessment is crucial to building a robust security strategy, but it is only one point of the journey. To reach the end, there are four more steps to take, each one we'll detail in this article. 

Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) is a managed IT service provider (MSP) with over 20 years of experience helping businesses set up protections through data and technology. We provide information and guidance to ease our clients’ IT endeavors. 

For this article, we spoke with Sean Harris, ITS’ SVP for Cybersecurity and in-house CMMC expert, to hear his insight on security assessments. During our conversation, we discussed the following: 

This should provide you with a better understanding of the aftermath of a security assessment and your role in turning such information into an effective plan. 

What is the Goal of a Security Assessment? 

Team consulting on network assessment and analysis in a high-tech workspace

A network security assessment is conducted to uncover gaps in your organization’s IT infrastructure as a step to improve your overall security posture. The goal is achieved by analyzing critical network components, such as: 

  • Devices 
  • Systems 
  • Strategies 
  • Controls 
  • Configurations 

Harris said, “It’s just a risk assessment [that] relates to their security. It could be both physical security and the digital world. But oftentimes, for us, [it’s] just the digital world.” 

By the end, you end up with a comprehensive report detailing cybersecurity issues malicious actors could exploit. Entry points, misconfigurations, and attack surfaces are examples of what you'll find in this document. These valuable insights enable you to set up better protections and defenses for your organization. 

What Steps Should You Take After a Security Assessment? 

IT specialists discussing network assessment results next to monitoring screens

With the security assessment over and the report in your hands, what do you do next? How do you make use of such valuable information to improve your business? And would you believe it if we said you need only to perform four easy steps? 

Step 1: Review 

The first step after a security assessment is to review the report provided by your assessor. Confirm the validity of the data included in the document. Reach out to the assessor if you need clarification or have questions.  

Once you’ve fully understood the report, start a discussion involving necessary parties, from C-suite to IT experts (internal or external). Prioritize your vulnerabilities and determine which should be addressed first. It’s also essential to identify your limitations and capabilities based on resources. 

Prioritizing risk mitigation usually depends on the risk factor, but there are times when resources do not allow it. In that case, put it on the back burner, but do not overlook it. Remember that you cannot eliminate all risks. The goal of cybersecurity is to minimize possibility and impact. 

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Step 2: Plan 

The next step is to turn your insights into actionable plans. With your priorities in order and an understanding of your resources, you should be able to create a strategy that makes sense for your business.  

In the context of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), according to Harris, such is called the Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M). It's a document on the measures and efforts to improve cybersecurity. It lays out necessary resources, important milestones, and defined deadlines. 

Although your business may not be required to comply with CMMC, emulating this practice of properly documenting your strategies can still do you good. It allows for visibility and keeps you on track. 

Step 3: Implement 

The third and final step is to put your plan into action. It could take months to reach this stage, but this should progress hitch-free with proper review and planning. 

Follow the plan, oversee every step, reevaluate strategies (whenever necessary), document the entire process, and utilize your resources. Stick to these, and you’re sure to end up in success. 

Step 4: Evaluation 

Once you’ve deployed your plans, you start the evaluation. Gauge the effectiveness of your gap remediation strategy and how it’s affected your risk mitigation plan specifically, and organization more generally. In short, you circle back to the start and perform an assessment. Such is the cycle of building a robust IT infrastructure – a necessity for modern businesses looking to stay safe from cyber risks. 

Get the Most Out of Your Security Assessments 

Professional conducting a network security assessment on a laptop

A network security assessment lists vulnerabilities and gaps in your IT infrastructure. The resulting document is a treasure trove of information that can elevate your business's security posture. But it’s the steps you take afterward that truly determine how much benefit you gain.   

Review, plan, implement, and evaluate – these actions follow a security assessment, and proper execution of each one is vital to maximizing gains. 

An in-house IT team can do everything from assessment to implementation and re-evaluation. You can also employ the help of an external party that can offer a fresh perspective and approach. ITS can be your partner if you choose the latter. We offer free network assessments, which our experts can convert into an actionable plan. 

If you want to know more about network security assessments, check out these related pieces of content from our Learning Center: 

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